Travel Tips

What to Pack in Your Carry-On

My tips & tricks on how to pack your carry-on, especially for a long-haul flight.

Don’t pack a house in your carry-on. Limit to essential items only to reduce the weight and make for a more comfortable flight.

The urge to pack everything and anything in your carry-on, is hard to resist. I get it. But if you pack too much, your back and shoulders will hate you for it.

Plus if it’s too heavy & bulky, it’s difficult to store above, if it’s too large to stow under the seat in front.

Only pack essential items in your carry-on; which is the items you know you’ll need during the flight; especially for long-haul flights. Keep it light, keep it simple. The not so urgent items, can be packed in your checked baggage after all.

Of course, everyone is different and everyone requires different things for their carry-on.

Whether that be medications or activities to keep the kids entertained. Either way, if you stick to my go-to-guide on how to pack for carry-on, then you will have plenty of space to take on-board any personalised items you definitely need on your flight.

Here’s what I pack on my carry-on:

Extra water and an energy drink (like Powerade).

I drink a lot water daily and the amount they give on the plane just doesn’t cut it. Especially when you’re sitting in air-conditioner. So, I always take some extra water and a Powerade to keep my hydrated on the flight. Sure, they are weighty, but they don’t stay in the bag and are finished by the time you disembark anyways.

Mini sized beauty products.

Although I always pack my makeup bag (which usually consists of foundation, lip gloss, mascara and concealer), I always throw in some mini skincare products for the flight. This way, I can cleanse and treat my skin to a mini treatment on-board to stop my skin from drying out or breaking out from wearing makeup too long on the plane.


I always pack pj’s for the trip; or at least a comfy, light tracksuit. This is great for when you’re ready to sleep, as it’s way more comfortable than trying to sleep in a skirt of jeans.


I do travel with my laptop, as I like to download my photos every day when I travel and place them into folders. I take a LOT of pics when travelling and if I leave the downloading for when I return, I forget where the pic was taken and what day it was. So I do have to take my laptop and charger on-board. It does get weighty, so I opted to buy a small travel sized laptop, which is far easier to travel with.

Portable charger and charging cables.

This is a must when you travel. Although airlines do have USB and power outlets to charge you tech whilst in-flight, if you have a layover in another airport, you don’t want the battery on your phone, tablet or laptop to die whilst waiting to re-board. So always pack your chargers.


Most international flights provide toothbrushes and toothpaste for your pleasure (and it really is a pleasure on a 10+ more hour flight). However, in the event I don’t get one, I always pack one with a mini tube of toothpaste to ensure I have fresh breath and nice clean teeth for my trip.

Small book and colouring-in book.

For me, this is super important. As I often get a headache and sore eyes when wearing earphones longer than a few hours and tired eyes from looking a digital screen too long. So taking a break to read from something organic like a book, or destress the mind by colouring-in is my absolute saviour.

And there you have it. These tips are my basic guidelines for travelling, especially on a long-haul flight.

I’d love to hear about any tips or tricks you have for travelling.


  • Kara Dueñas

    Yesssssss! I love everything about this article. It’s all so true…they never provide you with a decent amount of water. I end up feeling bad bc I ask for about a hundred cups Haha so much easier to bring your own for back up! Xx

    • travelbugofficial

      Awe, thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed the article. And we, agree, I always feel terrible when I keep bothering staff for more water.. xx

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