21 Must-Have Carry-On Items for Your Next Flight

Written By

Tate Robinson

Food & Home
Connect With Me

I'm a 25-year old girl based in Denver, Colorado. Kim Collective is a space where I share about beauty, faith, food & home, style, travel, well-being, and everything in between. Thanks for stopping by!

Hi, I'm Kim


Packing your carry-on can be a hassle! But it’s so nice to have all the essentials you need to be the “IT girl” on your next flight. We all get into situations where we wish we had brought certain items. Life is hectic and so much of what happens is out of our control. With a little prep, we can be ready to tackle whatever comes our way. As a woman, your carry-on is your in-flight sanctuary, holding the key to comfort and style! Let’s make your next adventure unforgettable and stress-free with these 21 must-have carry-on items.

What to Pack in Your Carry-On

Let’s get one thing straight: not having all these essentials can still allow you to be prepared and set for your trip. These must-have carry-on items have gotten me through some ~interesting situations~ and have been helpful during my international travels.


1. Hair Clips + Claws

A small addition to your carry-on, but an essential one. Being on a flight with your hair everywhere is a pain. There have been so many times where I’m either dealing with messy hair (and wish I could just put it up!) or I’m over my hair being everywhere. Remembering to pack hair claws eliminates this stress.


2. Lip Balm

I can never leave the house without my Aquaphor or lip balm. Chapped or dry lips can be such a pain, especially when traveling. We tend to lower our water intake on planes and take frequent bathroom trips. This item can allow you to avoid having chapped lips upon arrival.


3. Hydrating Facial Wipes

Keep those breakouts at bay. Make sure to take off your make-up with a gentle facial wipe if you’re in for a long international flight. Let your skin breathe and then apply a gentle moisturizer to prevent further dryness.


4. Travel-Size Moisturizer

Plane cabins are very dehydrating, and moisturizers will help your skin lock in moisture for the long haul. I’ve linked a few of my favorite travel-size moisturizers below for you to browse.


5. Soothing Facial Mists

There’s something so satisfying about soothing facial mists. Not only are they hydrating, moisturizing, and soothing, but they also have this way of calming me down, too. This is a must for my girls with plane anxiety. A bit of extra TLC for your skin goes a long way!


6. Gum

An absolute must-have carry-on item. You must never know who you will run into on the plane or at the airport. Bad breath benefits not only others but also your own peace of mind. We’ve all been in situations where strangers start conversations with you, and you’re worried about how you smell. Being prepared with a piece of gum is essential.


7. Credo Toothbrush Set

This sustainable, travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrush set is a great eco-friendly brushing solution. Credo is super portable and easy to pack in your travel carry-on!



8. Solid Deodorant

Feeling clean and fresh can contribute to your overall comfort during your flight. Deodorant can help you stay comfortable in your seat and make the journey more pleasant for you and others around you. Additionally, unexpected travel delays or cancellations can sometimes leave you stranded at the airport or in transit for an extended period, and having deodorant in your carry-on ensures you’re prepared for any unplanned delays.


9. Roll-On Travel Perfume

After a long flight, a quick spritz of your favorite scent can lift your spirits, boost your confidence, and help you feel more put-together! Whether you’re meeting friends, family, or colleagues, travel perfume can also be a subtle yet impactful way to make a positive impression when you arrive at your destination. There are so many unwanted odors on planes that cling to your clothing during travel. Travel-sized perfume bottles can help eliminate these smells. Plus, they’re designed to comply with airline regulations regarding liquids, so they can easily be packed in your carry-on without any hassle or risk of spills, ensuring you have your signature scent on hand wherever your travels take you.

Quick tips: Most makeup stores will give you free samples. You can also buy refillable bottles! Be careful not to apply any perfume during your flight in case someone next to you has a perfume allergy.


