One of the worst feelings when traveling is boarding a plane and suddenly realizing that you don’t have something you need for your trip. Especially if you’re on a long flight, leaving something important behind can be a major downer. That’s why we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to carry-on essentials. Here’s a closer look at 10 must-have carry-on items for your next flight.
1. A Just-Right Size Bag
While there may be some small variations from airline to airline, the standard size for domestic carry-on luggage is 22″ x 14″ x 9″. Finding a backpack or other carry-on bag that’s close to this size (but not over!) will ensure that you can fit in everything you need for a flight of any length. Some things to prioritize when shopping for a carry-on? Durability, a laptop sleeve, and pockets for organization.
2. An Eye Mask and Earplugs
Sleeping on a plane can help ensure that you arrive at your destination bright-eyed and ready to hit the ground running. However, if you’ve ever tried to sleep on a plane, you know that harsh light, loud sounds, and other distractions can keep you awake…and frustrated. The one-two combination of eye mask + earplugs creates a sleep-friendly environment.
3. Neck Pillow
Never used a neck pillow while traveling before? You don’t know what you’re missing! While neck pillows may seem like a waste of critical carry-on space, they more than make up for it in comfort and convenience. Plus, the newest breed of neck pillows are half the size of traditional neck pillows, so you CAN have the best of both worlds.
4. Compression Socks
A warm pair of socks can help keep your feet comfy and toasty on chilly flights. However, experts also recommend wearing compression socks on long flights. This stretchy, snug-fitting item boosts circulation, which reduces your risk of swelling and blood clots.
Not to mention that packing a spare pair of socks can help you avoid going through security barefoot if you’re traveling in flip-flops or another pair of sock-less shoes.
You may prefer to sleep to the sounds of silence, but for your waking portion of the flight, a good pair of headphones is the key to pleasant plane travel. Wireless headphones are especially practical, and the latest models have extra-long battery lives, which will hold up to any duration of plane travel on a single charge.
6. A Portable Phone Charger
While some planes and airports have phone chargers available, they can be in short supply. To avoid worrying the whole trip about if/when you’ll have access to an outlet, invest in a portable phone charger. Some compact portable chargers are as small as a lipstick but pack a serious charge for most iPhones.
7. Hand Sanitizer
If COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s the value of practicing good hygiene. While airlines adhere to stringent cleaning measures, the reality is that airports and airplanes are full of high-touch surfaces laden with germs. Protect your health by bringing along your own hand sanitizer, which will banish up to 99.99 percent of bacteria, fungi, and other bugs.
8. A Wrap or Blanket
Nothing can put an end to your hopes for solid sleep than a freezing cold airplane cabin. With complimentary blankets a thing of the past (at least for now), a travel wrap or contact blanket can be a sleep-saver.
9. Dry Shampoo and Moisturizer
Harsh, dry airplane air can wreak havoc on your hair and skin. Oil-absorbing dry shampoo will help your strands look their soft and shiny best, while moisturizer will help replenish your skin to keep it looking its dewy best.
10. A Good Book
Whether you’re a paper copy purist or you’ve made the transition to e-reading, make sure to have a good book ready. Nothing passes the hours better than a gripping novel or another book in the genre of your choice. Plus, you’ll arrive at your destination a better-read person than when you left — a pretty solid accomplishment at 36,000 feet!
You don’t have to be a travel pro to pack like one — especially with this list at your fingertips. Speaking of travel pros, want to know a go-to secret weapon for finding the best deals on business and first-class flights? Business Class! To save up to 60 percent on business class and first-class travel, shop business-class.com today.