Carry-On Essentials: What to Pack in Your Airport Carry-On

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Carry-On Essentials: What to Pack in Your Airport Carry-On

by Anubha Charan
June 16, 2023

You're booked and ready to go on your big trip, but first you need to pack. With strict airline allowances and rigorous security guidelines, it can seem like an impossible task to pack your bags. Don't fret — it is possible to pack all the carry-on essentials you'll need if you follow some simple tips. Just follow this guide and you'll be good to go!



What To Pack In A Carry-On?

The perfect carry-on will contain all of the travel essentials you could need for your journey. Start by making a list of what you consider essential, such as:


1. Toiletry Bag

While it's easy to chuck all of your beauty and grooming essentials right into the carry-on bag, having a toiletry bag makes life far easier. These specially designed pouches help keep all of your products in one place, so you don't have to worry about them getting squished, spilled or lost in the jumble. The hyper organized may gain extra satisfaction from a toiletry bag that comes with multiple compartments that make it easy to pack by category — like makeup, skincare, haircare, perfume and more. Bonus points if it's leak-proof!


2. Skincare Essentials

Ever noticed your skin is dry or irritated after a long flight? You're not alone. Airplane cabins have extremely low humidity , so your carry-on should include moisturizing products.

First up on your carry-on packing list should be an ultra-hydating moisturizer like the Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Water Gel Face Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid for Dry Skin . Another carry on essential: Lip balm. Remember that the risk of sun exposure can be even higher 30,000 feet above the ground , where the UV rays are refracting off the surrounding clouds, so the Neutrogena® Revitalizing Lip Balm SPF 20 is a great choice thanks to its sun protection. Keep it in your carry-on bag and reapply every few hours and after eating to keep your lips from drying out.

Finally, the Neutrogena® Individually Wrapped Sustainable Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes are made for traveling. These single-use, biodegradable wipes will leave you fresh-faced at the end of a long journey!


3. Medication

Your carry-on essentials should include items that you can't go without in case your checked luggage gets lost or delayed. Medication definitely falls under that rule. It's good practice to put together a small first-aid travel kit for emergencies such as headaches, an upset stomach or unexpected cuts and scrapes.


4. Hand Sanitizer & Wet Wipes

Travel can expose you to a world of germs. For instance, studies have found that passengers are 113 times more likely to catch the common cold during a flight. The simplest solution? Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer and some wet wipes in your carry-on and use them frequently, including before and after eating.


5. Reusable Water Bottle

A reusable water bottle is a must-have to stay hydrated on long flights. Just be sure to follow the TSA rules about liquid before going through the airport checkpoint.


6. E-reader or Book

Once you have your essential products packed, it's time to think about entertainment for your long flight. Pack a good book or your e-reader (make sure it's charged!) and sit back and enjoy this chance to read in peace.


7. Headphones or Earphones

Headphones and earphones make it on almost every travel essentials list because they not only provide hours of entertainment but also let you block out the surroundings — bonus points if they're noise-cancelling! Just remember that some wireless earbuds may not work with your flight's entertainment system.


8. Change of Clothing

A fresh set of clothes packed in your carry-on is always a good idea. You may just want to look less crumpled after a flight, accidentally spill something on yourself, or need a backup option when your checked luggage goes missing. You'll be grateful for that extra t-shirt you packed!



Quick Tips for Packing Light

Packing light really comes in handy when traveling. For one, you don't have to wait in the long lines to check your bag, you save money by only using a carry-on, and you avoid the headache of your luggage getting lost.

And while it may seem daunting, it's not difficult to pack light and fit in all your carry-on essentials within the required limits. So, now that you know what to pack, here's how to do it most efficiently.


1. Choose The Right Bag

The right bag doesn't just fit in with airline size regulations but is also as lightweight as possible, so it doesn't take up too much of the weight allowance. Expandable options add convenience since it's easier to squeeze a soft-shell bag into crowded overhead bins.


2. Wear Bulkier Clothing On The Plane

Need a heavy sweater or jacket when you land? Packing light is still possible! Just wear your sweater on the plane instead of having it take up precious packing space. Ditto for bulky shoes — simply pop a pair of flip-flops into your carry-on and swap them out once boarding is completed.


3. Opt For Multipurpose Items

An oversized shawl that doubles up as a blanket? Tinted moisturizers that give coverage along with hydration? A multi-plug output splitter? Opting for multipurpose products is a great way to pack light.


4. Decant!

Swapping out the full size jars of your beauty and grooming products for travel-sized versions or decanting them into smaller bottles will save a surprising amount of space in your bag.

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