15 Things To Pack In Your Carry On Bag

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It doesn’t matter if you are travelling solely with a carry on bag or combined with a larger backpack, there are certain things that are helpful to pack in your hand luggage. Sometimes it is more convenient to have certain items within your personal reach, not to mention keeping your belongings close means they are less likely to be stolen.

As we travel we have developed a rough guideline for what goes into our checked bags and what goes with us onto planes, buses and trains. Today we’ll share some of our “must pack” items with you to help make your life a little easier on your next trip.


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15 Things To Pack In Your Carry On Bag

Ipod: We wouldn’t dream of packing our iPods into our checked luggage. Music is a godsend for long bus and plane journeys as most of the time you won’t be able to go back and get it out of your checked luggage when you get bored.

Camera & at least one lens: While keeping your camera close to you lowers the risk of it getting stolen the main reason we keep our cameras in arms reach is because we take pictures so often. Sometimes you find beauty in the most unexpected places whether that be in the passenger seat while on a road trip or while gazing out the plane window to an other-worldly sunset.

Toilet or tissue paper: If you have ever travelled in a less developed country you will know exactly why this is necessary. Keep your toilet paper close and not only will you be able to wipe in situations previously deemed unwipe-able and blow your nose when needed, you’ll also become captain popular when your travel buddies forget theirs.

Your passport: Keep your passport handy in your smaller backpack for border crossings and transport days. 

Sanitary items: *ladies*. You don’t want to be half way through a 24 hour flight when your period hits with nothing to save you from an awkward situation except dodgy airplane toilet paper. But hey, if you followed number 3 you’ll still be slightly better off if you forgot about this one.

 Laptop: This one is optional considering the size of your carry on and the dimensions of your laptop. Personally there is no way I would put my laptop into my checked bag on a plane. On normal days your laptop could go in either though, same with day trips when it would be impractical to take along and when your hotel is safe.

Gloves: If you’re travelling during winter, or if you’re a sissy Australian accustomed to 35 degree heat, you’ll need to have these close for fast access.

Mobile: Uh, how else are you meant to make your Instagram followers jealous? *Also for phone calls and other old people stuff.

A snack: Trust me you’ll want to pack something yummy and compact away for transport days.

Your wallet: For safety and convenience its best to have your money with you at all times.

Language Dictionary: If you have one of those small lonely planet (or other brand) language dictionaries keep it handy for times when you have to order food or talk to locals

Journal: If you carry a journal on your travels keep it in your carry on bag so you can write in it on long, boring transport days. Same goes if you have a book you’re reading.

Mints: Helpful for fresh breath, making friends and to freshen up after throwing up in a bus toilet (or any toilet really).

A cardigan: A spare cardi or jumper comes in handy on freezing bus trips and to use as a blanket on long haul flights (or a pillow). 

A bottle of water: Keep in mind you’ll have to forfeit this while going through customs so make sure you buy it after you get through security.


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Obviously you don’t have to pack absolutely everything into your carry on bag but hopefully this has given you an idea of what may be handy to keep in your carry on.

Go forth and prioritize!


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