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Everything You Need To Pack In Your Carry-On Luggage

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What to pack in your carry-on luggage
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What to pack in your carry-on luggage

When you travel it is so important to take carry-on luggage with you. Most airlines are now charging a fee for checked luggage, and most still allow you at least one carry-on for free. Not only is there a cost savings to taking carry-on luggage, but it’s a necessity because oftentimes your checked luggage can get delayed or even lost. Having a carry-on with you on the plane can save money and a headache of missing items. So now the question is, what to pack in carry-on luggage?

When packing for a trip of any kind you want to be sure that you have a carry-on to keep your valuables in along with extra items in case your luggage doesn’t arrive to your destination when you do. Here are some of the top things I recommend always having in your carry-on luggage:

Change of Clothes

Nothing like arriving to your final destination and realizing you don’t have any clean clothes because they are all in your checked bag that didn’t arrive with you.


Having an extra pair of shoes in your carry-on is a great idea. Again, if your luggage doesn’t arrive you don’t want to rely on the pair of shoes you wore on the plane. Maybe you wore tennis shoes but are flying to a beach destination. Throw an extra pair of flip flops in your carry-on. Or maybe you are traveling for work and will need a nice pair of work shoes when you arrive. Make sure they are with you in your carry-on.


Make sure your toiletries are packed in a clear zip top quart size bag. Each item in the bag can be no more than 3.4oz. You can check the current TSA guidelines here. I love this reusable TSA approved bag with little travel size containers. You can just pour your favorite shampoo/conditioner, soap, and lotion in them. Also make sure your toothpaste and deodorant is sized accordingly. Young Living also has a Bon Voyage Travel Pack that includes:

  • Cinnamint Lip Balm
  • Genesis™ Hand and Body Lotion, 60 ml
  • Lavender Volumizing Conditioner, 60 ml
  • Lavender Volumizing Shampoo, 60 ml
  • Morning Start™ Bath and Shower Gel, 60 ml
  • Thieves® AromaBright™ Toothpaste, 60 ml
  • Dental Floss
  • Thieves Fresh Essence Plus™ Mouthwash, 60 ml
  • Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier, 29.5 ml
  • Young Living-branded toothbrush
  • ART® Light Moisturizer, 10g

They come in an attractive, custom bag. All products are TSA-compliant.


Please, never, ever pack prescription medications in your checked luggage. You don’t know how many times I’ve seen passengers arrive to their destination without their checked luggage arriving, and they are panicking because their prescription medications are in the checked luggage that is lost or delayed. Keep medications with you at all times. In fact, I would place this in your personal item (different than carry-on), because once in a great while flights are full and the airline does take some of the carry-on items and stores them with the checked luggage.

Travel Documents

Again, this is something you never want to pack in your checked luggage. You can’t show proof of citizenship if you don’t have it with you, for example. Passports, Visas, drivers license, etc should never be placed in checked luggage. Just like with prescription medications, keep these in your personal item (purse, back pack, etc), or in your carry-on if you know it will stay on the plane with you.

A Book Or Some Form Of Non-Electronic Entertainment

In case of delays, you want something to do. A book or something that doesn’t require electricity is a great option. Many times, working at the airport, I would see passengers gathering around outlets to keep their electronics charging while using them. There aren’t enough outlets for everyone. And if you are delayed while ON the plane you don’t want to use up all your battery. A book, magazines, or crossword puzzles are great alternatives.

Phone Charger

You will want to make sure you are able to charge your phone in case of delays and once at your final destination. Phone chargers are available to purchase at airports, but just like everything else, they will be a lot more expensive. Just take your own and keep it with you in your carry-on. Another great option is to take a portable charger, like this one.

Ear Buds/Headphones

There’s nothing worse than sitting down on the plane and getting ready to watch something or listen to music on your phone and realizing you don’t have a way to listen to it. And trust me, the person sitting next to you doesn’t want to hear what you are listening to either lol. Throw some ear buds or headphones in your carry-on as well. If you want a great noise canceling pair, this wireless one is fantastic.


Hand Sanitizer

Trust me on this one. You will be touching so many things during your travels. There are so many germs in airports and on airplanes. You don’t want to risk getting sick on your vacation. And trust me when I say this (personal experience from 10 years of working for airlines), airplanes are not cleaned often or thoroughly. Just take the hand sanitizer, and make sure you actually use it.

Don’t forget to put it in your clear zip top baggie with the rest of your liquids. This is my favorite hand sanitizer. It doesn’t dry out your hands and isn’t filled with any toxins. I also love these little sanitizing wipes to wipe down tray tables and arm rests with.

Lip Balm

The air in airplanes is dry. Because of the dry air, your lips will thank you for this one.

Travel Pillow And Blanket

If you are like me, you like to kill time on the plane by sleeping. Traveling can leave you feeling exhausted and sleeping on the plane is a great way to catch up on some ZZ’s. However, unless you are in first class in one of those fancy fully reclining seats, you won’t be very comfortable trying to sleep on a plane. A good travel pillow can help. I like this one because it’s inflatable so it wont take up much space in your carryon.

A blanket is nice too because sometimes it gets cold on airplanes. I like this one because it folds into a little pouch that has a strap to hook onto your carry-on so it wont take up any room inside. And then there is this lol, someone please try this and let me know what you think! I plan on getting one for our next big trip.


Car keys, house keys, you name it. You don’t want to land at the airport only to realize that your keys are in your checked luggage some where across the country. Without them there is no way to get home and no way to get into your home. Keep the keys with you.


You don’t want to go digging through your checked luggage when you get to your destination. Keep your sunglasses handy (and not broken), by packing them in your carry-on.

Pack Carryon


This may seem silly to some, but gum is actually really helpful when you are changing altitude and your ears pop. Chewing and swallowing things can help relieve the pressure you feel in your ears. Airlines don’t always offer a meal service. Take some snacks with you to tide you over until you land.

Jewelry And Other Valuables

Please don’t put expensive jewelry or other valuables in your checked luggage. If your luggage is lost or stolen, there goes your jewelry or other valuable items. Keep valuables with you.

Other Important Documents

Oftentimes we travel for work and need work documents. Keep those with you. If your checked luggage doesn’t arrive in time for that important presentation or document hand off, you will want to have those documents with you.

Essential Oils

Bet you knew that one was coming, lol. Seriously though. We always travel with essential oils. In our carry-on we make sure to have our Immune Support Roller. We apply this at least two times a day when traveling. We also take Peppermint. It helps with digestive issues and with freshening up spaces. We also like to use peppermint to help with nausea that may occur during flights. The rest of the oils we pack in our checked luggage along with our diffuser. Keep an eye out for a post on what oils are must haves for travel.


This is a run down of my top items of what to pack in carry-on luggage either because I can’t risk not having it with me or because it’s something I would want to use while on the airplane.

What is something you always keep in your carry-on luggage? Share with us in the comments.

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