Essentials to pack in your carry-on luggage

If, like most of us, you’ve forgotten what travel feels like, thanks to a global pandemic, a bit of a refresher course might be useful. And once again, thanks to a global pandemic, you might find you need some extra goodies that were never considered essentials a few years ago.

Face masks

Remember when you thought people walking around wearing face masks were strange? Bet you’ve changed your mind now. Pack a few.

Hand sanitiser

Make sure you abide by the volume restrictions, which may vary between international and domestic travel. Or pack some sanitiser wipes then upgrade to bottles when you arrive at your destination.

Ear plugs

Whether it’s to help you sleep or block out an annoying co-passenger, a good set of earplugs is a great addition to your carry-on kit. But don’t just opt for the standard foam plugs (sometimes included in international airline kits). You’ll need something comfortable and preferably designed specifically for flying. For example, the very affordable Otifleks Flier earplugs have been designed to help all stages of air travel – take-off, flying and landing. Made from a thermo-active material that softens with body heat for a great fit, they also feature a unique micro-filter that reacts to changes in pressure to alleviate discomfort.

Lip balm and moisturiser

Aeroplanes have a bad habit of drying your skin, so make sure you have some lip balm and moisturiser to rehydrate your skin.

Phone/device charger

While this could easily fit in your suitcase, if you’re on a long flight, or have stops, you might find it useful to charge your device so you can keep reading, listening, or watching for the duration of the journey.

Wireless headphones/earphones

Don’t be content with the airline offering when it comes to music or movies – grab some good quality Bluetooth earphones that help reduce noise and let you control the airwaves. Quantum Sonic Earphones are a terrific option as they have a 6-hour battery life and the handy charging base doubles as a storage container and holds two charges, so you will never need to be without your earphones for long.

Sleep mask

Rather than rely on a generic, one size fits all (but doesn’t quite) eye mask, take your own comfortable lightweight option like the Dreamlight Ease. 100% light block-out while minimising pressure on the eyes, distributing pressure around the back of the head, and padding around the nose area. And you can handwash it again and again.


As well as your skin and lips, airline aircon can dry your eyes. Some moisturising/relieving eyedrops might come in handy.


If you take any medication, make sure you have enough with you for the flight. Some basic pain relief tablets or capsules are also good to have on hand in case of headaches.


Just the basics to help you freshen up, including toothbrush/toothpaste, deodorant, perfume.

The critical documents

If you’re travelling overseas, you’ll need your passport and any visa documentation. Debit or credit cards to make sure you can pay your bills. Itinerary and tickets – they might be on your phone, but if your phone breaks, discharges or is stolen, a paper backup copy will be useful.

Happy travels!



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