Carry-On Travel Essentials

Some of these essentials are used for both short and long journeys. For the past few years, I have been on some long journeys and I find that with every recent trip I have something new to add into my carry-on to improve the comfort of my journey.

Passport/Travel documents

Well I tend to keep these closer to me in my handbag rather than putting these in my carry-on but I’ve travelled with a few people who keep their travel documents in their carry-on.

Neck pillow/Sleeping mask

It’s important to feel comfortable during your journey, especially if it is a long one. I use to travel without a neck pillow until about two years ago, I decided to purchase one (since then it’s been upgraded to one of those memory foam ones) and it made such a huge difference to the comfort of my journeys. A sleeping mask, in case you decide you want to give your eyes a rest. It is ideal to block out unwanted bright lights.

Packet of wipes/Pocket tissues

You never know what your day will turn out to be like; it’s always a good idea to keep some pocket tissues or small packet of wipes with you. When I travel, I always have a packet of wipes (baby wipes are the best!) in my carry-on and a packet of tissues and hand wipes in my handbag too. They come in handy, especially after eating or drinking.

Anti-bacterial gel/Wipes

If you’re one of those people who can’t hold your business in for too long and have to use the public loo, anti-bacterial wipes are definitely needed to clean the seat before you pop your booty on it. Not only for that, but it’s just safe to anti-bac your hands every now and again.


The one thing I hate with a passion is travelling and getting a whiff of someone’s BO or sitting next to someone on public transport who smells so bad, I end up suffering a headache until I’m released into fresh air! Whenever I feel smelly, I whip out my deodorant and use it, I tend to get a few people staring at me but to be honest I don’t care. It’s important to keep your personal hygiene under control especially in public.

Mints/Sweets/ Ginger biscuits

Mints are the perfect breath freshener.  If the mints or sweets are peppermint flavour, they can help calm that nausea feeling. I tend to take a packet of ginger nut biscuits or gingerbread men with me as that helps fade the sickly feeling.


There is nothing more annoying than travelling with someone who is playing his or her music on loud or talking on the phone with loudspeaker on. I always carry my headphones with me whilst I am travelling, to block out whatever is going on around me. My phone, for obvious reasons and a camera to snap up some cool pictures along the way.

Pain relief/Prescribed medication

You never know when one or two of these will come in handy. Suffering a headache or got a bit of pain here or there and you are unable to cope, take a painkiller. (I am not a doctor & please read the instructions before taking any form of medication) Also, if you do take medication daily, its ideal to keep your medication in your carry-on. It might be a good idea to travel with a copy of your prescription too.

Pen & Notebook/Diary

Carry a pen that works. I keep at least two with me in my handbag in case I need to jot something down. Yes, I know I can use my phone but what if my phones dead, plus there’s something about pen to paper.

Charger & Adapter or an Extra Battery

Now you can charge your electronics on the plane. Depending who you travel with. I’ve never had to charge whilst travelling, I keep a spare battery with me just in case I don’t have access to a plug socket.

Book/Magazine/Puzzle Book

When travelling there could be a lot of waiting time and sometimes even delays. So, what better way to kill time and read a book, flick through a magazine or test your brain with a crossword, wordsearch or sudoku.

Extra Pair of Clothes & Shoes/Sunglasses

When travelling abroad I keep a spare set of clothes and a pair of comfortable shoes in my carry-on bag. I always think the worst of the worst before travelling. What if a drink spills on my clothes or my shoe strap or heel breaks. Can never be too careful so spare clothes and shoes are a must!

Ladies Little Bag

Oh this is important! Every lady who travels should have a little bag filled with her goods, whatever you use when it’s the time of the month and an extra pair of knickers to be on the safe side. I also fill my little bag with some of my makeup; mascara, lip balm and a bronzer/blusher. Before my plane takes off and when it is about to land, I tend to give myself a mini facial. So, I also pack a hydrating face gel, hydrating mask and some tea tree oil.


Top Essentials


Liquid containers must hold no more than 100ml (there are some exemptions: medical related, baby food, etc) and they should be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag when passing through airport security screening. Well for the UK any way, not sure about any other country. Although, I know in Dubai airport they also have, if not the same, a similar rule.

You can find out more about the UK hand luggage restrictions here:

So, I think I have covered everything I pop into my carry-on when travelling. I like to make sure I’m prepared for anything because you never know what could happen on your journey or what will come in handy, so even if I don’t use some of the items packed, it gives me a sense of peace before travelling knowing that I am prepared.

What do you pack into your carry-on when travelling? Also, if you would like to know more about anything mentioned above, let me know in the comments.

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Sabah ❤

  • Fazeelah Dhillon

    Love that you mentioned ginger biscuits for nausea

    • Ginger biscuits really do help me when travelling.
      Thank you for your comment Fazeelah. 🙂

  • Antibacterial gel!! Thank you for reminding me about this! This Sunday I go away to work in Greece for three weeks, and this post has prompted me to add a few more things to my shopping list that I’d completely forgotten! Thank you for sharing!

    Abbey ✨

    • Glad my list was helpful 🙂
      Oh how exciting, have fun!

  • Gv Caplas

    Hi Sabah! Well defined essentials! 🙂
    With me who loves to travel too, I could suggest that instead of bringing books/magazine which could eat space to your luggage, try to download ebooks. There are lots of interesting books that are translated to ebooks or pdf. 🙂

    • Hi GV.
      Thanks for your suggestion. 🙂

  • Charlene McElhinney

    I found this to be a very interested post!
    You definitely have all of the essentials there & a few that I had maybe forgot about.
    Ginger biscuits though? Haha – you’re crazy girl!
    Thank you for sharing this post with us!
    Kee up the great work!

    Charlene McElhinney

    • Ginger biscuits work wonders for me when travelling!
      Thanks for commenting Charlene x

  • 1 Week Mary

    Great post & great tips, I always love taking a notebook with me just to hot down ideas too, but then I’ll always end up falling asleep instead of using it lol! Great post Xxx

  • Camera & charger, travel adaptor plug, baby wipes, and black out eye mask, are a few other essentials for me. The antibacterial gel is also handy for wiping down your tray, arm rests, window flap and buttons for your tv screen – all of which will have been handles by many fingers before you. x

    • Exactly! Always love to have a quick wipe down before I settle on the plane. Haha!

      Thanks for the comment x

  • This is honestly the best list I’ve seen so far for carry-on luggage, well and truly bookmarked! I’m hoping to finally travel abroad next year after not doing so for about 10+ years so this is the perfect checklist for me, you covered things that wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Pandora xo

    • My list grows every time I travel but I think I’ve covered almost everything.
      Thank you for commenting x

  • Cleaning wipes! They are so underrated when it comes to traveling. There are so many dirty surfaces when you travel that it seems like a no-brainer, yet so many people travel without them. I’d rather not come in contact with something that’s been touched by approximately fifty other people from around the world within the last hour.


    • I agree! They always come in handy for me.
      Thank you for commenting 🙂

  • TastetheTea

    I literally ALWAYS forget a travel pillow! They are so useful on long haul flights!

    Chelsea –

    • Oh no! It really does make a difference though!

  • Great post!
    I never go on long trips without a Pen & Notebook. You never know when inspiration strikes!

    Also crosswords puzzle are great for long journeys.

    • They are ain’t they?!
      Thanks for commenting x