With the world starting to open back up again, it’s time to get back to our wandering! Along with choosing the best possible seat, Having some go-to on-board gear makes all of that time in the air so much more comfortable. These are our 10 some of the absolute best carry-on essentials that I don’t leave home without – and all of them can be found on Amazon, for that last-minute trip!
1. The Perfect Carry-On Bag
When it comes to carry-on essentials, there is no piece of gear more critical to get right than the carry-on bag. I love a backpack to keep my hands free (critical for those traveling with little ones) and my shoulder from getting sore on the long walk through an airport. This Kenneth Cole Reaction backpack not only looks chic, but the fabric is smooth, so it won’t catch on your clothing. It can carry up to a 15 inch laptop, an emergency change of clothes, and all of the essentials for a long flight, all while fitting perfectly under the seat in front of you. You’ll find yourself using this backpack well beyond your travel days!
Get it for under $70 on Amazon here.
2. The Ultimate Travel Wrap
A large scarf is the Swiss-Army Knife of any travel kit. It can be used as a blanket or a shawl on the plane when it gets chilly, to cover your shoulders in areas where that is required, serve as a cover-up for for a rumpled “been on a plane for 15 hours” look, even serve as a makeshift pillow or sarong if needed. I love this one because the colors are neutral, the fabric is sweat-wicking and it doesn’t wrinkle. It’s also got UPF 50+ protection, so it’s really a traveler’s best friend. I love the black and white stripe, because it looks a little less like athletic wear, but there are a ton of fun colors and patterns to choose from!
Pick it up for under $40 from Amazon here.
3. A Super Comfortable Neck Pillow
As someone who really struggles to sleep on a plane, I am picky with a capitol P about all of my comfort tools. I am a HUGE fan of microbead neck pillows. I find that they trap less heat and are cooler than the other materials, and give much more customizable support than standard foam batting or memory foam. This Samsonite microbead pillow, in particular works as a neck pillow, and unroll out straight to be a lumbar pillow. The cover also comes off for washing, which is amazing, considering how grubby they can get being worn and dragged around on the outside of your bag. Seriously – this one has it all. At under $20, it’ll cost you less than the ones you get at the airport, and will last you way longer!
Pick it up on Amazon here.
4. Insulated Water Bottle
When traveling, a reusable water bottle is a must. I, personally, prefer my water to stay cold, so I opt for insulated versions. The Hydro Flask is super high quality, and large enough to keep you hydrated and your water cool all day. While you do get water on planes, during those long hauls, you might not want to disturb your neighbors with the flight attendants bringing you cup after cup, so grab one of these, and you’ll always have hydration on hand. They come in a ton of fun colors, so you’re sure to find one that fits your aesthetic, and if you prefer a straw top (or if you’re just a little too clumsy to drink from a wide-mouth without spilling on yourself…*guilty*), you can pick one up for under 10 bucks here.
Pick a Hydro Flask up for under $45 on Amazon here.
5. Super Comfortable Sleep Mask
If you are, in any way, affected by light when it comes to sleep, a sleep mask will seriously improve your on-board snoozing experience. The Bucky eye mask might look a little ridiculous when it’s on, but it will block ALL the light around you. It’s also designed to keep pressure off your actual eyes, so it makes for a super comfortable, super dark, shuteye experience. For under $12, it’s a small price to pay for restful sleep!
Get it on Amazon here.
6. Noise-Cancelling Headphones
These are the cornerstone of any carry-on essentials kit. A super comfy pair of noise-cancelling headphones will help you zone out and watch your movies or listen to your podcasts. Turn off the music or movies, and the noise cancellation can give you a quiet snooze. If you’re unlucky enough to be near a fussy baby, they can make your flight a LOT more pleasant. These Know Calm headphones have a super-sturdy build and a stylish look, have 2 levels of noise cancellation, and super-cushy memory foam earpads. I’ve worn these for a 40-hour-long marathon travel day, with glasses, without getting tender around the ears (if you know, you know), and at under $250, they come in at almost half the price of some of the most popular headphones out there.
Get them on Amazon here.
7. Essential Toiletry Kit
It’s no secret that a long flight can make you feel super gross. You’re packed in like sardines, the temperature can fluctuate, the dry air strips your skin of moisture, the list goes on. Pack a small bag (TSA Compliant, of course), chock full of carry-on essentials to help keep you feeling fresh on your flight. Keep it stocked, so you can just throw it in your carry-on whenever you travel. Some of my standby essentials that help me feel fresh as a daisy when I walk off that plane:
- Lip Gloss (a stick, not a pot – your hands touch lots of germy surfaces, so keep them away from your mouth!)
- Face/Body Moisturizer
- Face/Body Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Eye Drops
- Sanitizing Wipes
- Oil/Blotting papers
- Dry shampoo
Pick up this set of three TSA approved pouches on Amazon for about $14 here.
8. Versatile Stand
This genius little gadget will quickly become a travel essential for you. I stumbled upon the iFlex about a year ago, and have not left home without it since. It’s sturdy, flexible, and stores flat so it takes up zero room in your carry-on. It’s coated in silicone, so it’s got great grip. This is perfect for using as a stand for your phone or tablet on a flight without seat-back entertainment, but can also be used as a makeshift hook when needed, and as it’s silicone and heat-resistant, it can even be used as a stand for a hot curling iron. Bend it into whatever shape you need!
Pick it up for under $12 on Amazon here.
9. Portable Power Bank
These days, having access to power is absolutely essential. You don’t want to find yourself at 3% battery on a plane that doesn’t have power access in the seat. This Anker charger will give you three full charges for most cell phones (they require about 3,000 mAh). This is also great to have on hand if your trip involves trekking, or being away from a power source for a few days in a row. It’s sturdy, and slim enough to fit in any pocket. You’ll find yourself using this for far more than your travel days!
Pick it up on Amazon for under $25 here.
10. Travel Wallet or Portfolio
Travel, especially international travel, always requires a lot of documents: passports, credit cards, currency, print-outs, tickets, baggage claim tags, etc. Instead of having them tucked in separately, pick up an all-in-one travel wallet, and keep it all in one place! This Zoppen Passport Wallet comes in a TON of fun colors, and it’s also RFID blocking, to keep your identity safe while abroad – and at under $15, it’s a steal!
Get it on Amazon here.
*Suitcase Daze is reader supported. We may earn a small affiliate commission on any purchase made through the links on the page at no cost to you. The opinions remain my own, and I only recommend products I would use myself.