Travel Mini Series: My In-Flight Travel Essentials

Travel Mini Series : My In-Flight Travel Essentials

It’s a guilty pleasure of mine to watch what people bring with them in their carry-on bags on YouTube. It’s almost as bad as watching “what’s in my bag” videos, I tell ya. It’s like I’m living vicariously through those who are travelling when I’m not. After watching the hundredth “what’s in my carry-on” video, I thought I’d show you what I typically pack in my carry-on luggage. In case you’re a sticky beak like me. 😛

I have 3 carry-on bags that I rotate. The luggage I use as part of my carry-on highly depends on the destination I’m heading towards. If I’m going to be doing a lot of walking between accommodations (e.g. walk from the bus/train station to the hotel), I’ll use my wheelie bag. If I’m going to be bringing a lot of food back from my holiday and I won’t be staying at more than one hotel, I’ll bring either my Country Road duffel bag or my Lo and Sons Catalina Canvas Weekender. Both of these bags do not have a strap that I can carry on my shoulders (I lost the one that came with the Country Road duffel) so I have to make sure I don’t carry heavy items in those bags. Food is packed in my carry-on instead of check-in luggage because it eases Australia’s strict customs check.

This is what I’ll typically bring with me when I’m flying:

  • Electronic equipment e.g. phone, iPad, iPod nano and one external charger in case any of my devices run out of juice mid-flight. If it’s a day trip, I’ll bring my Kindle with me instead of the iPad but if it’s anywhere that I’ll be staying over, I’ll bring the iPad.
  • Noise-cancelling headphones. The one I have is the Bose QC15. It’s expensive but when I had two long-haul flights back-to-back with young children and babies right behind me, it was worth every cent for my sanity. I also bring a set of earphones that I use when I’m not flying. They’re very light and take up little room.
  • MUJI pillow. This is so much better than your typical U neck pillows. You can clip the ends together with the clasp to form a U pillow or you leave it unclipped and use it as a small pillow for your back, neck, face, etc. I also use this as my eye pillow when I’m sleeping.
  • Empty water bottle. If I’m not flying on a budget airline, as soon as I board the plane, I’ll request a flight attendant to fill it up with drinking water. This will keep me hydrated throughout the flight. If I’m able to fill the bottle up with filtered water from a drinking fountain after I’ve cleared immigration, I’d do so.
  • A small see-through pouch that contains some beauty essentials e.g. my liquids, gels, aerosols, meds, etc. This usually contains a disposable toothbrush and toothpaste (hoarded from my previous hotel stays), deodorant, a small bottle of rubbing alcohol, antibacterial wipes, a small jar of decanted moisturiser, tiny jar of decanted eye cream (these two are usually placed in contact lens cases since I only need two “containers”), foldable hair brush, hand cream, tiny sample vial of perfume (great for personal use, even better to spray the plane loo after doing a number 2 😛 ), small tube of sunscreen, eye drops and a small selection of medication, just in case.
  • Silk eye mask. I have one by SLIP and it’s the most luxurious eye mask I’ve ever used.
  • Mints
  • Large cashmere scarf. I can use this as a blanket to keep warm or even rolled up as a back pillow if necessary. If there’s one thing to splurge on for your travels, it’s a cashmere scarf. I got mine on sale from Shopbop years ago. Keep a lookout for Shopbop sales; I once bought a 100% cashmere scarf for US$30.
  • Envirosax bag. I don’t like putting my handbag on the dirty airplane floor and it doesn’t matter if you’re carrying an expensive designer handbag; if the flight attendant insists that you have to put it on the floor in front of you during take-off and landing, that’s what you’ll have to do. I’ve seen women putting their Chanel classic flaps on the floor. I place my bag into the Envirosax and then leave it on the floor.
  • This isn’t in the picture but it’s important nonetheless. Earplugs. Another sanity saver against screaming children. I once had earplugs on and the Bose headphones over my ears. I had babies screaming around me AND a lady snoring so loudly that I could hear here clearly from a few rows away if I hadn’t had any earplugs on. These didn’t bother me at all.

I don’t bring snacks with me as I’m not a snacker. Sometimes I’ll pack some jelly snakes to munch on during take-off and landing of the plane but I can do without them.

As you can see, I don’t bring a lot with me in my carry-on. I don’t need a laptop; my iPad (encased with a Bluetooth keyboard) works as one. It contains my magazines, books, movies, TV shows and games that can keep me entertained throughout the flight. I bring my iPod nano along when I don’t want to be holding my iPad when I want some shut-eye.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you’ve blogged about what you bring in your carry-on bag, please let me know in the comments so that I may check it out. I love seeing what’s in other people’s carry-on bags when they travel. So many interesting things!

