What to Pack in Your Carry-On Bag
What should you pack in your carry-on bag? Whether you’re traveling carry on only or checking luggage, there are certain things that will make your travel experience better if you have them in your cabin bag. And there are some things that should always go in your carry on bag, NOT your checked baggage.
I am a big believer in traveling with only carry-on luggage. It makes your travel experience easier in so many ways. There’s no way the airline can lose your luggage if you haven’t checked anything. You won’t get weighed down by heavy bags if you limit yourself to carry-on only. And you won’t have to deal with expensive checked bag fees.
But what if you just can’t go carry-on only? Maybe you’ll be flying on a much smaller plane that has stricter carry-on rules, or maybe you’re just not quite ready to travel with less stuff. Make sure you know which items should always be packed in your carry on bag.
Note: This post is written referencing TSA rules for travel from airports in the USA. Some countries may have different rules, so if you’re flying from an airport in another country, please look up the rules for the authority in that country.
FAQs about what you can bring on a plane
Before we get started on what things are important to pack in your carry-on bag, here are a few frequently asked questions about what things are allowed on an airplane.
How much liquid can you take on a plane?
The liquids restrictions have been in place for many years now, but there’s still some confusion about what those restrictions are. The basic carry-on liquids allowances are:
You are permitted to bring liquids in containers of 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less, and all containers must fit in a one quart (about one liter) clear zip-top bag. A 5 ounce container will not be allowed, even if it only has 1 ounce of liquid in it.
There are several items that you might not think about that are considered liquids, like peanut butter, liquid makeup, snow globes, etc. You ARE allowed to bring an empty water bottle through security and fill it up on the other side.
Can you take a razor through security?
Since razors are sharp objects, they can cause confusion about whether or not you can pack them in your carry-on. Straight razors and blades for safety razors are not allowed in carry-on luggage, but disposable razors and electric razors are permitted.
Read more about bringing a razor on a plane.
Can you take food on an airplane?
In general, food is allowed in your carry-on. However, it must meet the liquids restrictions. Foods that spread, like peanut butter, are considered liquid, so you would only be allowed to have 3.4 ounces (100ml) of peanut butter, and the container must fit in your liquids bag.
Food or beverages in frozen form are allowed, but only if they are completely frozen when you go through the TSA security check. This may vary in other countries.
Can you bring a lighter on a plane?
You can take a lighter on an airplane in your carry-on, but usually only one is permitted. It’s also worth noting that lighters can only be in your checked luggage if they have no fuel in them. Find out more about taking matches or a lighter on a plane.
Can you bring e-cigarettes or vaping devices on a plane?
Yes, you can take e-cigarettes or a vaping device on a plane. In fact, TSA requires you to pack your e-cigarette/vaping device in carry-on, not checked luggage. The liquid you need for it must also fit within the liquid allowances.
Find out more about bringing a vape on a plane.
Can you pack hair straighteners/flat irons, curling iron, or hair dryers in your carry-on?
If you want to travel with a hair dryer, curling iron, or hair straightener/flat iron, you can pack that in your carry-on luggage.
I recommend not packing the hair straightener while it’s still hot, but if you must because of timing, wrap it in a small towel so the hot plates don’t burn anything in your bag.
>>Check out all of our posts about things you can and can’t bring on a plane here.
What to pack in a carry-on bag for a flight
If you’re checking baggage, there are certain items you never want to pack in your checked bag. This includes important or valuable items you wouldn’t want to lose in case your bags get lost. Let’s look at what to pack in your carry-on bag for flying.
Keep ID, money, & jewelry in your carry-on bag
This might be obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Always keep all of your identification in your carry-on.
Even if you’re flying internationally so you have your passport with you, don’t pack your driver’s license in your checked bag. Losing any kind of ID is not fun, and if the airline misplaces your luggage, you might never see it again.
Money, credit cards, jewelry, or anything else of monetary value should never be packed in your checked bag. Again, if your luggage gets lost, so will your money.
Not only that, but unfortunately there are a few dishonest people out there, and you don’t want to take even a tiny chance that someone will go through your bag and steal something.
Take medications in your carry-on bag
Do you have any essential medications that you take on a regular basis? Don’t just pack what you need for your flight in your carry-on, put it all in there.
If you only have a day’s worth of medicine, and your luggage gets lost for three days, you could be in big trouble for a couple days.
If your medication is liquid or you need to carry needles, get a letter from your doctor. This should help you avoid problems taking restricted items on the plane in your carry-on bag.
Please note that some posts contain links that earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Bring electronics and fragile items in your carry-on bag
Baggage handlers are not known for being gentle with luggage. Even aside from that, an airplane is a moving vehicle and there’s always the possibility of turbulence.
Electronics and other fragile items could easily break during any part of the travel process, from the moment you hand over your bag until it finally arrives on the luggage carousel.
Laptops also have lithium batteries, which are generally not allowed in checked luggage due to fire risk. Another good reason to keep laptops in your carry on baggage.
>>Read: Can you take batteries on planes?
Electronics have the added risk of being stolen. Just like your money or jewelry, you don’t want to take the chance that someone will go through your bag and steal your laptop or camera.
If you have anything sentimental, this should also be packed in your carry-on. Fragile or not, you wouldn’t want it to get lost because chances are no amount of money can replace something that has sentimental value.
Bring disinfectant wipes to clean your airplane seat area
Did you know that airplanes are incredibly dirty? In fact, the seat back tray table is usually covered in more germs than the toilet flush button. Yuck!
It’s highly recommended that you take wipes on the plane with you and clean off as much of your seat area as you can. This includes the tray table, the seat belt, and more.
Read our tips for disinfecting your airplane seat here. And TSA now allows more hand sanitizer on a plane in carry on bags, so you can keep away more germs.
Pack toiletries and a change of clothes in your carry-on bag
Even if you’ve decided to bring larger bottles of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, etc., it’s still a good idea to pack an approved bag of liquids for your carry-on, along with your toothbrush. One change of clothes could come in handy as well.
If your checked luggage gets lost, at least you’ll something to change into when you arrive, and you’ll be able to brush your teeth and take a shower.
You might still have to go buy a few things if your luggage doesn’t turn up within a day, but at least you won’t need to rush to find a store right away.
>>Read more about bringing makeup in your carry on.
Bring things to make yourself feel comfortable
Flights can be really boring, even if you have someone to talk to.
Having some music to listen to and a book (or an Kindle) to read will help the time pass. If you travel with a laptop or an iPad, make sure you have some movies loaded up to watch on the plane.
Take some snacks with you, whether it’s something from home or you pick up something at the airport. Many airlines don’t give you food on domestic flights anymore (in the US anyway) and even on flights where they do feed you, it’s never really good food.
Having something to snack on that you know you like will help get you through the flight.
Buy a bottle of water once you get through security. Or better yet, bring an empty reusable water bottle to fill up after you’re done at the security checkpoint.
I always bring some tissues with me. The air on airplanes is incredibly dry and can irritate your nose. Plus bathroom travel hassles can start with your flight if they run out of toilet paper.
I try not to bring too many “just in case” things when I travel, but tissues are always a good idea.
As much as I love traveling carry-on only, I understand that it’s not always practical, and it might not be comfortable for everyone. Unfortunately your checked luggage could get lost or mishandled, and your things could break or never be seen again. You also want to make sure your flight experience is as enjoyable as possible, and having things like snacks and entertainment in your carry-on bag will help.
So there are some essential items you should always bring in your carry-on bag. Before you get on that flight, check the airline’s carry-on luggage size restrictions and then use this list to decide what to pack your carry-on bag.
You might also enjoy:
- Carry-on Luggage Size Chart with 170+ Airlines
- Non-Liquid Options for Carry-On Travel
- How to Choose the Best Carry-On Luggage
- Clothing Packing Tips for Carry-On Only
- Or view the full packing section here
January 31, 2023 @ 6:13 pm
Am I allowed to put small clothes like socks and underwear in my medical carry on bag with my Cpap machine?
February 1, 2023 @ 4:36 pm
Hi Dan! I don’t see why you wouldn’t be allowed to do that, but for the security check, I’d recommend taking those out of that bag to make it easier for the security people to screen your CPAP machine. Maybe bring along a lightweight tote bag or shopping bag or something, and you can put the clothes in that until after you pass through security. Security doesn’t care how many bags you have, but the airline does, so if you just pack that stuff into the CPAP bag after clearing security, you should be fine.
June 17, 2021 @ 3:54 am
can I bring electric hot pot in carry on
June 18, 2021 @ 10:12 am
As long as it fits in your bag and doesn’t push you over the carry on weight limit, it should be fine. You might want to take it out at security to be screened separately just so TSA doesn’t flag it as suspicious.
June 15, 2020 @ 7:41 am
Good day to you
May one pack glass items in a cabin bag when flying domestic?
June 16, 2020 @ 9:05 pm
Yes, glass items are allowed in your cabin bag. Just make sure you wrap them in something to reduce the risk of them breaking.
December 16, 2019 @ 7:51 pm
HI, went traveling intrastate, I pack my Ned’s in small plastic bags labeled on the outside as to name and mg of the med.
Will TSA allow this, have done it this way before, but have a few more this time. Also have a kit to Ck. blood glucose, it a zippered bag. All of the above will be in my carry-on bag.along with an I-pag ,kindle, and a camera.
Thank you for you help.
December 17, 2019 @ 10:16 am
Hi Bill! For the most part, TSA isn’t concerned with your medicine when it comes to pills. But if you’re traveling with anything liquid or sharp that you need for medical reasons, let them know you have it before it goes through the x-ray. Liquid medication (like insulin) can exceed the liquids limit and does not count towards your normal liquids bag. TSA has some good info about traveling with medication that should be helpful to you: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures
December 18, 2019 @ 3:41 pm
Thank you for the info, traveling with pills only.
December 11, 2019 @ 9:08 pm
For a controlled prescription medication, do you have to take the whole amount, only what you need, do you have to put them in carry-on luggage, or do they have to be put in the claimed luggage?
December 16, 2019 @ 12:07 pm
Hi Amanda! Do NOT put your medication in your checked luggage, always in carry on luggage. If your checked bag gets delayed or goes missing completely, you don’t want to have your medicine go missing too. If it’s a controlled medicine, like something with codeine or whatever, just make sure it’s in the original package with your name on it. (I’m assuming you’re flying within the US.) TSA generally doesn’t care about medication, they’re looking for things that could pose a security threat, which does not include pills. If your medicine is liquid or if you have syringes, let the security screener know before your stuff goes through the x-ray. You’ll probably need to take it out and have it screened separately, just like you do with your liquids bag and laptop. If you’re ever flying to another country, you’ll need to research that country’s rules about controlled medications since some countries don’t allow certain medications.
October 14, 2019 @ 9:00 pm
Do cotton swabs have to be in with toiletries bag
October 15, 2019 @ 11:17 am
Hi Cindy! Nope, you can pack those wherever you want. Your liquids bag is really just for liquids. You CAN pack other things in there, but I wouldn’t want to lose that precious space.
October 5, 2019 @ 7:38 pm
Do our medications have to be in its original bottles.For diabetic needles do I have to have a doctor’s note? Can I bring my medications in my cpap bag?
October 7, 2019 @ 4:16 pm
Hi Claire! It helps if your medication is in its original package, but it also depends on what it is. TSA doesn’t really care about pills you take, but they do care about liquids and sharp items, like your diabetic supplies. They have some info here about traveling with medications. They also have a bunch of entries on their search page for needles, insulin, and other items you’re probably traveling with for diabetes, so my suggestion is to go to their site here and type “diabetes” into the search field. Then you’ll see a bunch of different items. It doesn’t look like you need a doctor’s note, but your supplies need to be labeled.
BUT if you’re flying to another country, I highly recommend getting a doctor’s note and keeping your medicine and supplies in the original packaging, if possible. Other countries have different rules, and you want to make sure it’s all as easy as possible for you and their security officers.
I don’t see a problem with putting your medication in your CPAP bag, although according to the TSA site here, you’ll have to take the CPAP out for screening. Plus, you’ll need to take your insulin and needles out for screening too, so just be aware of that. Let the TSA officer know ahead of time that you’re traveling with a CPAP and diabetic supplies.
October 5, 2019 @ 3:32 pm
COULD YOU JUST SPECIFY EVERYTHING THAT CAN BE IN YOUR TRAVEL ON BAG? FIRST TIME FLYING, REALLY NERVOUS.WILL I NEED SOMETHING FOR NAUSEA OR PRESSURE ON MY EARS.
October 7, 2019 @ 4:09 pm
Hi Connie! I’m sorry you’re nervous! Unfortunately it would be impossible for me to list out every single thing possible that can be in your carry on bag. You might want to check out my post about what NOT to pack in your carry on bag to see what kinds of things are not allowed, which also has lots of links to other articles I’ve written about specific things like hair dryers, razors, makeup, food, etc., and my packing checklist for carry on travel.
Make sure you understand the liquids rule. Anything that is a liquid, cream, gel, or aerosol must be in containers that are 3.4 ounces (100ml) or smaller, and all containers must fit into a 1 quart (1 liter) clear zip top bag. So a 2 ounce bottle of shampoo is allowed, but a 6 ounce bottle is not allowed, even if it’s almost empty. And you’re only allowed ONE liquids bag per passenger.
Beyond that, don’t bring anything that can be used as a weapon (like a baseball bat or a knife) and don’t bring anything flammable (though if you’re a smoker, read here for info about bringing a lighter or matches in your carry on) and you should be fine.
I really can’t say if you’ll need anything for nausea. If you get motion sickness easily, you might want to talk to your doctor about getting something. As for your ears, I’m not even sure what exists for that. Some people chew gum to pop their ears while in flight, so you could try that.
I hope this all helps, and have a great trip!
August 31, 2019 @ 9:25 pm
We are going to Mexico, Paris and Israel. Can perscribed medication be separated on daily organizers in these international flights. or does all medication have to be on the original bottles?
September 3, 2019 @ 10:33 am
Hi Ana! It’s generally recommended that you travel with your medication in its original packaging. However, often no one will even look at your pills, so it’s really a judgement call. If your medication contains any controlled substances, you should also get a letter from your doctor explaining what you take and why, and you should research whether that particular medication is legal where you’re going.
August 29, 2019 @ 6:45 pm
I was able to message TSA on facebook about the size of my collagen supplement container and they replied very quickly. Most helpful.
August 30, 2019 @ 5:06 pm
Perfect, good to hear that! Have a great trip!
August 14, 2019 @ 3:08 am
I’M a sewer. Could I bring needle, thread, and small hand work project?
August 15, 2019 @ 11:47 am
Yes, TSA allows sewing needles in your carry on bag.
July 5, 2019 @ 8:58 am
Can i carry a projector as cabin luggage in a flight, which is about 7 Kgs>
July 5, 2019 @ 1:23 pm
Hi Peter! As long as you can fit it into a bag/suitcase that complies with the airline’s carry on size restrictions, that should be fine. But at 7kg you won’t have much left for other items since most airlines have a carry on weight limit between 7-10 kgs. Check out our carry on size chart and find your airline to be sure of the weight and dimensions allowed.
June 19, 2019 @ 4:31 pm
FYI, we just returned from Australia and had a brand new souvenir lighter with no fuel in a checked bag that was flagged. Not only did they not let us move it to our carry-on, they threw it away for us, claiming it was not allow since it was a ‘blue-flame’ lighter. Such BS!
June 20, 2019 @ 9:50 am
I’m so sorry that happened to you, Mark! I’m not sure if it was Australian security or TSA/US security, but every country has slightly different rules, and if it was in your checked bag, there’s really no way for them to get you the item to put it in your carry-on. TSA does not allow lighters other than the disposable kind or Zippo type lighters, even if it’s empty. Read more about bringing a lighter on a plane here.
June 17, 2019 @ 6:44 pm
Thank you these tips they really helped.I hate packing because I always forget something .You seem like a great person thank you so much!!!
June 18, 2019 @ 11:34 am
Thanks Bianca, glad to help!
June 2, 2019 @ 1:53 am
Are we only allowed to have a quart size bag in our carry on bag and one quart size bag for the bag that will be placed under the plane?
June 2, 2019 @ 2:50 am
You’re only allowed one quart-sized bag of liquids in your carry-on, and each bottle in that bag can only be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or smaller. You can bring as much liquid as you want in whatever sized containers you want in your checked luggage. So if you want to travel with your full-sized shampoo bottle, you just have to put it in your checked bag. I highly recommend packing any liquids that are going in your checked luggage in another bag, like a cosmetics bag or a zip-top bag, in case the bottle leaks or spills due to pressure changes while in flight.
May 20, 2019 @ 12:20 am
Can I take a empty hydro flask ? and a drone in the carry on? Thank you
May 20, 2019 @ 7:13 am
Hi Josephine! Empty bottles are fine, but the drone depends on your airline, so you’ll need to check the airline’s website.
February 2, 2019 @ 4:07 am
im going to Yuma in feb 6 for 10 days im bringing new few clothes back home and sunivours for friend
February 2, 2019 @ 10:10 am
Hi Patty, are you asking if that’s ok to go in your carry-on bag? As long as the souvenirs you buy are permitted items and you don’t go over the airline’s carry on allowances, you’ll be fine.
December 21, 2018 @ 6:31 am
can I bring a set of knitting needles in carryon luggage?
December 24, 2018 @ 1:46 pm
Hello! TSA says yes, you can bring knitting needles in your carry-on: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/knitting-needles
June 26, 2018 @ 3:44 pm
I’m moving from Indiana to Florida and I don’t know what to carry on and all that. I’ll be going by myself and it’s my first time flying so I don’t really know anything is there any tips you can give me
June 27, 2018 @ 10:58 am
Hi Marissa! Moving is really different from traveling since you’re taking ALL of your stuff. There are definitely some tips in this post and this one about what not to pack in your carry-on that still apply, because you don’t want to put valuable, fragile, or sentimental things in checked luggage where they might get broken, lost, or stolen. But beyond that, it really depends on how much you’re moving with, whether you have a moving company transporting your belongings, etc. If you have a moving company transporting your things, you can easily get away with packing some sentimental things with you that you don’t want damaged along the way, plus whatever you’ll need to get by before the moving truck arrives.
June 21, 2018 @ 10:37 am
Hi i wanted to know if i can take dry milk traveling from southamerica to europe
June 22, 2018 @ 10:58 am
I don’t think that would be a problem, but I can’t say for sure. It’s not liquid, so that should be fine. It’s a processed thing, not a plant or meat, so that should be fine, too. But I keep finding conflicting info when I search. I see some places that say powdered baby milk is fine, but if you’re not traveling with a baby, it might not be allowed. If you try it, the worst thing that happens is they confiscate it at customs (if there’s even anyone at customs checking things…often in European countries it’s just a sign and you can walk through the “nothing to declare” door pretty easily) and if it’s confiscated, you’d just have to find a grocery store at your destination and buy it there.
June 13, 2018 @ 2:03 pm
Do I have to keep all my toiletries out my case
June 15, 2018 @ 10:34 am
Hi Liz! Your liquid toiletries must be packed in a one quart (one liter) clear zip-top bag, and each bottle must be 3.4 oz (100ml) or smaller. You must take that bag out of your luggage at security and put it through the x-ray. But you don’t have to take non-liquid toiletries out of your bag. I hope that helps!
May 10, 2018 @ 9:26 am
is there anything I need to no about England
May 10, 2018 @ 10:02 am
Do you mean about packing? The UK and the US are pretty similar when it comes to security rules and what can and can’t go in your carry-on bag. Might be worth checking with the UK airport security organization website about their rules for when you’re packing to leave the UK.
May 10, 2018 @ 9:25 am
hi Ali, these tips are really helpful I’m going to England soon!
May 10, 2018 @ 10:00 am
Glad to help!
May 3, 2018 @ 6:30 pm
Hello dear Ali,
This is really helpful and thank you for sharing. The list helped me getting ideas more than before. I’m travelling to Germany next month, is there anything special that I need to know? Thanks
May 5, 2018 @ 10:37 am
Glad to help! Germany is a great country, check out my Germany itinerary, and you’ll find links to lots of other Germany-related posts at the end of that post, such as a Munich itinerary, food in Germany, a Black Forest itinerary, some city-specific posts, and more! Have a great trip!
April 27, 2018 @ 9:06 am
I use insulin will the stewardess put them(pens) in a fridge until I get to Ireland?
April 27, 2018 @ 9:58 am
Hi Jackie, you’ll have to ask them, but usually in cases like yours they will put your medicine in the fridge. I’d suggest calling the airline ahead of time and asking what their procedures are.
April 27, 2018 @ 10:12 am
April 13, 2018 @ 8:59 am
I love to knit & crochet but cannot get a clear answer from Jetstar or Virgin re their carry on rules for these items. I have a tiny pair of blunt scissors that the Gov. website states are ok, but check with the carrier – but the carrier cannot tell me. Apparently it is up to the individual at security. So… can I take crochet hooks, knitting needles & tiny scissors on board Aus domestic flights, or not??
April 14, 2018 @ 11:23 am
Hi Nicky, that’s correct, it’s not really up to the airline. You’ll have to check with the Australian security organization, their version of TSA. Check this site: https://www.casa.gov.au/publications-and-resources/standard-page/can-i-pack-use-our-dangerous-goods-app
February 19, 2018 @ 5:22 pm
Can you take e-cigs,refill bottle and cell phone charger that is battery fed on carry on luggage
February 22, 2018 @ 11:59 am
Hi Keith! Yes you can bring a vape on a plane, just make sure the liquid for the e-cigarette is 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less. In fact, TSA requires that you pack the e-cigarette/vaping device in carry-on, not checked luggage.
February 12, 2018 @ 4:07 am
I want to know if you can take frozen steaks in your carry-on,? How do you have to put them under the plane?
February 13, 2018 @ 5:17 pm
Hmm…can’t say I’ve ever had that question before! In general, food is allowed as carry-on, with certain exceptions. I know I looked at getting fish from Pike’s Market in Seattle, and that is NOT allowed in your carry-on. It’s been several years, but I think that was due to the smell, so steaks wouldn’t have that problem. I just checked the TSA website, and it looks like it might be acceptable. Click here and then type in “frozen food” in the search box and read the details. It might also be worth asking the airline to be sure.
Barbara L Blieu
February 1, 2018 @ 5:10 pm
Here is something I cannot find the answer to so far. I only take a couple of prescription meds. I line up two weeks worth of meds in a plastic box. Supplements like vitamins and a probiotic. Do I have to bring the full size bottles so the stuff can be identified? Or can I get by with the daily box thing filled with my stuff like at home?
February 13, 2018 @ 5:11 pm
Hi Barbara! It really depends on the exact medication and the destination. If it’s a controlled substance (like something with codeine) it’s best to keep it in its original packaging. Some countries have stricter rules than others about certain medications, so it’s always good to read up on the rules of your destination first. For stricter countries or for certain medications, it’s also good to have a letter from your doctor. That said, I’ve never had anyone ask me about my own medications, though mine aren’t controlled substances. If you’re taking a vacation to Europe, you probably don’t need to worry about it and your plastic box would be fine. But always research the country first. As for supplements and probiotics, I wouldn’t worry about those either.
February 26, 2016 @ 1:35 pm
I am going to turkey I take couple of tea shirts two shorts my shaving stuff in a hand bag that’s it I think you are allowed to do that with shaving and after shave is that right
February 27, 2016 @ 10:24 am
Hi David, you can bring shaving cream and after shave in your carry-on bag as long as each bottle is 100ml (3.4 ounce) or smaller, and all your liquids must be in a 1 liter (1 quart) clear zip-top bag. Enjoy your trip to Turkey, beautiful country!
September 24, 2015 @ 5:49 am
I have a question…I will be going on my first vacation in a couple months and so far this list has helped a lot. My question is with the liquid bag…can I have one in carry on and one in the checked bag? Can the ones in checked luggage be regular size bottles or does everything need to be travel size? I’m only going for a week so shampoo, conditioner and soap aren’t an issue so much as sunscreen would be. Going from Wisconsin to Jamaica I just want to make sure I have enough so I don’t have to spend triple to buy it there….
September 24, 2015 @ 9:41 am
Hi Tasha! Yes, you can have liquids in your checked luggage, and they can be bigger than 100ml/3.4 ounces. So feel free to pack your larger bottle of sunscreen in your checked bag. Have a great time in Jamaica!
July 4, 2015 @ 6:31 pm
I always pack an extra pair of socks in my carry-on, for use upon arrival. Travel is stressful, and your feet actually do swell up a bit in a pressurized cabin, and they sweat. Changing socks at the end of the flight (in the lav, of course) or upon arrival at the airport is a real pick-me-up and puts a fresh spring in your step as you complete your travel day.
This, of course, is in addition to the emergency change of clothes in case your luggage is delayed.
July 6, 2015 @ 6:00 pm
Great tip, Mike! Thanks for sharing!
April 7, 2015 @ 5:31 am
Thanks a lot,
I am travelling for the 1st time for a long stay of an year in Germany (From India)
These tips are really helpful for me to reduce some tension and fear about packing. 🙂
Thanks again ….
April 7, 2015 @ 10:48 am
Glad to help! Enjoy your time in Germany (my adopted home) and happy travels!
November 4, 2013 @ 8:19 am
Absolutely correct points mentioned. Money and ID Card are the most valuable things one must carry when traveling.
November 4, 2013 @ 6:32 pm
November 1, 2013 @ 3:42 pm
When packing I will generally take older clothes or items I don’t find myself wearing all that much. No matter what country you visit there are always locals that would appreciate anything you might want to give them. This way you are helping them and it will leave you some room if you want to buy any additional items before returning home.
November 3, 2013 @ 11:39 am
So true Neil! There is always someone who could use some clothes, and it lightens your luggage. Thanks!
August 5, 2013 @ 5:37 am
Excellent tips, Ali!
I always add a few Tylenol, Ibuprofen and tums just in case or to help a fellow traveler out. Saline nasal spray/gel, antibacterial wet wipes and noise cancelling headphones are making transatlantic flights much more enjoyable.
August 5, 2013 @ 3:46 pm
Those are great too, Jag! I haven’t sprung for noise cancelling headphones yet, but maybe I will one of these days, they sound nice. Thanks!
February 13, 2013 @ 6:05 pm
I try to avoid toiletries if I can because I don’t like the hassle going through security… have you got liquids etc.
February 14, 2013 @ 12:29 pm
I guess I just figure there are so many other things I have to pull out of my carry-on bag to get through security, it doesn’t make a difference if I also pull out a liquids bag.
November 12, 2018 @ 9:36 pm
So is it better to put the liquids in your checked in bag rather than your carry on??
November 13, 2018 @ 5:23 pm
Hi Judy! I don’t think one way is better than the other really. If you only need a small amount of liquids and you can keep it under the 3.4 ounces (100ml) per bottle and keep it all in one clear zip top bag, I see no reason why you shouldn’t take it in your carry-on. But if you’re checking a bag anyway and you simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of taking your liquids out at security, it’s totally fine to pack them in your checked bag. But I’d still put your liquids inside a plastic bag or a cosmetics bag of some kind because sometimes the air pressure makes those bottles leak, and you don’t want shampoo all over your clothes.
February 4, 2013 @ 6:07 pm
You actually end up needing less for a longer trip than you do for a shorter one. one thing that does throw a curveball is when you travel with small children. Then your carry-on space is taken up with toys, games, snacks(please NO sugary snacks), and stuffed animals. All the stuff to keep them busy so you don’t get “the stare” form the grumpy, impatient, and just plain rude traveler.
February 4, 2013 @ 9:12 pm
Thanks Nathan! I can’t imagine all the extra stuff you need to bring when you have kids! As for the shorter trip, I tend to fill my bag no matter what, so I do often end up with more stuff than I need for a short trip. If I have room for “just in case” items, I cave and pack them.
Caanan @ No Vacation Required
January 27, 2013 @ 3:25 pm
> Pack toiletries and a change of clothes in your carry-on bag
Good advice. This can be a real life saver when your checked bags don’t show up. It is also really nice to have some toiletries for longer flights. I like being able to freshen up so we look bright and rested when we get our pictures taken at immigration. 🙂
January 27, 2013 @ 5:12 pm
Thanks Caanan! Probably a good idea about freshening up before any potential immigration pictures 🙂
January 25, 2013 @ 3:46 pm
Great tips, Ali! If you’re going to a warm weather destination (beach, lake, etc.) or your hotel has a pool, I always like to pack a swimsuit in my carry-on. Somehow lost or delayed luggage doesn’t seem quite so bad when you’re swimming or lounging in the water. Safe travels!
January 26, 2013 @ 11:13 am
Thanks! I hadn’t thought about the bathing suit, but being able to go to the pool or beach sounds like a good idea if you’re waiting on lost luggage!
January 25, 2013 @ 3:37 pm
All things I carry – except the change of clothes…a good idea! (though I always figure it’s a good excuse to go shopping if the luggage gets lost 😉
January 26, 2013 @ 11:12 am
Very true, going shopping might be fun in a new place!
January 24, 2013 @ 11:07 pm
Great tips I agree with it all. I’m also a carry on only type of girl, you need the same stuff for a 1 week trip as a 1 month trip 🙂
January 26, 2013 @ 11:12 am
Thanks! Exactly, you don’t need more stuff for a longer trip, you just need to find somewhere to do laundry!
January 22, 2013 @ 8:49 pm
Good tips! I travel mostly carry-on but winter destinations are harder since winter clothes just tend to be larger. When I do check a bag, I always pack a change of clothes and underwear in my carry-on just in case.
January 23, 2013 @ 3:14 pm
Thanks Jennifer! Winter travel definitely makes carry-on harder, but that’s when I usually end up carrying my coat instead of packing it, and I just know I’ll wear the same shirts even more often because I have room for fewer. But I also try to avoid traveling to cold places unless there’s a special reason!
January 22, 2013 @ 11:10 am
For Australian outbound international travelers there may be additional benefits in going the carry on only route. For instance according to the following government website which is for the Australian Customs Service http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page4646.asp , there is something called the Tourist Refund Scheme which will refund you the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on all goods that you buy and carry on or wear aboard the plane when you leave. You need to register for this scheme and there are links on the customs website you can go to in order to find out where in the airport you are leaving from you need to go to in order to register.
Also for Australians who are taking medicines with them out of the country that were bought under the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS listed medicines that is,) you will need to fill out certain documentation and you are restricted in the amount of medication you can take out of the country. For example if you’ve got 90 days worth of medication with you and you’re only going to be out of the country for 60 days, you can only take 60 days worth of medication with you. This guide in PDF format http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/GuideforTravellers-WEB2.pdf details the requirements for travelers needing to declare goods in regards to medicines, the Tourist Refund Scheme I talked about earlier and also any duty-free concessions you may be entitled to.
Further information can be found by contacting Customs directly through this webpage http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5439.asp or in regards to medicines through the Department of Human Services website at http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/medicare/travelling-overseas-with-pbs-medicine?utm_id=9 .
I hope this information is helpful to someone.
January 23, 2013 @ 3:12 pm
Wow, thanks for all the great links Matthew! I never knew that about the refund scheme, sounds like a bit of work, but worth it if you buy expensive things that you can wear on the plane. The medicine stuff is always stressful for me because I have medicine I have to take every day, so I have to travel with it. I’m always afraid some customs agent is going to tell me I can’t have it in their country. And I can understand having limitations, but I always bring extra medicine. Not an extra 30 days, but maybe a few days or a week, because what if I lose some? Ugh, customs stuff is stressful. Thanks for all the great info though!
January 22, 2013 @ 8:28 am
Great tips, Ali!
I try to do as much carry-on as possible, but I must admit that when I know I’ll be staying in the same place for a week or so, I still tend to overpack…
January 23, 2013 @ 3:08 pm
But when you stay in the same place for a week, it’s easier to do laundry! Which means you can pack less, and then find somewhere to wash your clothes.
December 9, 2014 @ 8:09 am
Those tips really helped
December 9, 2014 @ 7:16 pm
Glad to help!