7 items you should always pack in your carry-on, according to a seasoned traveller

Packing for a vacation, business trip or mandatory family visit can seem like a jigsaw puzzle. Plan ahead by strategically packing these items in your carry-on luggage for happier travels.

The perfect sleep mask

This mask is great because it wraps around your head and covers your ears, providing portable black out shades as well as protecting your ears from annoying feeling of air vents blowing on them. It’s satin so, unlike an elastic band, it won’t leave a mark on your hair if you need to get up and go in the morning or when the plane lands. It’s hypoallergenic and hand washable so it’s easy to keep clean, which is more than we can say for most items in our travel bags.


The neck pillow

Wherever you go, there will likely be long stretches of travel in a car, train o plane. You still have that natural reflex to pass out cold when in a moving vehicle. The neck pillow is sort of a misnomer, it’s really a padded neck support and it will support the heaviest of heads and is the only item that I can use to sleep in coach.

Bonus: it takes up way less space than other travel pillows, can unwrap and be wound around any bag so it’s easy to carry and is easily washable.


A reliable, long-lasting portable charger

With more and more travel essential gadgets requiring charging and it’s little wonder that people are turning to portable battery packs to help fill the power gap when travelling. We use them for charging phones, Kindles, Nintendo Ds, even laptops on the rod. If your journey involve long journey or locations and countries where power availability will be an issue, you should most certainly be investing in portable battery packs.


Collapsible water bottle

Airplane are dry and those little water bottles you get on the plane aren’t enough to keep you hydrated throughout the flight. A collapsible water bottle can be filled after going through security, and even when filled, they take up les room than a normal reusable bottle.


Daily medications

When packing your medications in your checked luggage, you not only run the risk of it being stolen, but should your luggage get lost, you’ll also find it’s nearly impossible to get a refill far from home. In addition to your prescription meds, pack any over the counter medications you might want during your flight in your carry-on.



Unless looking out the window is enough to keep you occupied throughout the flight, bring a book, magazine, game or other source of amusement. But stay away from the giant hardcovers that will weigh you down, opt instead to stock your e-reader or audiobook library – but bring a magazine for take-off and landing, when all electronics must be stowed under the seat in front of you.


A satisfying snack

The small bag of pretzels and a can of soda handed to you by a friendly flight attendant doesn’t always cut it, so pack your own lunch or snack. As long as it’s wrapped and non-liquid, it can go through security. Plus, it’s certainly a cheaper alternative to buying a pre-made sandwich at the airport.