Airplane Travel Tips

My In-Flight Essentials: How to Build Your Own “Carry-On Kit”

Hey guys! If you’ve been keeping up with me on social media, you’ll know I’ve recently embarked on a 40+ hour journey from Toronto to the Maldives. A lot of people have been tweeting me asking how the heck I am surviving so many hours on planes. Trust me, this was definitely something that took a while to master; my first few trips abroad I was every flight attendant’s worst nightmare; jam-packing my carry on with way more than I actually needed, always getting up to ask for more water or snacks, or dealing with my own suffering of cracked lips and dry skin because of the stale cabin air.

A couple of years ago, 40+ hours of air travel would’ve left me completely anxious and over-packing my carry-on bag because I just couldn’t be without the “necessities”. Not only is over packing your carry on annoying to other passengers and flight attendants, but it’s more of a hassle for you. I can’t even begin to explain how much easier getting through the airport has been since I minimized my carry-on and only brought the true essentials onboard.

Today I’m going to be sharing with you how I make long-haul travel a breeze and share exactly what my carry on essentials are!  These days I take my drone backpack as my carry on, with all of my electronic devices in it, so I don’t have the room to over pack anymore. Thus I put together a small, “carry on kit” that fits perfectly in a small clutch and sits in a pocket of my backpack. This way when I get on the plane, I can put my backpack in the overhead bin and just bring my little kit down with me to my seat; it saves me a lot of hassle in flight and I’m sure my seat partners are also grateful.

Here’s a look inside my “carry-on kit”:


This is a given; I get hangry way too quickly to not always have snacks on hand. You’ll also save a ton of money by forgoing the expensive onboard treats and bringing your own snacks, and you can make healthier choices that way too!

Lip Balm

Airplanes are dry and cabin air is incredibly stale. Sitting in a dry cabin for a long-haul flight can cause a lot of discomfort and chapping of your lips. I always make sure I have some sort of lip balm with me on the plane and am constantly reapplying throughout the flight. My current favorite is the fresh lip balm.

Hand Cream

Dry lips also mean dry hands. Really, aircraft cabins are just moisture sucking chambers, so I try to re-hydrate anyway I can during the flight. My favorite hand cream is by Locctaine; they make carry-on approved sizes and don’t have too strong of a scent, so you shouldn’t bother your seat partner with it.

Eye Drops

Dry lips, dry hands, dry eyes. AIRPLANES ARE DRY. INFUSE MOISTURE INTO EVERY ORFUS. My eyes tend to get very irritated and dry after being on a plane for a few hours, so I always pack eye drops and apply them at the beginning and end of the flight.


I’m pretty sure these are an essential for everybody – whether you’re listening to music on your iPod, watching a movie on the in-flight entertainment system, or just trying to block out the aircraft noises, headphones are a necessity to maintain your sanity on any flight.

Face Masks

This one definitely gets me a few weird looks while on the plane, but it has done wonders for my skin. Sephora sells sheet masks for $8 and eye masks for $6; I usually stock up on these before I travel and do one mask per flight. The great thing about sheet masks is that they don’t require you to rinse or make any sort of mess peeling them off. You simply put the sheet mask on your face for 15-20 minutes, take it off, and rub the excess into your skin. The Sephora brand sheet masks have a variety of different masks for energizing and anti-fatigue, moisturizing, and brightening, so you can take your pick depending on how you’re feeling that flight! I especially love using energizing sheet masks at the end of a red-eye flight so I hit the ground feeling refreshed and awake.


Regardless of the length of your flight, you should always pack any prescription medications with you in your carry-on, just in case your checked luggage gets lost. While I personally don’t have any prescription medication, I like to keep ZQuil in my carry-on kit to help me fall asleep on red-eye flights.

Water Bottle

While this technically doesn’t fit inside my carry-on kit, it’s a vital part of my traveling essentials and if you ever run into me the airport you’ll find me walking around with a 40 oz. refillable water bottle. I highly recommend everyone use reusable water bottles, not only to help reduce plastic pollution, but it saves you from having to bother the flight attendants every five minutes for a small glass of water. Remember, the theme of this article is that aircraft’s are dry – staying hydrated is incredibly important!

Passport/Travel Documents

If this isn’t in your carry-on kit I’m a little confused about how you made it onto the plane…I always make sure I pack my passport holder that holds all my important travel documents, including my passport and boarding pass.

Here are a couple more items to consider bringing in your own carry-on kit…

Comfy Socks

I’ll admit I’m one of the people who take their shoes off on long-haul flights. It just makes flying that much more comfortable to not have to worry about shoes! However, going barefoot on planes is a big no-no. If you’re planning to take your shoes off in-flight, bring a pair of socks in your carry-on kit. I like to bring thicker, comfy socks as aircraft cabins are typically really cold.

A Sweater

Like I said, airplanes can get cold. I always wear a comfy sweater onto the plane even if I’m headed somewhere tropical because I know I’ll be freezing a few hours into the flight.


If you have a red-eye flight or a few layovers, it might be wise to consider bringing a toothbrush in your carry-on kit. This way you can brush your teeth before landing, or in between flights. It’ll help you stay refreshed and not as stressed during those long travel days.


9/10 times you have to fill out an immigration form upon landing, so having a pen handy will be helpful when that comes around. It can also save you from boredom on a long-haul flight; use it to play tic-tac-toe or hangman with your seat mates.


That’s all for today guys! I hoped you enjoyed this look inside my “carry-on kit” and if you have any more tips for surviving long-haul flights, please leave them down below!

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  • Reply Rosie May 28, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I love a good book. One thing I’ve found is that if I book a flight in the morning, I will probably have to get up around 2 / 3 am so I will actually end up sleeping for a good chunk of the flight.

    • Reply May 31, 2017 at 8:38 am

      That’s genius! I’m going to start booking these flights as early as possible now!

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