My Essential Personal Carry On Items When Flying

Whenever I travel, no matter if it’s short or long haul, I try to limit the number of items I bring on the plane, I only bring things I definitely need. Because I don’t like to use rollaway luggages as a personal carry item and prefer shoulder strap totes, it is even more important that I bring as little as possible. There may be chances where I have to dash from one terminal to another! My favorite carry on is the Goyard Chevron Sac Hardy Pet Carrier GM. For short haul flights, I usually don’t check in luggage and would use a four wheel rollaway luggage to bring my necessities, clothing etc. My preferred roll away is this Tumi. Nonetheless, I would still bring a shoulder strap tote for things I need regularly on the plane and when in transfer.

To avoid forgetting anything, I have a carry on- must pack list that I pull out every time I start packing.

My carry on items from my last trip to Japan

I tend to list out everything I can think of and will narrow down items that is appropriate for the trip I’m taking. These are some of the items I bring all the time:

  • Bag divider – to compartmentalize my stuff so I don’t have to dig and can find things easier
  • Passport – a no brainer
  • Frequent flyer membership card and/or hotel loyalty card- in case I need to prove my status, credit points to my account, special access lounges or other benefits etc.
  • Pen – always bring a few, and not expensive ones. People like to borrow pens on planes to fill arrival forms, and sometimes they forget to return them!
  • iPad or computer – depending on purpose of travel, great to have especially if there’s flight delays or if there’s nothing good to watch on the inflight entertainment system
  • Phone & charger now planes have USB charging docks – a great time to boost battery life
  • Headphones – doesn’t have to be noise canceling ones, those are so bulky and heavy
  • Local currency – a no brainer
  • Business cards/information of destination (if frequented before) – just in case you want to go back on the trip
  • Hydrating spray – air quality is extremely dry at high altitudes, a must bring
  • Lip balm & hand cream – similar to above, a must bring

What are some of the things you bring along as your personal carry on when traveling?




  1. What a great list of carry-on essentials! Most are on my list, so it’s affirming to know I’m in excellent company when it comes to carry-on stuff. Since outbound flights out of Hawai’i are 5+ hours, I always pack for the long haul, so my carry-on tote includes a packable down jacket (which doubles as a pillow), eye mask, face mask, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and a spare set of underwear, if I check in a bag.

    • Good to hear I’m with good company! The down jacket as a pillow is a great idea, especially the ones where you can roll up into a small pouch. Using face and eye masks on flights are the best for rehydration, but I always feel awkward doing it on flights!

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