What are some of your in-flight travel essentials? Do you have any tips on packing your carry-on?

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17 comments… add one
  1. LeGeeque

    Love this series 🙂 This is what I have in my carryon:
    1. iPad
    2. Kindle
    3. Noise-cancelling earphones
    4. Handcream
    5. Skincare + sheet mask
    6. Neck pillow
    7. Empty water bottle
    9. Panty liners. What I’ve learnt when flying from Australia – we’re in one fricking corner of the world – no matter where you fly, it’s far away. I want to feel umm.. fresh 😛
    10. envirosax + padlock – like you, I use that for my bag too. I then double knot the handle of the envirosax to secure it and secure it further with a padlock. That way, my belongings are pretty safe should I need to head to the loo, etc (this is because I mostly travel alone)

    1. Tine

      Haha glad you enjoy it!

      Ooh I forgot to mention pantyliners! Oh yeah I have those too. Very important especially for long haul flights. Gotta keep fresh. 😉

      That’s a great idea on using a padlock on the envirosax. Must remember to do that when I’m travelling alone. Thanks for the tip!

  2. MonicaP

    I use a back pack and “pack” my purse in my checked bag. I usually just bring my iPod so I can close my eyes and listen. A lot of the time it’s so dry in the plane that I can’t read due to dry eyes – esp on long flights.

    I also bring a scarf as a mini blanket and a blow up neck pillow (if I remember it!).

    I must invest in those Bose ear phones.

    MonicaP recently posted..Stitch Fix No 2 – Could not wait to get into my box!My Profile

    1. Tine

      I wouldn’t say the Bose headphones have the best audio quality out there but the pads fit my ears very well and more importantly, it doesn’t make my head sore after having it on for hours. I definitely recommend it even though it costs a bomb.

  3. Jess @ Miss J. Shopaholic

    Oooh an envirosax bag is smart! I usually put my bag into it’s dust bag for protection lol
    Jess @ Miss J. Shopaholic recently posted..Hello and Quick Update!My Profile

    1. Tine

      The dust bag is a good idea too! I like using the Envirosax instead because I can also use them for shopping later (can’t do that with drawstring dust bags). 🙂

  4. Norlin

    Ooh I like that idea of having an envirosax to put your bag in. Although, I never carry any designer handbags when I travel, so I don’t really care about the germs I carry on the outside of my bag 😉 Actually I have written a post on what skincare products I carry on board a plane previously.
    And in a separate post, what I wear on the plane:
    Hope it’s ok for me to post the links in here. 🙂
    Norlin recently posted..The Mystery MascaraMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Haha for you, okay lah. 😛 Those are great posts, especially the one on what to wear to board a plane. I never understood why people wouldn’t wear shoes and walk about when they’re on the plane. Worst of all, to the toilet! >.<

  5. Emma

    I also secretly love ‘what’s in my bag’ videos… carry on videos… packing videos…. whether or not I’m going on a trip in the near future you better believe if I see a video telling me what I should take with me I will watch it 😛

    1. Tine

      ME TOO! How awesome are those sort of videos, right? It’s like I’m travelling with them too but not really! 😀

  6. Jessica

    When travelling I never forget to bring my gadgets especially my camera for this will capture the precious moments. I also bring along my skin care products which some of them are just in small packs for easy handling and storage.
    Jessica recently posted..Where Can I Find LifeCell Eye Cream?My Profile

    1. Tine

      Yeah, it’s a good idea to bring skincare products in small packs. So much easier to pack!

  7. Rebecca B. Bird

    I used to travel a lot so I LOVE posts like this. In addition to the items listed above, I would definitely bring wet wipes (sticky fingers or airline tray table = nasty) and an old-school book or magazine. I use a tablet too, but sometimes you run out of batteries or are taxi-ing for a while or just get tired of looking at a screen, so it’s nice to have options.
    Rebecca B. Bird recently posted..Weekly Poll | Combing AttractionsMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I used to bring mags along too until I got tired of carrying them 😛 I know many people leave those mags behind once they’re done reading but I just can’t bring myself to do it. 😛 I have a small bottle of rubbing alcohol which I’ll spray on the plane’s tray table and then wipe with a wet wipe. You’re right, they can be downright disgusting!

  8. Cocoa

    Hi Tine, may I know how you make such an image? Is it all photoshop? Thank you!

    1. Tine

      Yep, all done with Photoshop! You can use Polyvore too if you like. Or Picmonkey’s collage feature. That works too!

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