Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Carry-on luggage exists in the grey area between checked bags and personal items. This perpetual misfit of airline travel is not without its benefits, though. It’s perfect for those “what if” scenarios and storing items you might want. What should you include in the limited space that a carry-on bag allows you? That is a timeless question and the answer will vary based on your individual needs, but we’ve put together a few basic suggestions. So, without further ado, here’s what to pack in your carry-on bag.
In order to fill your carry-on, you have to have a bag to pack. While we’re not saying that the Rockland Luggage Melbourne Carry-On is the only option, it might as well be. Not only is it the ideal size, it features extreme portability due to its sturdy carrying handles on the top and side, 360-degree rotating wheels, and incredibly manageable lightweight design. The telescoping handle makes navigating concourses a breeze, while the expandable body allows this already impressive bag to adapt to your needs. You can also fly with peace-of-mind knowing that this bag is as durable as they come!
While some planes have power outlets available for in-flight charging, others either lack outlets altogether or place the ones they do have in incredibly inconvenient locations. For times like these, the iMuto Portable Charger is a lifesaver. It features a 30,000mAh capacity that allows it to charge most smartphones over six times via USB. Unlike most power banks, it even has a built-in digital display that shows how much remaining power it has to give. With three USB ports and its huge capacity, this charger can keep all of your devices going strong all flight long.
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you should always be prepared to capture the memorable moments you encounter. The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 gives you the ability to snap high-quality pictures and record mind-blowing video while remaining budget-friendly and surprisingly lightweight. This compact camera is packed with handy travel features, including USB charging. The 3” touchscreen reduces the learning curve for anyone unfamiliar with non-smartphone cameras, while the optically stabilizes lens ensures that your captures will be crisp no matter the circumstances.
With seemingly infinite charging cords, it’s no surprise that half of them end up tied in a knot or lost completely by the end of a trip. The BAGSMART Travel Cable Organizer looks at your mass of tangled cables and laughs. This compact case is perfect for keeping each cable, travel charger, wall charger, memory card, and other electronic goodies in its own little nook. No longer will you have to worry about the explosion of cable chaos when you open your carry-on at the hotel. Instead, everything will be exactly where you left it, ready to remove, use, and then put back in its safe space. As an added bonus, the exterior of this case is not only durable, but also water-resistant, ensuring that your electronic accessories stay functional!
Keeping your credit cards secure, your identification handy, and your cash safe while on-the-go is more challenging than ever. No longer do you only have to worry about pickpockets, you have to be concerned about thieves electronically swiping your data. The Buffway Minimalist Wallet eliminates this risk with its RFID-blocking technology. Not only does this ultra-slim wallet protect your valuable information, it is small enough to fit comfortably in any pocket and made of genuine leather for a premium feel. Every wallet is also backed by a satisfaction guaranteed policy, assuring that you are getting exactly what you wanted.
While carry-on bags do allow you to bring slightly more luggage into the cabin of the plane with you, space is still extremely limited. The Eagle Creek Pack It Specter Compression Cube Set helps maximize that space by providing a stylish yet functional packing solution. Unlike many packing cubes, these can compress or expand dependent on your needs, effectively freeing valuable space. They are durable, lightweight, and water-resistant, making them the ultimate tool for organizing and maximizing the limited space in your carry-on. Once you try them, you’ll wonder how you ever traveled without them.
While we couldn’t be happier that airport security is there to keep us safe, the strict rules and cautiousness sometimes leads to frustration. Don’t have your trip delayed and your day ruined by getting stopped at security for your toiletries again; instead, use the TSA-approved ALINK Travel Toiletry Bottle Set. These clear bottles are specifically designed to meet TSA regulations. They are the right dimensions, clear to be easily identified, and made to be break and spill proof. Simply fill with your own shampoos, creams, and so on!
Sure, some planes offer in-flight movies, live TV, and other entertainment options, but sometimes what you really want is a good (reasonably-priced) book. The Kindle Paperwhite, the latest iteration of Amazon’s iconic e-reader, is the perfect device to keep you entertained all flight long and then some. Much thinner and lighter than the average book, this e-reader is incredibly easy to transport yet can hold your entire home library. It features an easy-on-the-eyes screen, waterproof construction, audiobook compatibility, and a battery life of several weeks—yes, you read that right! If you’re someone who enjoys reading, this is the ultimate tool for you.
Your passport is one of your most valuable assets when traveling abroad—seriously, try coming home without it. As such, it’s absolutely vital to keep it safe and protected while on-the-go. The Shvigel Leather Passport Holder is constructed of luxurious yet durable genuine leather that is available in 12 unique colors. Beyond looking great, this holder is sure to keep your passport in pristine condition despite the constant shuffle of travel. It even includes a money back guarantee and a three-year warranty, ensuring that your purchase is just as safe as your passport will be.
Having an extra layer when away from home is always a good idea. Whether the interior of the plane is a little colder than you’d like or the weather where you land isn’t quite ideal, the Columbia Fast Trek II Jacket is perfect for warming you up in comfort and style. It is available in numerous colors, so you’re bound to find one that fits your preferences, and is constructed of premium fleece that is more than pleasant to the touch. Simple, lightweight, and compact enough to be easily transported, this jacket is the perfect option for those “in case you need it” situations.
The recently updated Expert Travel Hanging Toiletry Bag is the self-proclaimed “best hanging toiletry bag on Amazon,” and we believe them. Using high-quality zippers and reinforced plastic pockets makes this bag durable and able to withstand the abuse of life on-the-go. It is also water and leakproof, ensuring that your other belongings stay clean and dry. With enough space to fit all of your toiletries and even some other travel items (such as makeup), this bag is a great option. With all these features and a lifetime warranty, it’s an undeniable value and a fantastic addition to your carry-on.