Planning for a trip has many, many steps, starting with deciding where to go, how you’ll get there, and where you’ll stay. But an important part of planning any good trip is making sure you have all the essentials you need when you’re packing—and that they are able to be brought on carry-on luggage. Knowing what to bring in your carry-on will help make the trip into the airport more efficient and much more comfortable for you.
Type of Carry-On Luggage
Getting a carry-on-sized suitcase is a great idea (sizes vary by airline, so check into that or consult your travel agent before purchasing a bag), but an even better option for you might be to put all your carry-on essentials into a backpack. It’s great to just throw it on your back in the airport and while traveling, so it’s multi-purpose, and it’s less to have to carry.
Packing light and using a solid list will help you fit everything in one backpack to avoid checking more luggage (or any luggage if possible) to make you more comfortable and waste much less time. Most planes will allow a backpack or carry-on bag plus a personal item like a purse, computer bag, diaper bag, or smaller backpack, so once you check details on your specific airline, you can determine if you have a little extra space.
What is Not Allowed in Carry-On Bags?
Before you can consider what you should pack, you should know what you can’t pack in a carry-on bag. Certain items are not allowed in carry-on bags because of safety. These unallowed carry-on items include:
- Liquids, gels, and pastes over 3.4 ounces
- Guns and ammunition (this includes BB guns and cap guns)
- Stun guns
- Sharp objects like knives, axes, and razor blades
- Alcoholic beverages over 140 proof
- Self-defense items like pepper spray
- Butane, propane, and fuel
- Baseball bats, skis, and bowling pins
- Tools over 7 inches long
- Bleach, spray paint, other chemicals that are similar
Other items may also not be allowed that are more specific to your type of trip. If you’re wondering if a specific item is allowed in your carry-on luggage, the TSA provides a full list for your review.
Essential Carry-On Items
Once you have checked to ensure that you aren’t bringing any forbidden items onto the plane in a carry-on bag, which will end up being a real security nightmare and costing you more time than you would like to spend at the airport, you can start packing your carry-on luggage with allowed items.
If you can pack light and include all your packing into a carry-on bag, that’s ideal for saving time (and sanity). However, that isn’t always possible depending on how long your trip is and where you’re going. This advice will be for packing light and including everything into a carry-on bag, but your luggage may overflow into a checked bag as well, and these are still essentials.
What items are essential for carry-on luggage?
1. Personal Necessities
The absolute must-haves are your passport, ID, wallet, and any medications you need to take. Pack these first, because if you forget them, it’s not a quick trip to the drug store to replace them. Remember allergy medications and other daily over-the-counter medication as well that will affect your comfort level on the trip because in many places you can just run out and grab some at the store, but not everywhere. Prioritize these above all other packing. This may also include your travel itinerary and hotel and flight confirmations. Do not forget these. You’ll be in a bad position if you do.
2. Choose the Right Type of Bags
Your main bag will obviously be the biggest of them all to make sure all the others fit inside, so it should be durable and spacious enough that you can dig in and find what you’re looking for easily. Some of them even come with built-in batteries to charge your devices. Make sure you also have a laundry bag for dirty clothes, a laptop or camera bag, a daypack or fanny pack for taking around on your adventures with you, and smaller bags for toiletries. Make sure your priority items are most accessible, and everything else can be underneath those.
3. Packing Cubes
This is one not everyone considers, but they are absolutely wonderful. They help you fit even more into your luggage and organize everything cleanly and efficiently. Make sure you get ones that are light and various sizes for separating clothes and undergarments. They should also compress well and may even have a separate dirty clothes compartment.
4. Electronics, Batteries, and Adapters
Make sure even if you are checking luggage that you aren’t putting anything in there that you can’t afford to lose. Any electronics, such as tablets, laptops, cell phones, e-readers, etc., that are expensive should absolutely be carried with you at all times. This includes external batteries for charging and adapters that you may need to make sure your electronics can function properly. Having everything with you will make the flight easier too if you get bored.
5. Airplane Comfort Items
Anything that you need to be comfortable on the airplane, like a neck pillow, travel blanket, eye mask, reading materials, glasses, medical kit, and anything else that will make you more comfortable on a long flight. This might include anti-nausea medication or sleep supplements, depending on how long the flight is.
Pearl Travel Knows About Airline Carry-On Luggage Rules
When it comes to determining what your guidelines are for your specific airline, Pearl Travel will know exactly what you can and can’t bring, how big your carry-on luggage needs to be, and we even have additional tips on how to make the flight more comfortable and efficient for you and your family, no matter where you’re going.
Pearl Travel is pleased to offer unparalleled personal service via our dedicated team of travel advisors! We are able to share an amazing wealth of collective experience and expertise. The use of a personal travel advisor will be sure to enhance your travel experience – we specialize in all forms of travel from all inclusive resorts that are laid out for ease to custom travel that allows for the most unique of adventures. Contact Pearl Travel today or learn more.