Top 10 Must Pack Carry-On Items

You have your destination set, you booked your flight and it’s getting closer to your departure date. Don’t stress about what to pack in your carry-on bag, just take a look at the list below. Traveling can be stressful at times but this list will make it easy.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you book or buy something through these links, I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you).

It’s bound to happen…you plan as much as you can but you still forget something. Relax, it’s not going to be the end of the world.  In fact, you can most-often pick up things when you land or get to your final destination. No big deal, right?

Here are 10 things you might not think about, but definitely should, bring with you on your next vacation.

Related: Things You Need to do Before Leaving on Vacation

Update: July 2021

1. Medications

There are few things worse than getting to your hotel room, only find you left your medications on the counter… at home. You’re left with a sickening feeling in your gut and now you’re not sure what to do. This usaully leaves a decision to make, proceed for the duration of the trip without the medication or source it locally, if it’s available.

Don’t forget the most important carry-on item.

2. Portable power banks
Pack a portable power bank

Lightweight, powerful and sometimes a life-saver, always bring a portable powerbank such as this Anker PowerCore! You can find it on Amazon HERE. You know you’re likely going to be using your phone and camera a lot more while traveling — pulling up boarding passes, looking up places to go and directions to those places, keeping in touch with friends and family back home and so on. Plus, you might be in and out of coverage areas, which can drain your phone’s battery faster than usual. And when you’re traveling, access to power outlets is never guaranteed.

That’s why it’s best to bring your power with you. Power banks are commonplace by now, but it’s best to invest in one that’s not only reliable but can also charge your phone multiple times before needing to be charged itself.


2.5. A Mophie Charging Case

I swear by my Mophie case when I’m traveling. Yes, it does make my phone heavier but I can charge it two and a half times and that’s priceless. OK, maybe not priceless. Maybe it costs $100 but it is SO worth it. This is the exact one I use for my iPhone 12 and its cheap!

3. An Empty Bottle

You may not be able to make it through airport security with over 3 ounces of liquid, but no one said you can’t bring an empty bottle through TSA and fill it afterward. I do this all the time. Filter drinking fountains are free and you can find me filling up my water bottle before I board a flight.

You never know how long you will have to wait for your plane to take off, let alone a delay. Bring that free water bottle with you and fill it up.

4. Sanitizer

I’ve been carrying sanitizer with me since before it was cool during the covid-19 pandemic. If you want a quick way to sanitize your hands, bring a small bottle of sanitize, it’s that simple. Don’t forget this key item in your must pack carry-on items.

5. A Pack-able Backpack

When I’m doing day excursions I want a backpack to carry my gear. Most likely my pockets just wont hold all the stuff I end up bringing with me and I dont want to lug around my carry-on everywhere I go. Bringing a backpack, sling, satchel or whatever floats your boat is a great idea for a couple of reason and your style of backpack depends on what you will need it for. Check out some of the best travel backpacks. Another great reason to have a small backpack with you is for picking up things along the way, such as souvenirs.

6. Plastic bags and Trash Bags

Bringing a few plastic sandwich and trash bags in your suitcase may seem a little awkward going through the TSA line, but there is good reason behind it.

Use your trash bags for dirty clothes to keep them away from the clean clothes.

Use plastic sandwich bags for small souvenirs, leftover meals or toiletries that won’t fit anywhere else.

7. Lip balm

This is a no-brainer and your lips will thank you later for it. Don’t forget this essential at home whether you are doing a beach vacation or climbing Mt. Everest. Just. Don’t. Do.It! Pack the lip balm to keep your lips moist and avoid annoying chapped lips.

8. Dryer sheets

Mmm, stinky feet? Gross! Use dryer sheets to freshen up your shoes you were wearing all day long.

Keep your suitcase smelling fresh by throwing in some dryer sheets.

Traveler Tip: If you’re overnight accommodations do not smell the best, use the dryer sheets to air out a room or put over the air conditioner.

9. A universal plug adapter

If you’re flying overseas you can’t use the same power outlets you used in your home country. You will need to buy a world travel adapter kit. You know you will need to charge things like your camera, phone, GPS, etc., don’t find yourself traveling abroad without a plug adapter.

10. A change of clothes

Luggage gets lost all the time and it’s really inconvenient to any navigator. The only advantage of this happening is that you may receive some travel credit on your next flight.

If your luggage gets lost, make sure you have at least one extra outfit, maybe two. This way, you are not stuck in the same clothes you just spent that 14hour flight in. With another set of clothes you can at least rotate your outfits or change them


10.5 A Bathing suit

Staying with the same theme as in tip #10, pack a bathing suit if you are heading to a warm, beach destination. You want to make sure you can hit the ocean or pool as soon as you arrive and its a must pack carry-on item! Don’t rely on getting your luggage right away.

Trackbacks & Pings

  • Shelly Blake :

    PACK – This step can be overwhelming for me! I hate packing, do you have a guide?

    4 years ago

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *