Things you should always pack in your carry-on

A water bottle with a filter

Most airlines don’t allow you to take any form of liquid through check-in, but long plane flights can stir up quite a thirst. Worse yet, the refreshments sold on planes are quite expensive and they’re often too small to keep you hydrated. An easy solution around this is to take an empty bottle with a filter on so that it can be filled at a tap. Then you can stay refreshed the whole flight long and save a few bucks while you’re at it.

Things you should always pack in your carry-on

A charger for your phone

Even if your phone has super long battery life it’s always a good idea to carry a spare charger and, if possible, a portable charging pack. Even if the battery lasts the whole flight, you might need your phone soon after you land to access important information like emails and travel details.

Your travel documents

Needless to say, you’re going to need your travel documents on your person throughout the journey. They’re also much safer in the carry-on in case your luggage is diverted accidentally or is unfortunately stolen (though this is rare with security nowadays). It’s a good idea to print some of the important documents like accommodation bookings, even if they’re stored on your phone.

Your valuables

Valuables are also much safer on your carry-on because they’re less likely to get stolen or damaged by rough transit. Valuables include any medication you take as well, because you may need them in an emergency or while you’re waiting for your luggage to arrive. Try to take as much of a medication with you as possible because it’s difficult to get a refill in a foreign place.

A light snack

This might not be allowed by some airlines but in most cases as long as the food is wrapped and does not contain liquid, it’s good to go. Packing a snack can save you a lot of money on purchasing food on the plane or at the airport.

Some entertainment

Most good airlines have some form of in-flight entertainment and there are always passengers nearby to chat to. But this can only last so long. Just in case, be sure to pack something that can keep you entertained for a few hours like a puzzle booklet or some electronic games. Don’t forget a pen or spare charger!

Things you should always pack in your carry-on

A change of clothes

This might seem like a strange suggestion because clothes are meant to go in the luggage, but you’ll be glad you packed a change of clothes, especially if you’re traveling to a destination that has different weather from where you left. A change of clothes (including underwear) also serves you well if your luggage has been diverted or delayed. A neat trick to cut down on the weight of your carry-on is to put a sweatshirt on just before boarding. This can help because the plane might get cold and you can always take it off if you don’t need it.

Also bring along a toothbrush, toothpaste, a face wipe, and other toiletries that may be essential.


Pack a hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in your carry-on because you never know when your hands might get sticky or when you might need to disinfect something. As they say – cleanliness is next to godliness!