15 things you should have in your personal carry on.

Hi Pals,

We’ve all got a list of things we feel are necessary for our trip, long or short – we’d rather have it with us.  I’m always triple checking I’ve got everything I need because I want my carry on to be continuously A+.

I’m not talking about my overall carry on, and that always depends per airline (check here for an updated list of restrictions) my beauty/liquids or essentials (passports/electronics) – but the things that make our trip easier, more enjoyable and generally allows us to be more comfortable, relaxed and prepared.

So, here’s 15 things that I love to have in my personal carry on when I travel!


    1. Have a functional bag.
      I love a good backpack – they hold a lot and often have separate pockets. Look for things like laptop holders, drink bottle holders and little pockets for keys, go pros and the ability to ensure your belongings are safe.
      I go with the beekeeper backpack as each purchase allows a child to go to English class for an entire year. They come in a range of different patterns and textiles.
      I generally look firstly for pockets (I’m a sucker for pockets.)
      The beekeeper has two side pockets that can hold 750ml. I find this to be important when travelling because if you need to put your bottle inside the bag, it takes up space. Remember: only put BPA free ones in there!
      It also has a secret zip up pocket (fits keys, GoPro, hotel/hostel keys etc) this one is RIGHT at the top of the backpack, and it’s just great to keep some spare cash or quickly grab your GoPro if you need to take a photo.
    2. Eye Mask
      We all know that the best-priced flights are the ones SUPER early in the morning, or late at night – so what better way to get some shut-eye than to block all the light out!
      Globite masks are some of the comfiest I’ve found, in terms of the price and they come in a cute lil’ eye pattern. Soft fleece with a backed eyeshade, they also come with a pocket on the side that keeps earplugs as well.
    3. Earplugs / Sleeping Headphones.
      I like the ones that gel to your ears, I can never get those twists to work! I don’t believe they do – but I also have a love for Sleeping Headphones.
      They’re a comfy headband that plays music and doesn’t strangle you or hurt depending on how you sleep.
    4. Drink Bottle
      You’re able to take a drink bottle through security if it’s empty. Depending on where you’re going – a lot of airports have free water stations. Great for your wallet, great for the environment!
      I’m a huge fan of Contigo – because they have auto-seal. It means that I can use them one-handed, which you don’t know how good that is – until you’ve got it.
    5. Journal  I use journals for all sorts of reasons – a diary to remember what I did, to capture tickets and stickers of activities I’ve done and brochures/menus of fascinating places I went. I also like to use the back of the journal for thoughts/ recommendations/things to remember.
    6. Reading Material:
      Sometimes you won’t be on a flight that includes entertainment. That’s when a book, magazine or downloaded PDF files can be great. Check out Goodreads for inspiration on what your next book should be, Scribd is a great app where you can download them to your phone or tablet for a monthly subscription and of course, there’s always a library (if you’re returning home) or second-hand stores!
    7. Reading Light / Headlamp.
      The amount of times that a headlamp has come in handy is amazing. I can use it to read, find the bathroom at night, finding something in my bag on the flight without disrupting anyone.
    8.  Travel Pillow.
      Okay, technically they RARELY fit in your bag, unless you have a blow up one, and let’s be honest those blow up ones well, blow.  I love the Globite one; It’s a long snake-like pillow with a pull strap. You can wear it across your shoulder, hang it off the headrest or wear it around your neck – sounds weird but it works.
    9. Silk Sleeping Bag.
      I ordered a faux silk sleeping bag off eBay a few years ago, and it is honestly beyond amazing. It gives you that extra layer of warmth on cold flights, extra protection for bugs at night and I personally like always having a top sheet (I know.)
    10. Face Wipes + Face Masks.
      Face wipes are perfect to freshen up. Travelling can be gross, it’s nice to be able to wipe your face or have a so-called “festival shower.” I like to grab a face mask or two at Daiso or any Korean Beauty Store to hydrate my skin. You might look like Michael Myers a notch, but your skin will thank you.
      I personally love the WOTNOT Face Wipe Travel Case because it’s made out of recycled materials, and I can re-fill with baby wipes at later stages. A mirror is on the back (totally handy.)
    11. Watch.
      Again, not technically in your carry on but it’s super helpful to have a watch. Personally, I go the Casios. It’s water resistant, has an alarm, stopwatch and illuminates for those times when you wake up and don’t want to blind yourself with your phone. Helpful in: phone dies, phone didn’t automatically update, a stranger is asking you the time (common stealing technique.)
    12. Antibacterial Gel/Wipes:
      Did you know that the tray table has 20 times, yes TWENTY TIMES the amount of bacteria found in the bathrooms?! Also, as a lot of people get that post-flight flu – I try to wipe down the tray before I touch it.
    13. Chewing Gum:
      This is mainly to help my ears pop! I find that if I don’t have gum, I’m not going to be having a good time.
    14. A Pen:
      Not only will you have to fill out immigration/visa forms in a lot of countries, but you’ve got a lot of time to think! Writing down is the best way for me to brainstorm – and what better place to do it than stuck thousands of feet up in the sky!
    15. Sticky Tape:
      People think this is a weird one, but I always carry sticky tape. Whether I’m making temporary band-aids with tissues (it does work) or taping up a rip in your down jacket (also works) – sticky tape is my number 1 go to. It can also be used to quickly fix shoes, books, bags and nearly anything!

Do you have anything you just can’t travel without?
Think I need to add things? Remove things? Just let me know below.

As always, stay cool.
– Sarah.

Written by CerealSarah

A 27-year-old whose only direction in life seems to be going around the world.


  1. This is a really helpful list! I like the idea of the facewipe case and the antibacterial wipes for the tray in the plane. I will have to invest in those before my next trip.


    1. Yesss! The tray has a mirror too – which is nice for a touch up if needed. When someone told me about the tray I nearly lost it! It’s also good before eating / after you touch lots of things along your trip (especially doggos)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Wiki,
    Thanks for your comment! Your cats are beautiful, I will definitely follow. Thanks for subscribing! Let me know what you think 🙂
    Have a great day! Sarah


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