Carry-On Travel Essentials

I typically travel with only one carry-on and try not to check luggage. Of course, when you’re moving to another country this is nearly impossible. However, I’ve adopted a similar approach to packing my carry-on bag whether or not I am also checking luggage as well.

Having done a number of short trips recently, I’ve mastered the art of packing with only one carry-on. I’ve narrowed down what I bring onto the plane with me to just the essentials, the things I’ve found myself using or needing time and time again.

Here is what makes it into my carry-on bag.

Carry-On Essentials


  1. E-reader
  2. iPhone
  3. Earbuds
  4. Powerbar charger

Eat + drink

  1. Protein Bar
  2. Mint Gum
  3. Collapsible Water Bottle.


  1. Kleenex
  2. Lip Chap
  3. Hand Sanitizer
  4. Mini Perfume
  5. Small Makeup Bag
  6. Clear Toiletries Bag with Zipper
  7. Small Versions of my Toiletries

Tech Carry On Essentials

  1. E-reader: load it up on great reads, the battery lasts forever, and the screen doesn’t hurt your eyes.
  2. iPhone: this comes everywhere with me.
  3. Earbuds: more practical for travelling than headphones.
  4. Powerbar Charger: a LIFESAVER, gives your phone one full charge, and is super portable.
  5. Protein Bar: when there aren’t quite any good aiport food options, this Quest Bar keeps me satiated and feeling good without loading up on carbs and sugar that most other bars have.


Carry-On Essentials_Freshen Up

6. Mint Gum: Mint for a refreshing taste, and gum to chew to help when your ears pop as the plane takes off/lands.
7. Collapsable Water Bottle: leave it empty, then after you go through security (where no liquids are allowed), fill ‘er up using a water fountain.
8. Kleenex: Obvious. I also like to bring ‘wet kleenexes’ for makeshift showers.
9. Lip Chap: constantly using this during the flight to hydrate chapped lips from the dry airplane air.

Carry-On Essentials Toilettries

10. Hand Sanitizer. Another obvious one.
11. Mini Perfume. I take this miniature version of my signature scent whenever I travel.
12. Small Makeup Bag: full of my makeup essentials like a small mirror, eyeliner, and one lipstick just in case.
13. Clear Zippered Toiletries Pouch: Airlines require you to put any liquids into a clear Ziploc bag. I like using a transparent zippered plastic pouch to save my carry-on from any possible leaks or spills.
14. Small Toiletries: If you can’t get your favourite toiletries in travel-size form, make your own. I buy mini plastic bottles, and fill them with my must-have toiletries, like shampoo, conditioner, and facewash.

I’d love to hear what you make sure to bring along in your carry-on while travelling! Let me know in the comments below.

'Carry-On Travel Essentials' has 4 comments

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