Packing for Airplane Travel: Travel Tips for Carry on Luggage

Know What to Pack for Your Flight


Flying is the fastest way to travel, but that does not mean it's always the easiest. Knowing how and what to pack for a 90-minute jaunt or a half-day trip overseas is crucial to ensuring that you will be comfortable and content during your time in the sky. 

Use these travel tips to know how to pack carry on luggage.

  1. How long is your flight? For shorter trips -- two hours or fewer -- you won't need much in your carry-on bag. Bring a bottle of water, a small snack, and something to read. If you like music, bring along your CD or mp3 player, too; sitting for just an hour can get tedious pretty quickly. Dress in layers so that you can adjust to the cabin temperature, which tends to vary.
  2. Cross-continent or overseas travelers will want a little more with them. Some airlines, like British Airways, provide their passengers with complimentary travel kits, but airlines are cutting back on all sorts of formerly complimentary items so be smart and pack your own just in case. This might include the following:
    • A travel-size toothbrush and toothpastehow to pack for traveling in a airplane
    • Some lotion to counteract the extremely dry cabin air
    • A pair of socks to wear around the cabin (extended time in a plane can make your feet swell)
    • An eyemask so you can sleep regardless of the sun
    • A portable pillow
    • Contacts case and solution, some eye drops, and your glasses (dry, itchy eyes do not make for an enjoyable flight)
    • Some over-the-counter painkillers
    • Antibacterial hand cleanser

    All this is at your discretion; take into consideration what you might require to feel comfortable during an extended flight and include that in your carry on bag.

  3. How much do you want to carry with you during airplane travel? If you are not checking any luggage, you might want to keep your flight bag small, and simply remove the items you want from your main bag once you're in the air. Dragging a suitcase and a giant bag of snacks and magazines all over the airport is inconvenient, not to mention a fast path to a grumpy mood.
  4. Remember, travelers with laptop computers must keep the computer in their carry-on bag, so pack to accommodate your laptop.
  5. Be mindful of items that are no longer allowed on flights. Before you throw in that nail file or your favorite lighter for a pre-flight cigarette, make sure to check the Transportation Security Administration's lists of allowed and prohibited items aboard an aircraft. A five-minute read can save valuable minutes at the security checkpoint.


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