Carry-on Checklist: 9 Crucial Things to Bring on a Plane


Hopping on a plane can actually be an enjoyable experience if you know how to do it correctly. Many times, a plane ride is uncomfortable, boring, and the worst part of an otherwise fun trip.

Preparation is key, though, and we’ve got you covered.

We’re going to give you some ideas on ways that you can prepare to board a plane so that you can enjoy the experience as best you can. Let’s look at 9 things to bring on a plane.

We’ll cover practical items that you won’t want to get lost in baggage claim as well as those that will help you enjoy your flight as much as possible.

1. Essential Medications

Make sure to bring all of your necessary medications and grooming tools on your carry on. Be sure that all of the items that you bring are able to be brought on a plane, though.

Your medications should be good to go so long as you have your prescription bottles. Free-floating pills don’t always go over well in security. Additionally, make sure that items like toothpaste and mouthwash are in containers that are no more than 3.4 ounces in volume.

2. Documents You May Need

Depending on the nature of your trip, you might have to show some additional paperwork when you arrive or at different points in your vacation. Make sure to have all of those documents with you in your carry on.

A lost bag could lead to your trip becoming very unproductive and unenjoyable.

3. Something to Rest Your Head On

You might not want to take up your carry on space with a full-size pillow, but it’s definitely nice to have something you can use to sleep with on the plane.

We’ve all been there with our smallest shirt scrunched up to provide some kind of support for our heads as we fly and try to sleep. Invest in a small neck pillow or bring your cushiest sweatshirt along to fold up and use as a cushion.

4. Something to Read

Even if your flight comes with a television screen on the back of the seat in front of you, it’s never a bad idea to have a magazine to flip through or a book to read.

You can breeze through an hour or two of a long flight with a great book, and it’s nice to have a distraction if the person next to you wants to talk but you’re not feeling it.

Airports typically have numerous reading options for you to purchase, but it might be smarter to plan a little bit and save the $20 you’re bound to spend on a 40-page magazine.

5. Water Bottle

Just because you can’t bring large containers of liquid on your carry on doesn’t mean you can’t bring an empty water bottle. Bring your bottle and fill it up when you get inside, that way, you’ll save money and you won’t have to wait for the flight attendant to come by to get something to drink.

6. Headphones, Downloaded Music

The process of getting access to WiFi on an airplane is notoriously shoddy. It might cost a few dollars to get access and you will probably have limited access when you do connect.

It could even be hard to stream music. So, do your best to download a good deal of music before you enter the airport and have it ready to listen to when you’re on the plane. Don’t forget to bring your own headphones as well, considering the ones offered at the airport are typically no more than a couple of pieces of plastic tied together with rickety wires.

7. Eye Mask

Don’t like chatting on the plane? No problem.

Pick up an over-the-eye mask to use on the plane. You can use it to improve the quality of your sleep and it’s a great way to fend off those passengers who would like to talk your ear off as you snooze.

There’s also just something relaxing about putting a mask over your eyes, listening to some music, and having your own mental space.

8. Sleep Supplements

If you’re a particularly light sleeper, you might need a little help getting yourself down. Sometimes melatonin supplements can do the trick, but they might be a little too heavy for you to effectively wake up and figure out where you need to go when you exit the plane.

The drowsiness that comes from a full melatonin pill can be a little offputting at times. Instead, consider vegan sleep gummies that put you to sleep but don’t have the same drowsy effect.

When you’re taking a flight that could last upwards of 10 hours, though, you might want to go ahead and take the full melatonin supplement. Make sure to check with your doctor before you start using supplements of any kind, though, because they might have an adverse effect on you if you have preexisting conditions.

9. A Full Change of Clothes

It’s best to pack your carry on lightly, but there’s always a chance that your other bags will get lost in transit. When this happens, you’re totally out of luck when it comes to clothes, medications, documents, and whatever else you might need.

If you’re on any kind of budget, it’s a great idea to pack an additional change of clothes in your carry on in case that you lose your other baggage. This can save you from buying new clothes when you arrive, potentially preventing you from doing certain things on your trip.

Typically, an airport will find the bag within 24 to 48 hours if they lose it, so an extra change of clothes can save you from wearing the same clothes for that time or buying entirely new ones.

Need More Things to Bring on a Plane?

Hopefully, our discussion of things to bring on a plane has given you a few ideas to work with on your next trip. There may be a little more for you to think about, though, and we’re here to help.

Explore our site for more ideas and insights into lifestyle, travel, and whatever else you might be looking for!


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