There are SO many blog posts out there with their ‘must have’ carry-on lists as long as your arm! I’m not sure about you, but what I’ve learned from travelling all over the world is that usually…LESS is MORE!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do like to travel with a fairly large suitcase (which I check in of course), but when it comes to my carry-on luggage, I travel LIGHT! This comes after years of practice. I’ve now managed to whittle all my stuff down to only 5 essential travel carry ons…
Here’s my 5 and why I believe them to be essential!
#1 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Now you may well have read about these bad boys on our blog before in Elaina’s top carry on items (she had WAY more than me by the way!) and, credit where credit is due, she was in fact the person who got me on to these. Noise cancelling headphones are well worth the investment when flying, and in fact any kind of travel. Plane, train or automobile.
A good pair will set you back a few hundred bucks. Mine are Bose and cost around $350 AUD but they were worth every cent. Before I had them I was convinced the ones you get given on planes were ‘just fine’, but after owning a set I can tell you right now I will never go back! The benefits of noise cancelling headphones are endless. From the sound quality when you’re watching a great movie to being able to block out the wails of a screaming baby on board (parents, I feel for you!), to listening to some classical music as you drift off to sleep above the clouds. I really can’t recommend these enough if you travel frequently. Treat yo’ self!
#2 Something good to read
When you’ve had enough of the in-flight entertainment, or like us have seen every movie they have on board, my advice is to always have some good reading material on hand. I usually pick something up at the airport unless I’ve borrowed a good read from someone, which I do a lot.
My go to genres when it comes to reading are personal development and business books. I like to use the time I have on a long haul flight to fill my head with something that will help me in our business and life in general. On our most recent trip up to Cairns and Port Douglas (where I am as I sit typing this) I picked up an incredible book that I pretty much devoured on the way up here. Chapter One by Daniel Flynn is the story of how the Thankyou brand of water, and now food and body products, came to be.
From the moment I opened the book I just couldn’t put it down and my flight flew by as a result. 100% of the sales from this book go to funding projects around the world that help the 1 billion people who are currently living in poverty. The other incredible thing I learned as I approached the counter to pay for this incredible read (after being bemused that I couldn’t find a price tag on it) was that I got to choose what I wanted to pay for it. The shop assistant went on to tell me that people had been paying upwards of $500 for copies! Wow. Super cool. If you want to grab a copy and aren’t heading to the airport any time soon you can buy it online at thankyou.co/chapterone. After reading this book I am totally adding it to our list of recommended reads which will be up on the site shortly.
Another fave of mine to grab at the airport is the Collective Hub magazine, which is always jam-packed with inspirational peeps doing some seriously cool stuff. My thinking is that if you’re going to fill your head with anything, you may as well make it something positive and motivating that is going to help you on your journey through life. That’s why you’ll never find me reading a horror novel on the plane!
#3 Reusable Water Bottle
This one is SUPER important, especially on long haul flights as staying hydrated is the key to hitting the tarmac feeling fresh. Ask anyone who knows us and they’ll tell you that we carry our water bottles everywhere with us! Our favourite brand is Klean Kanteen which are made of 18.8 stainless steel. Enviromentally friendly and won’t leach anything nasty into your water.
A tip that we’ve picked up when it comes to carrying a water bottle when you fly is that the security staff will ALWAYS want to unscrew it and look inside, or worse…they will pick it up by the sippy top that you drink from with their hands – ewwww, gross! So, we’ve learned to take an extra screw top with us that we now use on flights to avoid this.
The lovely airline staff will always hook you up with a refill of your bottle too, so the call for service, smile sweetly and you’ll have as much H20 as you can drink on your next flight.
Now this may seem like an odd thing to take as an essential carry-on item but seriously, I wouldn’t be without them when I fly. They double up as an effective eye mask when you’re on short haul and for those moments when the sun is streaming through the windows of the plane practically blinding you, you’ll be glad to have them with you.
Not to mention when you arrive at your hot, sunny destination you’ll be all set (and looking cool too) when you touchdown. Our friends at VisionDirect.com.au just hooked us up with some fresh new sunnies that we’re loving, Carreras for me and Ray Bans for Elaina.
Hot Tip: If you’re looking for a new pair of shades check out their site. We were gobsmacked by how much cheaper they are to buy online from them than in a retail store or even duty free.
Another tip to mention about wearing sunnies when you travel is that if you wear them through security, they are way more likely to pull you over for that annoying extra screening they do these days. Seems to happen to Elaina all the time. She must look a bit shifty in her new Ray Bans!
#5 A hoodie
Layers on flights are definitely essential. I always take a hoodie so I can cover my head from the air con that will be inevitably blasting out on the plane. WHY does it need to be so cold up there?! Staying warm will also help you avoid getting sick on board and will make for a much more pleasant journey.
Even when I’m only flying a couple of hours, I’ll still always take a hoodie with me. Guaranteed the one time I don’t take it will be when I’m wearing a singlet, shorts and thongs and it is icy cold up in the air. Better safe than sorry!
And there you have it, my top 5 essential travel carry on items. I’ve found that those 5 are really the only ones I ever seem to want or need when I’m in the air. Everything else just sits in the overhead locker. Most airlines are pretty good at hooking you up with a toothbrush & toothpaste and some socks to keep your feet warm so along with my must haves I’m usually all set!
What are your top items to fly with and why? Comment below and let us know what you can’t travel without!