Travel Talk: Must-Haves in Your Carry-On

what to pack in your carry on bag travel must have items sleep beauty

A few months ago when Hallie and I were heading back from Caneel Bay, I was rummaging through my carry-on bag to pull out all of my in-flight must haves when Hallie said, “You should really do a post about that.” We’ve been on countless flights together, and I always have the same ol’ products.

Hallie and I are actually headed on another trip this Wednesday (#besttravelpartners) so I figured I’d share a little peek at what I always have with me on a flight, no matter how long or short the flying time.



  1. Lip Balm — I’ve been a Vaseline Lip Therapy fan for years. I take stocking up to a whole new level, as in, I order like 20 at a time. I took these photos before I tried the new and improved Vaseline Lip Therapy Tins that I’m obsessed with. Highly recommend!
  2. Face Mist — I use the Caudalie mist multiple times during a flight. It keeps my skin hydrated, even with all of that dry cabin air.
  3. Hand Cream — Just as my face likes to dry out on flights, my hands are the exact same way. L’Occitane hand cream is my go-to!
  4. Cuticle Oil — I like to give my cuticles a little extra care on planes, too. Ever since I found this convenient cuticle oil, it’s been a must-have for me. There’s no mess involved!


  1. Eye Mask — No matter if you’re just shutting your eyes for a quick cat nap or trying to get a full night’s sleep on the plane, an eye mask is essential. It’s also the best unspoken signal for flight attendants and fellow passengers to not wake you up! 😉
  2. Sleep Aid — For longer flights, especially red eyes, a sleep aid is a must for me. There’s nothing worse than not being able to sleep on your flight and tarnishing your first few days in a new city with jet lag. ZzzQuil is my favorite.
  3. Hand Sanitizer — This goes without saying! Airports and planes are germ havens. I’m constantly lathering my hands with sanitizer to try and prevent picking up an unwanted sickness while traveling.
  4. Nasal Spray — Super sexy, right? As you can see from the items above, the cabin air makes my skin so dry during flights. Nasal spray is essential for keeping my sinuses hydrated to prevent catching a cold on the plane!
  5. Emergen-C — A travel must-have! You can always use a little Vitamin-C boost, especially when you’re sandwiched between hundreds of other people on the plane.
  6. Gum — When you can’t brush your teeth, gum is essential. I also love these brush-ups!
  7. Tissues — If you’ve ever had a cold on a plane and rubbed your nose raw with the cocktail napkins (this girl!), you’ll make sure to never forget to pack the Puffs.
  8. The Biggest Water Bottle I Can Find at the Airport! Probably two of them. It’s so important to stay hydrated on flights!


  1. Noise-Cancelling Headphones — These are must-haves for drowning out loud talkers, crying babies, or just to get in the zone while cranking out some work!
  2. Earbuds (with a must-have cord taco.. best invention ever!) — When I’m waiting at the gate and listening for announcements, I like to have these headphones so I can still hear what’s going on around me.
  3. My Laptop — I invested in the MacBook last spring and it’s been a godsend for travel. This little laptop isn’t great for every single day use with all of the photo editing and such that goes into the blog (currently saving up for a desktop computer for my home office!), but it’s great for travel.
  4. I don’t currently use an e-reader or an iPad, but I always stash a book and a magazine in my bag for take-off and landing, or if I need a little break from work. (I once told my old manager that I would be world’s most productive employee if I could fly around all day long. There’s nothing like working on a plane without any day-to-day distractions! I genuinely look forward to plane rides because I know I’ll get so many things crossed off of my to-do list. #productivityhack)


  1. Quest Bars — These are the only bars that actually fill me up and taste good, too. Just make sure you look for the flavor varieties without sucralose.
  2. Almonds — The one healthy thing you can always find at the airport! I like to look for the dry roasted, unsalted kinds.
  3. Trail Mix — I copied this little mix from Hallie after she packed our snack bags for a trip to the Rose Bowl a few years ago. Gluten Free Pretzels, Almonds, Skinny Pop, and Dried Edamame (preferably with a spice!) — Best. Mix. Ever.

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Anything I missed? What are your must-have items for in-flight? Also, if you have any other travel-related questions or a blog post you want to see, leave any and all inquiries and suggestions in the comments below!

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  1. 2.28.16
    Mary Kate said:

    Great lists! I always keep Evian spray in my purse!

    Mary Kate

  2. 2.28.16
    Meagan said:

    Great list. I bring a little pack of Clorox wipes with me and wipe down my seat and tray table.

  3. 2.28.16

    I think it is really essential item and must haves especially the lip palm and the hand cream. The plane get really dry.

  4. 2.28.16
    Lucy said:

    Great post! I’m literally just about to jet off on holiday so this is a definitely useful!

  5. 2.28.16
    Alyssa said:

    I always bring a ton of water with me, too! So important!

    Feathers and Stripes

  6. 2.29.16
    Peggy Duvall said:

    Hand work such as knitting, embroidery, quilt as you go. Time just “flies” by when your hands are busy. Time is the most valuable commodity we have.

  7. 3.2.16
    Samantha said:

    You can also save some money by bringing your own water bottle to airport and filling it up once you get past security. You can also refill it on the plane with bottled water, flight attendants are usually happy to refill it for you as well.

  8. 3.5.16
    emily said:

    such a great list! i’m headed on a trip thursday morning and this was great to read now. xo

  9. 7.19.16

    Love this! I’m jetting off to D.C. and Louisville in a week and will definitely pick up some of these products for my own carry on.

  10. 12.1.16
    Jay said:

    Great post. I always travel with those soft foamy insertable ear plugs so NOTHING can disturb my sleep (I hate to be woken up b/c of random noise). I also travel with a inflatable neck pillow (it’s great cuz I can adjust the firmness).

  11. 2.9.17
    Jessica said:

    Do you have any other eye mask recommendations? I’m living in the city for the first time, and am shocked by the amount of light at night. Thanks!

  12. 2.23.17
    Jodi said:

    This is such a helpful post! I splurged on the same macbook this year and am loving it. Trying to justify investing in some wireless noise-cancelling headphones but I’m not sure I travel enough for it to make sense..