If you’ve ever taken a last minute flight on a discount airline, you know that bringing a carry on bag is a cheapest option to go. You can’t beat paying only $30 in comparison with $70 per checked bag (unless you’re even more lucky and don’t have to pay at all for a carry on!). But let’s not forget the
As someone who has taken many flights with just a backpack as a personal bag, I’ve included everything that I take and use when I’m traveling light. Some of these may not be allowed everywhere, so do keep in mind what your local authority allows you to bring in a personal item or carry on.
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Items to Bring in Your Personal Bag (TSA Approved!):
- A book or magazine to read on the flight: No matter how long the flight is, it is always a good idea to bring some reading material while you are waiting at the gate or are in the air. I’m currently reading The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker and I highly recommend it!
- Portable Charger: We both know that you will likely be sing your phone while you wait for your flight, maybe even downloading a few episodes of your favorite show before boarding your flight! Either way, you will need a portable charger to keep up with your charging needs. The one that I am currently using has over 30,000 mAhs, which lets me charge my phone for over week without having to recharge it. I am so happy I invested a little bit more for something that lasts so long! You can buy it here.
- Sleeping Mask: Personally I like to have a sleeping mask whenever I travel – especially on a long flight or on an early morning flight. I tend to nap a lot while flying so this is very useful for me in order to get a decent rest. Buy a sleeping mask here.
- Theft Proof Backpack: While this may not exactly be something you pack while traveling, it is very important to bring along with you whenever you travel. I recently bought my Anti Theft/Theft Proof backpack before my trip to Colombia and it has really come in handy, especially when I travel around my own city! You can find my backpack here or a similar one here.
- iPad or Kindle: I know I already mentioned bringing a book, but having an iPad or Kindle is perfect if you want to switch between reading an e-book to watching your favorite show on Netflix that you downloaded. Having either of these is also convenient as you can easily toggle between reading a book and watching TV whenever you want without having to bother your seatmate(s) to get something from the overhead bin or under your seat. This is also a good idea for introverts who occasionally need time to themselves, as mentioned in my earlier blog post.
- Reusable Water Bottle: If you don’t already have a reusable bottle I highly recommend getting one and placing in your personal bag. This is incredibly useful in the airport so yo don’y pay $8 for a bottle of water, but also convenient for when you are exploring a new city!
- Toiletries: Here is where you need to be really careful as to what you pack. I make sure that whatever liquid products I bring (face wash, moisturizer, etc.) is at or below 3 oz./100mL. I don’t bring a razor with me whenever I travel only with a carry-on or personal bag as it’s not allowed to be brought into the airport (but you can purchase a razor in the airport if you desperately need one). Although, I do bring mini dry shampoos for those days when I’m too busy (let’s be honest – lazy!) to wash my hair while traveling.
- Hat: This one greatly depends on the time of year and the location of where you are traveling to. For example, when I went to Switzerland around Christmas time, I wore my winter beanie hat. But when I was in the UK during the spring and summer time, I wore my baseball hat so that the rain wouldn’t get my face (I’d even recommend a baseball hat during winter time and make sure to have your coat’s hood over it too).
- Shawl or Blanket: I have had several people swearing by bringing an extra large shawl or a blanket to cover themselves during the chilly flight. I have only recently done this, and now I see why they swear by it! You can honestly use any extra scarf, shawl, or blanket as a way to keep warm during a flight, or you can always use it as a pillow by rolling it up (if you don’t already have a neck pillow).
- Extra Purse: I always bring an extra, smaller purse with me for whenever I go on day trips or explore the city. I’ll have this in my personal bag when going through the airport, but once I’m at my destination I will only be carrying the purse around with the bare necessities.
These are all the items you need in your carry-on! As I briefly mentioned, some items may vary depending on where you are going and the time of year. Overall, I think this is a solid basic list of things you need whenever you travel and should always bring on a plane.