Carry-on Baggage: What Should You Bring?

Master the art of resourceful carry-on packing with these five helpful tidbits on what you should bring.


1. Noise-canceling Headphones

Cancel out the constant chatter and overall irritatingly loud sounds around you with noise-canceling headphones. With a good unit, you’ll be able to properly relax, sleep, and read while you await landing. A pair of these will also come in handy if you’re not much of a talker and don’t want to entertain the idea of small talk with your seat-neighbors.

2. Entertainment

A gadget like the iPad is of essence on red-eye flights, especially now that most include access to Wi-Fi. Play games, listen to music, watch movies, or even read—whatever it is, be sure keep busy to make time go faster. It also helps that these tech-devices are normally small in size, making it easy to stash in your carry-on, purse, or backpack.

3. Neck Travel Pillow

To adequately couple your headphones and entertainment, you need comfort. A neck travel pillow offers optimum consolation with its U-shape design meant to support head-weight. If the airline offers you an additional pillow, use it as lumbar support on your lower back. Cause of death: Too. Much. Comfort.

4. Snacks

TV host Anthony Bourdain mentioned to not eat the meals provided by airlines on flights—but he didn’t say anything about not eating your own snacks. Bring with you some power bars, peanuts, or fruit in case you get hungry while on board. “You never know how long you could be sitting on a plane or tarmac due to weather and various delays,” Celece Seegmiller for The Spectrum advises. ”I always make sure that I have some protein bars and a full bottle of water (after I get through security of course).”

5. A Good Attitude

Now, hear us out for a second. Sometimes it’s not about what’s inside of your bag as much as it’s what’s inside of you. Boarding onto a flight with a sour attitude is the key way to having an awful flight; it doesn’t matter what gadget, pillow, or munchie you have—if you carry negative energy with you, your experience will accordingly be negative. A positive mindset, however, will attract the better of experiences. Best of all? A good attitude doesn’t take up any physical space on your carry-on. In fact, it lightens the load.