Essentials to pack in your carry on bag

If you’re like me, you’ve gotten really good at traveling with just a carry on- or better yet-let's make that your F R E E personal item!

A carry on bag usually costs you a few extra dollars but you bring it on board and you won't have to worry about lost luggage or waiting at baggage claim. Your personal bag is usually something like a backpack or large purse and is F R E E. I’ve gotten the hang of traveling for a week or 2 at a time while living out of a backpack, and I’m going to dive in and whether you choose to use that free personal bag or pay a little extra for the bigger carry on- I'm sharing my carry on essentials.

(this photo I was MOVING to Fiji for a year- so I couldn't get away with just a backpack! LOL)

*Note- all airlines are different, I definitely recommend searching your airline website for size restrictions and costs!

Here’s my packing list that I know will help you decide what you need in that carry on bag when you're packing for your next trip!

-wallet & government issued photo ID/passport.

-headphones & headphones with an "old" style jack insert. I say this because so often we use wireless bluetooth headphones for everything. BUT If your airline has screen options on board for you, chances are you’ll need the headphones jack to insert!

-chap stick

-extra clothes! If you are traveling with luggage and that luggage gets lost, you will want some clean undies and an extra outfit to wear while waiting. If you’re going somewhere tropical always pack a swimsuit in your carry on!

-snacks, snacks, and more snacks!

-phone charger, headphone charger, computer charger, ALL THE CHARGER CORDS! And don’t forget that little block that goes into the wall. And if you’re traveling internationally look up the power cube they use in other countries!

-portable charger (and charge it up before you leave)

-book or charged up electronics to keep you entertained

-a pen

-tooth brush & small tooth paste.


-hand sanitizer & sanitizing wipes

-empty water bottle to fill AFTER security

-socks (airplanes are chilly!)

-sweatshirt (see above)


Any small lotions or liquids AND electronics will need to come out during TSA security check, so I always recommend you put those on top or in a front zipper for easy access.

Also- TSA has the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Every passenger may carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 oz or less (otherwise you'll have to say bye bye to them while going through TSA.)

Liquids include toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, and lotion!


And again*! Put these items on top of your bag! You'll need to take them out during TSA security check and you'll save yourself the stress of digging for them if they're on top and ready to go.

What are your carry on essentials when traveling? Did I miss your favorite!? Comment and let me know!

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