Six Essential Carry-on Items

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I’m going to make a little confession here: I hate packing my carry-on. It’s one of those necessary evils that just has to be done if you want to fly, but I used to constantly worry that I’d forget something important.

I have another secret, which is that if you write yourself a checklist beforehand, you can leave packing your carry-on until the last minute while simultaneously making sure that you don’t forget anything. Here’s what should be on your list. For a complete list of carry on luggage rules, you'll need to check each individual airline for their rules.

Six essential carry-on items

  1. A blanket pillow
    These handy little gadgets are essentially a cross between a blanket and a pillow that can function as either and which can be packed down nicely to stop them from taking up too much space. Even if you only use these on board the flight, they’re worth taking. Personally, I find myself using them on trains and busses too, as well as at the hotel.
  2. Essential medication
    Sure, you could pack your meds in your suitcase, but what if your suitcase gets lost? That’s exactly what happened to me when I spent a long weekend in Seattle, and while I did still have a fantastic vacation, it was a pain to have to arrange to collect emergency medication. It’s far better just to keep them with you at all times to be sure that you actually have them.
  3. A portable charger
    I take a portable charger with me every time I leave the house, just in case I need it. It becomes even more important if you’re heading off on a vacation because you’re going to want to use your phone more often than normal to take photos and to keep yourself entertained during the flight. Just don’t forget your charger cable.
  4. Breakfast bars
    This is particularly important if you have a medical condition that requires you to eat regularly, but it’s also a good idea to take some snacks in your carry-on in general. If I don’t eat at regular intervals, I find myself feeling light-headed – and we all know too well that without the best snacks, we’re bound to get hangry.
  5. An e-reader
    I usually prefer physical copies of books, but an e-reader is the best option when traveling. You can carry hundreds of books with you on a device that’s smaller than a regular book, and you’re more likely to pick it up and read it than you are if you try to just use the tiny screen on your
  6. Headphones
    If you can, take noise-cancelling headphones. Not only will you be able to listen to some music or watch a movie on your phone during the flight, but also you’ll be able to shut out the noise of other passengers. Just don’t forget to pre-download your entertainment so that you can access
    it even when your device is in flight mode.
backpack - carry on luggage rules


Ultimately, whether you’re taking a cruise from Ft. Lauderdale or whether you’re backpacking in Europe, you’ll want to go out of your way to maximize your carry on space so that you have everything you need. Have a wonderful trip! Don't forget to check those carry on luggage rules.

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