November 30, 2023

10 Carry-On Must Haves (From a Flight Attendant)

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Last Updated on December 17, 2022 by Kaya

As a flight attendant, I’ve done my fair share of flying. I also witness firsthand all of the items commonly forgotten by customers. I’ve compiled this list of must have carry-on items to take the stress out of your next venture.

1. Passport and Wallet

I know this one seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve included it in this list because you’re more than likely packing at the last second right now, googling “What Not to Forget in my Carry-On”, and I have seen these items get left behind wayyy too many times. Don’t get caught at the airport without your passport or wallet, that is a sure way to ruin your trip before it even begins.

2. Headphones

This one is a no-brainer, but most often forgotten while trying to pack everything last minute. Most airlines will have headphones available for purchase, but bringing your own saves you time and money.

My all-time favorite are of course the Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation). If you just need a reliable pair of headphones but don’t want to invest in a pair of Airpods, these Beats Studio Buds are a great alternative.

3. Laptop or iPad

Most airlines provide in-flight WiFi these days, which makes it super easy to continue your work on the go, or just sit back, relax and stream your favorite Netflix series. Pro Tip: Download a few movies or episodes for the unlikely event that the WiFi is out during your flight.

4. Change of Clothes

As much as we love to assume our checked bags will always make it to our destination, that isn’t always the case. Save yourself the added headache and bring an extra pair of clothes in the unfortunate event that your checked bag gets mishandled. Check the weather at your destination before you go, but a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and a light sweater are usually great options to toss in your carry-on.

5. Water Bottle

Bringing your own water bottle is always a good idea. It will have to be empty when you go through TSA, but remember to stop and refill it in the terminal before getting on the plane.

My favorite is the Cirkul Water Bottle, because you can switch out whatever flavor cartridge you prefer and choose between drinking plain water to drinking your favorite flavored beverage with just the turn of the dial. The cartridges are only .68 fl oz which make them TSA approved. They have over 40 flavor options from flavored water, to teas, to iced coffee. I never get on the plane without mine!

6. Snacks

Most airlines will provide you with a complimentary snack or two, but it’s usually best to bring a few of your own if you have a long flight.

7. A Good Book

This one is my personal favorite, I can never find the time to sit down and read unless I’m on a plane. Having a good book to read can also help take the stress and anxiety out of flying if you tend to be a nervous flier. Pro Tip: A Kindle Oasis is the way to go as it is way less bulky than carrying around physical books, and you can read it without having to turn on your reading light on the plane – your fellow passengers will appreciate this one.

8. Basic Toiletries

Just like with the change of clothes, sometimes checked bags get mishandled. It’s always a good idea to have a small bag of toiletries in your carry-on just in case. You’ll want to have things like a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, dry shampoo, makeup remover wipes, etc.

9. Phone Charger/Charging Bank

Depending on the length of your flight, you will most likely need to charge your phone throughout the flight. Thankfully most airlines provide in-seat power outlets or USB charging ports that you can use after takeoff and before landing.

Pro Tip: While MOST modern planes do have in-seat power outlets or USB charging outlets, not all do. I recommend bringing a portable charging bank, my personal favorite is the Anker 733 Power Bank because it has the capability of charging multiple devices at once, and at extremely high speeds.

10. A Light Blanket or Sweater

If you’re anything like me you’re always freezing while flying. This is the worst when you’re trying to relax or take a nap. Some airlines will have blankets for purchase but if I’m being honest, they aren’t great. Always throw a blanket or sweater in your bag, you’ll thank me later.

I hope these items make your flying experience way more enjoyable!

Happy Travels!!!

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