What to Pack in your Carry On


From travelling for over eight years now I can’t emphasise enough on the importance of the things that go into your carry on bag. Carry on bags are something that stays with you throughout the journey, you are responsible for it and it is responsible for your hassle free travel to the airport and all the way to you checking into the hotel at your destination.  I personally get very paranoid about packing my carry on for a short or a long haul flight. From important documents to snacks, I need my carry on to be prepared for any crisis imaginable. Maybe that’s just me, I can’t just grab the bag and get out of the door without checking my “Things for the flight” list over and over again to make sure I got ’em all. Over the years this list has grown from travel experiences and now for a while it has come to a halt. In this post I have listed a number of things that are commonly required if you are in a long or a short haul flight. To be sure, this is a list that I always refer to every-time while packing my carry on. Hopefully this’ll also be a list for you that’ll simplify the hassle of just keeping things in mind. Also to avoid the fear of forgetting something behind with all kinds of responsibilities to wind up before you leave for that holiday.

What to pack in a Carry On for
Short and Long Haul Flight.



    Traveling without some of these important documents is nearly impossible and the others feel necessary to carry in prints to stay on the safer side. Just in case you are required to show some proof to the authorities. We carry a thin file containing all the documents in our bags.

    • Passport
    • Copy of Flight Bookings
    • Copy of Destination Address
    • Copy of Passport
    • Copy of Entry Visa
    • Passport photos
  2. PEN

    This is a no brainer because you never know when and for what you might need a pen to be handy. Though there is one purpose the holy pen serves is, upon landing you might require a pen to fill out the country’s immigration form.

  3. SOCKS

    An extra pair of socks is always helpful if you are wearing an open toed shoe to keep warm in the sometimes most of the times cold flight or do your seat neighbour all the passengers a favour and change socks for the long haul ones if you are wearing closed shoes as that helps prevent the development of stinky feet over time.


    If you have prescription glasses, bring them! Ditch the contacts on flights, especially on the long haul flights as they become too much of a hassle. Also you might fall asleep and it’s not recommended to do so with contacts on.


    A see through and waterproof pouch holding basic toiletries is a must. And, what to put inside many vary from person to person depending on their needs. However, there are a few things that has always been a necessity for the both of us to carry.

    • Tooth Brush: Helps deal with after meal bad breath.
    • Tooth Paste: As above.
    • Moisturiser: The air in flight keeps circulating and you will notice it dehydrates the skin, so it’s best to reapply some moisture to your face and hands.
    • Lip Balm: For me the first symptom of in flight dryness is that my lips start to crack.
    • Deodorant: Long flight, sitting tight? Need I say more.

    Germs! That seat your are cozying up in have had hundreds of passengers get comfortable in it before you and has never been cleaned throughly. So, before you indulge on a inflight meal make sure to use that sanitiser because as far as I have noticed no body gets up to wash their hands before eating on a flight.

  7. HOODIE:

    It gets chilly in the flight, such that your neighbour might not be feeling as cold so complaining to the staff doesn’t always word. You can go for their recycled  blankets or use your own hoodie to keep warm.


    You may or may not need this depending on your comfort level. I do not travel without one. It’s great for those economy seats and provides your neck with a soft brace  while you fall a sleep sitting.


    Yes sometimes you just want to sleep and not be bothered by your neighbour’s reading light or the aisle light. I need it to be pitch dark for me to completely fall asleep. Either you can carry your own or some flights in economy provides them on request.


    After reading the recent articles about how in flight water is disease ridden and unless they are providing water in sealed bottles, to be safe we now buy our own water from the airport vending machines after security and before boarding the flight. If you want to be resourceful you can carry a reusable water bottle and after crossing the airport security fill it up at one of the many drinking water fountains at the airports, if available. Also, economy class services these days seem to be degrading in quality; getting someone to serve you water is long wait and it’s recommended to keep drinking water on flights to stay hydrated. So get your bottle of water and drink at your own convenience.

  11. SNACKS

    Long airport procedures to waiting at the gate gets me hungry even before the in flight meal services begin. If not just that sometimes I can’t stand the greasy and alien looking meal on some flights. This is when my snack bag comes to the rescue. Make sure to pack dry snacks like nuts, biscuits, fruits or else they’ll never cross the security. If your food never made it through the security make sure to buy something at restaurants at airport. However, keep in mind the destination country will most probably have major restrictions on what food items are allowed into their country. So, make sure to study all the rules and regulations before hand or just finish your snack on the plane before landing. If needed trash it before security check which is better than ending up going through the red gate and paying a hefty fine later.


    If you have transit stop on a long haul flight feel as good as new for the next one by changing into crisp and clean clothes at the airport. Another good reason to carry spare clothes and underwear would be if your bags go missing which happens with many travellers, especially on routes with shorter transit time. You will have clean clothes handy on reaching your destination’s hotel without having to go shopping for new ones, all jet lagged and tired. And, everything goes as planning till the airline decides to retrieve your bag with a good compensation for all the trouble.


    Similar to the above situation you don’t want to endure the possibility of your prescription medicines going missing for days by checking them in with your check in bags. Keep digestive and allergy medicines handy in case the airline food doesn’t go down too well. There are first aids available everywhere these days, however, there’s no harm making a small handy one for yourself to travel with. Again, if you are a victim of  “Airplane Headaches” as we are, painkillers are our only solution when it’s a really bad one or else usually goes away upon landing.

    • Multivitamins
    • Digestives
    • First Aid

    Never check in your valuables. If you have to carry them how ever heavy they are pay extra and get them as a carry on. With check in bags there’s always a risk of loss and theft and making the mistake of checking in the new lap top is not worth it unless very necessary you inform the check in staff about it. With the infamous travel ban recently, either the airline has a solution for those laptops and i-pads else  you will have to check them in. However, the valuable are not just restricted to electronics. We are talking about expensive jewellery, cameras and phones.


    Nowadays, most airplanes have universal behind the seat heads for connecting USB cables that can keep your phone or i-pad charged at all times. Now, you enjoy working, watching movies or playing games without worrying about running out of battery charge.


    Flights long or short can get extremely boring. Some have entertainment system, some do not and with some the entertainment options provided may not be of your taste. Airplanes are a great space to catch up on you reading, watch a new movie, finish the downloaded series or start a new one or listen to your favourite music. So, definitely carry some form of entertainment to keep your sane!


We’d love to know:

Is there anything other than the above mentioned that you think needs a place within this list of pack in your carry on? 


  1. I need a good pair of Bose! I lost mine 🙁 (travelling dilemma). I also 100% agree with the water bottle suggestion. There’s nothing worse than that dehydrated puffy feeling after getting off of a long flight. Did you know the Norweigian 787 Dreamliner pumps more oxygen into their cabins now to reduce jet lag? Great article!

    1. Oh too bad, I can feel you I am too attached to my pair of Bose. You know what, they all might be doing so because I am usually more comfortable and not as tired when we travel the 787 dreamliners. I love those planes!

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