Carry-On Essentials Packing List

I do a lot of traveling. I don’t travel for work (yet), but I just travel very often because I love it and I’m fortunate enough to be able to travel a lot. While I was in graduate school, I traveled so much that I counted about 35 airplane rides in one year alone. Thankfully they all weren’t long haul trips, and some of them within Europe were only about 2 hours or less. What I’m trying to say is that I know how to pack… really, really well. I did a post about packing tips for short European budget airlines (Easy Jet, Ryan Air, etc.) about a year ago, but I haven’t done one since, so I figured, why not?

In this post, I’ve decided to share my carry-on luggage essentials! I was inspired to do a post like this by my awesome blogger friend, Vicky over at, so definitely check out her post on this topic & her other blog posts as well!

Carry-On Essentials Packing List |

Carry-On Essentials Packing List

I’m going to be honest with you, traveling isn’t quite as glamorous as it seems on the internet. It’s a pain in the a** sometimes. Especially the part where you have to haul all of your luggage to the airport (if I’m in London, then I have to take it on the tube with me… ouch), and then you have to get your ticket, check your bag, and go through the huge hassle that is airport security.

Don’t get me wrong, nowadays, to be absolutely safe we NEED to go through the process of a security check point (or two). It’s a true shame that we all have to suffer because some people have ill intentions, but it’s just the reality of our life today. However, I truly dread going through security, and it sometimes ends up being the worst part of the whole trip. That’s why I like to make it as easy as possible for myself by taking as little electronics, liquids, and jewelry with me on the plane as physically possible.

Therefore, the objective is to bring all my essentials that will allow me to do what I like to do on airplanes (read, sleep, work, watch TV, stay hydrated, and eat), while also not weighing my bag down with too many “just in case” items.

So, here is a list of everything that I take on the plane with me in my carry-on regardless of whether or not I’ve checked a bag:

1. A Neck Pillow

2. A Large Scarf or Shawl

3. Laptop (or tablet depending on where I’m going & for how long)

4. Phone

5. Wallet

6. Passport

7. Travel Document Holder

8. Water Bottle (purchased after I get past security)

9. Healthy Snacks

10. Kindle or Book

11. Headphones/Earbuds

12. Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen (a.k.a. Paracetamol)

13. Notebook

14. Pens, Pencils, Highlighters

15. Magazines

16. Chargers & Batteries for Electronic Items

17. Camera (small digital or DSLR depending on the type of trip)

18. Lip Balm

19. Hand Lotion

20. Small Liquids Bag (what it’s filled with depends on where I’m going & whether or not I’ve checked a bag)

Hope that helps you out in packing your own carry on bag! Stay tuned for an upcoming post on 5 Tips for Traveling With Ease!

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Best Wishes,

Christina <3