I’ve been an avid traveller for as long as I can remember. Discovering a new place, a new language, a new culture – it can be quite daunting, but you can count on it being equally fascinating and thrilling.
My least favourite part of the travelling experience has to be flying. The long hours, which typically come with travelling to international destinations, can not only bore you out of your mind, but also have some undesirable effects on your body – such as bloating, swollen feet and dryness.
I felt it was about time that I tried to combat these effects as best as I could, and so I put together a carry-on essentials list to not only make flying more comfortable and help pass the time, but also to get organized for the trip.
Large Tote Bag: A great way to carry everything you need without sacrificing style. I like bags which have both hand and crossbody straps, such as this one from Madewell.
Cellphone & Charger: Portable chargers are a very practical way of making sure your battery won’t run out on you. This one from Mophie can charge smartphones, tablets and other USB devices, and its two USB ports enable you to charge multiple devices at the same time.
Wallet, Cash & Cards: When travelling, I enjoy keeping all my essential documents in a single wallet or case. This clutch is designed to do just that; including storage space for passport, ID and credit cards. This wallet, which is slimmer and more compacted, will also store your boarding pass, whilst remaining compact and easy to store.
Passport & ID: I’d highly recommend taking a photocopy of your passport and having both a physical and digital copy of it. If you then find yourself in the undesirable situation of losing your passport abroad, you’ll hasten the process of getting a new passport by having all your information available.
Socks: When you stay seated for a long period of time, blood will collect in your legs and feet – extending your legs, contracting your calves and rotating your ankles will help blood circulate. Compression socks will also help in preventing foot swelling, and of course a pair of cozy, warm socks is also a lovely option.
Scarf or Pashmina: I like to fold one and fit it snugly to the bottom of my bag – it can not only double as a pillow or eye-mask during the flight, but also keep you warm; in or out of the plane.
Spare underwear: There’s always the chance that something might happen to your luggage, so carrying spare underwear is a good idea.
Sunglasses: Nothing better than a pair of stylish sunnies to cover up the undereye bags or dark circles one can get after a red-eye.
Kindle: As much as I love everything about reading from a physical copy of a book, sparing yourself of the weight can be advantageous. This one is compact and light, with longer than average battery duration.
Noise cancelling headphones: Watching movies is a great way to pass the time in flights – and of course being able to hear the movie is very important (and somewhat difficult in a noisy aircraft). The Bose QuietComfort 35 is regarded as one of the best available.
Eye mask & Earplugs: These can be really helpful in getting in some proper rest.
Hair brush: My hair can turn into a static, frizzy mess in airplanes, so having a brush with me to tame it is essential.
Travel Toothbrush kit: Enough said.
Moisturizer: Our skin loses moisture in airplanes, so I like to take some hand cream and my favourite moisturizing gel with me – but most importantly, drinking plenty of water will moisturize you naturally.
Face mist: I love thermal water to keep myself refreshed. It’s loaded with minerals, and great for soothing and moisturizing skin.
Lip balm: Lips can get chapped due to the dry air, so keep them moisturized with a good lip balm.
Face wipes: Whether it be to wipe off makeup before you go to sleep, or to use instead of having to wash your face in an airplane bathroom, these make quick work of cleansing your skin.
Dry shampoo: Many beauty gurus swear by Batiste; which helps refresh hair, hassle-free.
Makeup: On flights, I tend to wear no makeup at all; but I do think that a couple lashings of a good mascara can really lift your look and make you more awake. As for skin, a low coverage, multitasking product such as a BB Cream or tinted sunscreen is what I would go to.
Snacks: Nuts, preferably raw and unsalted, will help your body detox. Almonds are my favourite – not only are they filling and nutritionally dense, they are also loaded with antioxidants.
Neck Rest: A neck rest might help avoid pain and discomfort.
Journal & Pen: Having pen and paper available can be very helpful, especially when filling in landing cards. Even though fountain pens aren’t typically recommended on airplanes, I’ve never had accidents with my LAMY.
I’ve put together a printable checklist of all the items included in this list to better help organization. I hope both my list and checklist have been helpful!
What else do you like to take with you on flights?