7 Things You Need To Pack In Your Carry On Bag


Are you traveling any time soon? Do you have a list of travel essentials that absolutely must go on board the plane with you? At the time of writing this I have a friends stranded in an international airport with none of the things I recommend on hand. I swear – I tell my friends these things all the time and they never listen, but my readers are often messaging me saying “Thank God you told us to pack this item!

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Before I get into the list I want to stress to you the importance of buying travel insurance on international trips. Of course there is the medical benefit should something major go wrong, and I always have a policy that will pay for a nurse to fly back with me should something really bad happen. But I do think the little things an insurance policy covers are crucial too. Should you find yourself stranded overnight in an airport terminal your policy should cover putting you in a hotel, or getting you another flight home.

If your suitcase goes missing your insurance policy should cover you for replacement clothing while you are away. If you miss your connecting flight you will want coverage too.
I always use Allianz Travel Insurance. There is a link at the bottom of this post, and also some travel insurance information for you here:
Check out the Top Ten reasons why people buy Travel Insurance and see if it is right for you.

7 Things You Need To Pack In Your

Carry On Bag

1. An External Phone Charger

I am a firm believer that you should never get on a plane without a fully charged phone and a fully charged phone charger. We have all heard horror stories of passengers being forced o sit on the tarmac for hours, flights being rerouted and stuck somewhere, flights being delayed or cancelled. There are so many things that can happen (and frequently do) that leave you in a situation where you really do need to use your phone.

Although most airport terminals have places where you can plug in to charge up, I have never seen one with enough power points for everyone to plug in.

I recommend getting a charger that lets you fully charge your phone from dead, at least two times. I have one that is too heavy, but I got my son this one this summer. It is lightweight and relatively small but has 10,000 mAh
Jooswin Portable Qi Wireless Charger 10000mAh Power Bank For Any Smartphone ,Tablet PC JW-WCP111 (Black)

If you are an Apple user make sure you pack the Android charging cable too. Apple cables won’t plug into most chargers to charge them up. You can charger your Apple phones and iPads on them, but need the Android cable that comes with them too.


2. An International Power Adapter

international travel adaptor with fittings for every country. A must when traveling internationally

If you are traveling internationally you will need a travel adapter for any electronics you will be plugging in. From curling irons to hairdryers to laptops to phones there are always things you need to plug in! An internationally configured adapter is essential. Different countries have different wall fittings, so your plug from home won’t fit. They also have different voltage – the USA has 110 volts but most other places have up to 220 volts. This means you will blow your electronics the first time you plug them in if you don’t have an adapter.

I have used this one from the Container Store for several years. It has fittings for every country I travel to, and also has a USB charging port to charge phones with.

3. Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise cancelling headphones are essential for air travel. Block out everything from screaming babies to loud talkers with these Bose headphones

Even if you don’t have screaming babies or loud talkers to contend with, the buzz and hum of airplane engines seldom turns into white noise. Typically it is the noise that keeps you awake for the entire flight.

If you are sitting on or behind the wing (economy class) you cannot get away from the noise of the engines. Even in first/business you sometimes hear it. Noise cancelling headphones block out all the noises that will drive you crazy during the flight.

I always get Bose headphones because I like their sound quality. Or, should I say, I’ve had Bose headphones for years. (they last a really long time!) They always offer Bose headphones in First/Business class, so there must be benefits to them over others.
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series I) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling – Silver


4. Portable WiFi

portable wifi hotspot for international travel

Although there is public WiFi available when you travel it is seldom secure. When you sign on to free WiFi hackers have easy access to all the info including passwords, that you have on your device. A portable WiFi unit not only keeps your data safe but also keeps you connected all the time.

I had been paying $10 per day to have international service with Verizon, but this past summer I rented a portable WiFi unit from Espresso WiFi in Italy. It was fantastic! The service was much better than Verizon too.

Airport WiFi is notoriously expensive, unsecure (and hopeless) and is to be avoided. Having your own little WiFi device is a brilliant option.

GlocalMe G3 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot,

5. A Big Scarf

I have traveled with a giant pashmina for the past 20 years. It is starting to look a little worn now but it has been the best investment ever. It is lightweight, doesn’t take up any room and is really warm. Planes can be really cold and you never know how clean or dirty airplane blankets really are. A few years ago my son opened his plastic wrapped airline blanket and it was full of moth holes! It also smelled really bad. I prefer to have my own pashmina with me.

It also doubles up as a pillow on the plane and a really chic, warm wrap when I don’t want to carry around a jacket or coat.


6. A Change Of Clothes

I actually pack 3 days worth of clothes into my carry on when flying internationally. If the airline should lose your suitcase you need to be able to change into something clean. They normally have your bag back to you in 3 days, but if they don’t you can at least mix and match and wash pieces each day. If 3 changes feels excessive just pack one. It never hurts to be prepared!

7. Healthy Snacks

You never know when or where you will be stuck without something to eat, or something healthy to eat. If your flight gets grounded for hours, makes an emergency stop somewhere, gets cancelled or you are in any situation without food you will be glad to have some protein bars or other healthy snacks to tide you over.

Although I have never had a food emergency, I nearly did. I flew home from Rome on an Alitalia flight a year ago and didn’t have breakfast ahead of time because they normally feed you so much on international flights. On this flight there were no snacks, we waited hours for food and when it came it was like a child’s meal, approximately the size of a Lunchables. I was starving! The man sitting next to me was nearly in tears. He was really hungry and there weren’t even any extra meals on board. He and I shared the protein bars in my carry on bag, which were a lifesaver. But I still arrived in Los Angeles after a 10 hour flight with a banging headache…


Getting ready to travel can be stressful. There is so much to remember, so many things to take care of, so many things to do. I have taken the stress out of travel for you with my printable PDF Pre Travel Checklists.

I use these myself and I give them to my Glam Italia Tour travelers to make sure they get to the airport with as little stress as possible!

If you would like your own copy of this lifesaving stress-buster just click below:



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