Luggage - best items for your carry on

10 Things To Add To Your Flight Carry-on Bag To Make Your Trip Stress-Free

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When you think of traveling, everyone thinks of cramped spaces, long lines, and boredom. Flying doesn’t have to be a miserable experience, though!

With a bit of preparation and research on what to bring on a plane, you can make the journey almost enjoyable. Read on for the best long flight essentials to pack in your carry on bag to have a relaxing flight.

A Cozy Blanket

We booked a weekend getaway from Puerto Rico to Saint Croix. I had visions of tropical drinks, slinky sundresses, and warm sand.

We were all ready to take off…until we were delayed on the tarmac for an afternoon thunderstorm. Our short 35-minute island hopper flight turned into over 2 hours on the plane.

I hadn’t brought a blanket since it was such a short flight in the Caribbean. Ohhh man did I regret that! It was so chilly on the plane that ice was forming on the window.

To make matters even more uncomfortable, it was a smaller plane and they didn’t carry blankets on board.

After that trip, I made sure to always bring a blanket just in case. If I don’t need it to stay warm, it still helps as lumbar support or a plush pillow if needed. I especially love this velvety microfiber one by Cabeau. It comes with a nice little carrying case to keep it clean, and it’s machine-washable.


Kindle Paperwhite

For many people reading is one of the best things to do on a long flight. While there’s nothing like the smell and feel of a good book, they’re pretty cumbersome to bring on a flight. If it’s an overnight flight you may not want to have the reading light on.

The Kindle Paperwhite is ideal for traveling since it’s super lightweight and holds an almost endless amount of books. The glare-free screen is perfect for flights and is easy to see even in direct sunlight.

The all-new Paperwhite is waterproof making it a great addition to a beach bag. The battery lasts for up to SIX weeks on a single charge!

Still searching for the perfect in-flight bag? Check out this list of the best carry-on underseater bags!

Backup Battery + Charging Cables + A Cable Organizer

Most planes now have USB ports for charging your devices, but all those cables can make a mess in your bag and get kinked up.

This organizer will keep them all in place and easily accessible. Plus, it ensures you have all the cables you need for the duration of your trip.

Now, if the charging ports end up not working, or you need to charge multiple devices, a backup battery pack will be helpful. I like this Anker one for traveling.

It’s a bit weighty, but it can charge most phones up to 6 times. I bring it on long day trips and usually end up charging the devices of whoever I’m traveling with as well.

Coffee mug

Reusable Water Bottle & Coffee Mug

Staying hydrated is vital when flying. The altitude, proximity of other travelers, and general stress of traveling can do a number on our body.

Drinking plenty of water is the best way to combat all that. But you can’t bring filled water bottles through airport security, and it can be costly to keep buying water at the airport, not to mention wasteful.

Thankfully, many airports offer hygienic water refill stations. Bring along a reusable water bottle (we’ve used these Copco ones for years and they’re still perfect!) and hit the refill station.

You can even fill it up during layovers to ensure you always have water available on your flight, even if the flight attendants haven’t made their rounds yet.

I also like to bring a sturdy travel coffee mug with me. You can even bring along a few tea bags in your bag. That way, when the flight attendants come by, simply ask for hot water and brew a nice cup of tea to keep calm and warm during your travels.

Prefer coffee? Bringing a mug keeps your pre-flight Starbucks treat toasty while you get settled in your seat, and keeps it from spilling during any bumps in the air.

Snacks and Splurges

So many people preach the benefits of cutting sugar and skipping those snacks when traveling. But listen, flights are basically stuck in time, so calories don’t count, right?! Go ahead, treat yo’ self with some Twizzlers or a Snickers bar!

You definitely want to pack some healthy items as well, though. Think protein-filled boosts that will keep you full. Bags of mixed nuts are a great option; just watch the salt since it can be dehydrating. Single servings of hummus and chips, or some beef jerky are other tasty options.

Eye Mask and Travel Pillow

If you have a long flight, catching some zzz’s will make it go by quicker. Getting comfortable enough to nap is pretty tough. A good travel pillow and an eye mask to block the light go a long way. This eye mask is even lavender-scented to soothe you and help you sleep.

Beauty and self care on flights

Health & Beauty Essentials

Few people manage to look fresh after a long flight, but a few additions to your bag can help with that. Colgate Wisps are fantastic for freshening up your teeth after in-flight snacks and meals.

A small pack of body wipes, travel-size deodorant, and a quick swipe of essential oils can have you feeling almost human again in no time. If you’re traveling exclusively with a carry-on bag, make sure to add a shampoo bar to your packing list. Click here to see why shampoo bars are so great for traveling!

Tinted moisturizer or BB cream will give you a dewy, fresh glow. Pair that with a tinted lip balm that’s hydrating, and some cheek stain. You’ll land and get to skip the whole looking-like-a-zombie part of traveling!

Do you have a must-have item you bring on your flights? Share with us below!

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