As long as people have traveled by plane, the debate of carry-on versus checking a bag has existed. Frequently, travelers worry about losing their luggage when they check a bag, or just like knowing they can take their luggage right off the plane.
No matter how you feel about the ongoing debate, understanding how to pack your carry-on best will improve travel. We've pulled together a guide of 15 things to pack in your carry-on. Keeping a checklist in mind is also good if you're traveling internationally.
1. A Good Carry-On Suitcase
Let's start with the most essential item – a good and sturdy carry-on suitcase. I love my Away carry-on, that's taken me from the cobblestone streets of Italy to the icy roads of Colorado. This bag is a must for travelers with a hardshell, removable portable charger, and inside pockets.
2. A Personal Item
While some may opt for a backpack as their item, I love a bag that slides onto my rolling suitcase. Enter the Dagne Dover Landon Carryall. It fits under the seat in front of you. It provides copious amounts of space for a water bottle, toiletries, books, a laptop, and whatever else you'd like to carry.
3. Packing Cubes
Once I tried packing cubes, I never looked back. I love a set of cubes that fits perfectly in my Away bag and makes packing an organized breeze. Using the packing cubes, you can include more items together, and the bags compress your clothes to optimize space.
4. A Clear Makeup Bag
National and international airports restrict how much liquid you can travel with if you don't check a bag. Most international airports also ask that you put your liquids in clear bags so they can see them as you go through security. A cute and clear makeup bag is the perfect solution.
5. Travel-Sized Beauty Items
The best way to transport your liquids is through refillable bottles. Skip buying travel-sized items from your local store. With a set, you can bring the shampoo and conditioner you like, and the handy labels make it easy to see which item is which.
6. Wrinkle-Release Spray for Clothing
If there's one item you must believe the hype about, it has to be wrinkle-release spray. There's no better way to get wrinkles out of your clothes after being packed too tightly. With the travel-size version, you don't have to worry about liquid weights and limits. Plus, it reduces the need to bring a travel steamer.
7. A Kindle or E-Reader
Travelers and packers alike know the same thing: books occupy much space. The best way to get your vacation read on is to bring a Kindle Paperwhite or e-reader. It will slip easily into your bag and holds more books than you can read. It's easy to carry, backlit, and waterproof.
8. Packable Reusable Bag
You never know what you'll need to carry once your trip begins – maybe you're leaving with snacks or souvenirs for friends and family. I love my Baggu Bag, which takes up no space in your oversized bag and folds out to hold a lot. It can be used when you stop off at the airport shop to buy snacks, or it's just nice to have if you buy souvenirs.
9. Foldable Water Bottle
One key thing about traveling on planes is staying hydrated. With a foldable water bottle, you can refill it at airport water fountains and then fold it when not in use. A foldable water bottle is an accessible item to carry and is perfect for traveling.
10. Portable Charger
A rookie mistake is thinking you'll be able to charge wherever you are. While it's true that most international flights have a way for you to charge your devices, you never want to take that chance. A portable charger fits right into the bottom of your phone, meaning you never have to take out our cords.
11. A Universal Travel Plug
Speaking of cords, you must ensure that yours will work wherever you land. It would be best to opt for this universal travel plug, which you can use in multiple countries. The dual USB ports mean you can charge various things simultaneously without worrying about travel adapters.
12. Multi-Use Tech Pouch
Just like you have to have a bag for your liquids and beauty supplies, it's good to have a bag for all your tech items. You can keep cords and plugs organized and tidy in your bag with a tech pouch.
13. First Aid Kit
It's always better to be safe than sorry. An easy and packable first aid kit means you are always prepared for anything and don't have to stress about possible injuries.
14. Travel Wallet
Having a separate wallet for travel is always a good idea, so you can focus on bringing just the essential cards and international currency you need. We love a travel wallet, which can fit your passport, travel documents, and credit cards and even block potential scammers through its RFID blocking. It's a bonus that it also comes in so many lovely colors.
15. Noise-Canceling Headphones
You have to remember the purpose of packing is to go on vacation. So you want to be able to enjoy that vacation primarily distraction-free. Noise-canceling headphones are necessary on the plane to drown out the engine's noise or even those around you.
Summer travel is ramping up, so now is an excellent time to plan a trip. The good news is that we've already figured out what you'll bring. You need to figure out where you're going. Don't worry; we've got you covered there, too, with ten destinations you can travel internationally.