Complete Carry-On Bag Packing List (+ A Free Printable Checklist)

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Complete Carry-On Bag Packing List (+ A Free Printable Checklist)

*Free printable is at the bottom of this post

There’s nothing quite as exciting – or stressful- as packing for an upcoming trip. I must have spent days planning what I would need for our long flight to Australia. The unrelenting fear of forgetting something is enough to counteract any degree of relaxation you thought you were going to gain from an often, long overdue get-away.

It never fails, just when you think you have everything you get to the boarding gate just to realize you’ve forgotten your earplugs – *cue all the crying babies.

For your next trip, help yourself by following this checklist-style guide to help you pack quickly and efficiently, stress free.

1. Form of ID

Make sure your have state ID, if traveling within the U.S. – and don’t forget that passport if traveling internationally.

2. Wallet

You don’t want to show up anywhere, let alone a new destination, without a wallet. I always recommend traveling with card and cash.

3. Phone + Charger

Especially important for those long flights or layovers, don’t forget to drop your phone charger inside of your personal item. Nothing is worse than a long flight without any music or podcasts.

4. Reusable Water Bottle

Never travel anywhere without one. Period. The Earth thanks you. That flight attendant that has to keep refilling your water thanks you. And, as always, your wallet thanks you.

5. Headphones

Thankfully, many flights have started giving free headphones to passengers but it’s still not the rule. Help your time fly by (pun intended) by ensuring you can stay entertained no matter what airline your flying with.

*Keep in mind that your wireless headphones will not be able to connect with the airline TVs.

6. Computer + Charger

I actually prefer to travel without my computer, unless necessary, to ensure I get as disconnected from reality as possible. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for everyone so don’t forget to throw your charger in your bag when packing.

7. Ear Plugs

They. are. a. game. changer- nuff said.

8. Book

Never feel like you have time to read? Maybe now is your chance. Even if you’re not a reader at home I suggest you pack one along in the event you get the urge to sit back and relax with a good book.

9. Snacks

I’m talking to all you snackers out there. Save yourself the money and spare those around you with your hangriness.

10. Layers + Socks

Nothing is worse than being perpetually cold on a flight, especially having cold toes! Even if you’re headed to the beach and traveling in flip-flops, don’t leave the house without at least one pair of socks and one warm outer layer. 

11. Sunglasses

It’s always a bummer to show up somewhere and realize you’ve forgotten your favorite pair of sunnies. 

12. Hair Brush

Especially for those long flights, don’t forget to pack a small hair brush or comb in your carry-on. You don’t want to board a plane with soft curls and wake up with dreadlocks. (Take it from me…)

13. Toothbrush + Toothpaste

You’d be amazed at the wonders just brushing your teeth can do for you during a long trip. There’s not need to wait until you get all the way to your final destination to start feeling like a real human again. 

14. Face Wipes

Same reasoning as above – simply washing your face mid-journey can make you feel like a new woman. 

15. Deodorant

You just never want to be that person. Ya know?

16. Vitamins 

Traveling has a tendency to make people feel bad, but it doesn’t have to. If you take vitamins at home, take them on vacation. 

17. Chapstick

Nothing quite dehydrates your body like flying does. Lips are often the first to feel it.

18. One Change of Clothes

No one wants to arrive on their first day of vacation feeling gross and groggy. Never underestimate the power a new pair of underwear can have on your mood. 

19. Pen

I literally can count on 5 hands the number of times I’ve been handed a customs form with no way of filling it out. Throw one in your bag, it’s a good habit to get in. 

20. Specific to You

Have something in mind, I didn’t mention? We’re all unique in our travel go-tos and quirky can’t live-withouts. Just for you, I saved a spot on the checklist so you can write in your own item.

Click download to get your Free Carry-On Packing Check List Printable:

Not taking a trip quite yet? Don’t forget to pin this article for later!

2 thoughts on “Complete Carry-On Bag Packing List (+ A Free Printable Checklist)

  1. I agree, sometimes the worry about forgetting something stresses me out when packing the carry-on. This is a nice list! Thank you. I also second the headphones comment, I found that out on my last flight that I was not able to watch the TV due to the headphones. Also the layers! I forgot a sweatshirt once and was cold for a significant amount of time. Thanks for putting this together!

  2. I agree, I also stress about forgetting something when I pack my carry-on. This is a nice list! Thank you. I also second the headphones comment, I was not able to watch the TV on my last flight due to incompatible headphones. And layers, I forgot a sweatshirt once and spent a significant amount of time cold. Thanks for putting this list together!

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