10. Water Bottle

Stay hydrated! The dry plane air will suck every bit of moisture from your body. You need to be drinking at least 8oz of water per hour to fight off the water loss. Your skin and body will thank you.


11. Tampons or Pads

The worst situation is when you feel you are about to get your period and you don’t have a tampon or pad on hand. Always bring one, whether you are about to get your period or even just because. You never know, a friend or stranger might need your help!


12. Journal

Journaling is a hobby everyone should take up, especially women who are trying to navigate relationships, friendships, and life itself. Your journal is a safe space to vent everything on your mind without others’ opinions or judgment. A journal allows you to reflect on your past thoughts and helps you finalize chapters of your life. It can also be a sentimental piece of your traveling journeys where you can add anything from your trip, from receipts to postcards to small memories you want to hold forever. I enjoy writing on trips to keep me keep track of my days and to remember the fun and odd occurrences. My favorite journals are from Lechturum or Papier, but any journal or paper will work for this activity.


13. Mulberry Silk Eye Mask

You need your beauty sleep! This luxurious Mulberry Silk Eye Mask protects your skin and hair from friction damage. Plus, it’s versatile: it’s naturally cool to the touch with a breathable yet insulating fabric, which makes it great for all seasons.


14. Magnesium

If you don’t already take magnesium, you need to! Magnesium has many different forms, but my favorite is magnesium Breakthrough from Bioptimizers. This is a game changer for sleep, especially while traveling, to ease the transition to not being in your room and bed. I have noticed a considerable positive change in my sleep on vacation when taking magnesium.


15. Infinity Travel Pillow

Sleep better than ever on flights, layovers, and on the road! Made from a super soft rayon made from bamboo fabric, the Infinity Pillow is a soft, breathable, adjustable, and comfortable travel pillow. It provides the perfect balance of softness and support for your entire journey. Travel well-rested and wake up refreshed!


16. Kindle or iPad

I’m a book lover, so I had to throw the Kindle in this must-have carry-on packing list! I also love iPads because they’re way easier to pack than a traditional laptop.


17. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Planes have a lot of baggage. You don’t need to listen to the sound of crying babies for your entire flight. Put on a pair of headphones and check out for a few hours.


18. Disposable or Digital Camera

It’s a small addition to any carry-on but a fun way to spice up your travels and pictures. A disposable is fun because you only get to see your photos once you get back and develop them, prolonging your travels’ joys. A digital camera is also fun as another form of photos besides your phone. There are many cheaper options for both, and any will do!


19. Portable Charger

We’ve all been there. The outlet doesn’t work, or the plane doesn’t have outlets. Be prepared! Don’t let your device drain down. Pack an extra portable charger. I love the one by CALPAK.


20. AirPods Adaptor

Even though we’ve gone wireless, plane plug-ins haven’t yet adjusted. Most likely, you’ll find a circular plug-in for your old wire headphones. The AirFly Bluetooth Transmitter is PERFECT for helping you to use your AirPods in flight.


21. Luka Duffel Bag

This is not a carry-on bag for just your skincare. It’s for all of the inflight essentials you might need during a flight! This stylish duffel bag will hold all of the must-have carry-on items mentioned in this blog.


Ready for Your Next Flight?

Packing your carry-on with essential items as a woman can significantly enhance your travel experience. By having the right essentials on hand, you can make your travels more comfortable and ensure that you’re always ready for whatever your destination has in store. So, whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure, a weekend getaway with friends, or a business trip, thoughtfully curate your carry-on items. Get ready to embrace new experiences and make lasting memories!


Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured post

10 Après Ski Outfits to Shop This Winter

Après ski is a skier’s social hour, so you want to dress right for the occasion! Shop these 10 stylish après ski outfits.

category here

my nightly
skincare regime

You can either type this featured post content manually or use a post look-up function in SHOWIT directly. It can also rotate between several posts.

The Latest on Kim Collective

Follow me on



The Blog

We're welcoming new contributors, too!


The Library