Travel Advice

Keep Calm & Carry-on: What’s In My Carry-on?

Your carry-on is an essential bag to ensure you have the best flight possible. Although my carry-on can differ depending on the trip I take, and how long I’ll be stuck on the plane for, there are always some things I can’t live without. Here are some things you’ll always find in my carry-on.

The bag 

First off, the bag that I bring as my carry-on really depends on the trip. If I am going on a short flight and packing carry-on only, I’ll pack my clothes and what not in a bigger school bag or a 40L backpack like one of the ones photographed above. Then I’ll take just a bigger purse for stuff I’ll need in my seat on the plane. However, If I’m going on a longer trip then I will pack in a backpack that I can also use as a day pack throughout my trip and then check my bigger bag to go below the plane.


I’m always hit and miss about bringing a book with me on a trip. Some trips I don’t touch my book once, and other trips I read it before I even land at my destination. Avid readers swear by the Kobo for travel, however, I just bring one easy-read novel for the trip. If I read it before my trip is over, I find lots of hostels and hotels have a book exchange (leave a book, take a book) which I’ve used in the past.

Notebook & pens

I’m a travel blogger, so naturally I need to bring a notebook to use as a journal on my trip with some pens. But even if you aren’t a blogger, bringing a notebook to jot down things along the way or to keep a travel diary isn’t a bad thing. These can be a good thing to use to pass the time when you’re waiting in airports and also can be fun to look back on long after your trip is over.

iPhone & charger

I don’t know what I did before my iPhone. I use my phone for so much when i’m traveling and since most of my family and friends have iPhone’s too then I can easily connect to WiFi and iMessage them or Facetime along my trip. I also use it to post stuff on social media at the end of the day, a quick camera, for music, and as a way to navigate through a new place.


Whether you bring an iPod or iPhone to listen to music or not, having headphones is critical while traveling because most airplanes have a headphone jack to listen to music or watch TV or movies. Nobody really likes those crappy headphones they give you on the plane and what’s even worse is when airlines charge for these.

Massage balls

These are a recent investment that I absolutely love and are so good for travel, especially when you’re doing a lot of walking or sitting on long flights. Basically they are two small massage balls that you can use to roll out kinks in your body. Whether you get sore calf muscles or foot cramps from walking all day, or have knots in your back from sitting on a plane or overnight bus, these are great things to throw in your bag to help get your body back to normal.

Water (lots of it)

I never find that planes provide you with enough water, especially on long haul flights. A tiny little glass every few hours doesn’t keep you hydrated enough, and staying hydrated on a stuffy airplane is key. I usually always buy a big bottle (or two) once I get through security at the airport or I bring a reusable water bottle to fill up at fountains.

Protein bars & snacks

I’m one of those people that get hungry at random times which can make me grumpy and feeling sick. That’s why I always pack snacks on trips because you never know where I’ll be when hunger strikes. Protein bars can be excellent as they fill you up for extended periods of time.

Sweater or scarf

You never know how hot or cold you’ll be on a plane or in airports so I always make sure I have a sweater or scarf I can drape over my shoulders, even if I’m headed somewhere hot. These can also be multi-purpose if you need to make a makeshift pillow or something while trying to sleep on an uncomfortable plane.

Toiletry bag

I don’t usually pack a toiletry bag when I’m on a short flight, but for long haul flights I always do. I usually just have a few critical things in it in case I feel ill or want to freshen up on the plane. Things I include are: Advil, Gravol, hand sanitizer, gum or a toothbrush and toothpaste, and deodorant.

Saje Jetlag Remedy

This is a recent addition to my carry-on, Saje is a Canadian-born store that sells essential oils and all-natural products. Their Jetlag Remedy can help reduce drowsiness and increase alertness.

Documents & confirmations

I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again, I always have print outs of documents and confirmations with me when I travel. I know this sounds old school but I’ve been in multiple situations where I need them. In fact, some airports ask for confirmations to even let you through the front doors.


Well this is pretty self explanatory…

What are your must-pack items for your carry-on? Share them below!

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