Carry-On Luggage Essentials Checklist

Carry-On Luggage Essentials Checklist

So after my stories on Instagram detailing my essentials for my carry on, I thought I would pop it all in a handy-to-use blog and checklist you can use at your leisure for your own trips!

This is just my pre-flight/carry on essentials. I will do a packing list at a later date, perhaps closer to our Japan trip!

But this will stand as a handy checklist so you don’t get stuck when packing and can travel in comfort – well, as comfortable as travel can be 😉

I’ve popped a few reminder items at the bottom too, as I know I add these to my list before I go. Even though they seem obvious, it is always great to remind yourself to be sure you don’t forget your passport and such!


Battery Bank: Especially if you are doing long-haul travel, then this is essential. You don’t want to be stuck to a wall with your plug if you don’t have to, and if you’re using your phone for music and entertainment it will die fast!!

I have a Cygnett 20,000 I feel like it’s not something worth skimping on since you want it to give you several charges before it needs charging itself. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a battery backup if it’s flat.

Alternatively, a really handy way to stay charged is luggage with built in battery banks! You should check out an Aussie brand called July if you in the market for new luggage!

Tech Cable: Of course there is no point having your charger or battery bank if you forget the cables! I know, we’ve all done it right. We seem to be in that annoying phase where all our tech devices have different charging cables – so I carry a spare Lighting, USB-C and Mini USB in my camera bag which comes on the plane with me always!

Noise Cancelling Headphones: Once you go noise cancelling, you never go back! You also don’t realise how bloody loud a plane is until you use these. I sometimes use them to just block out noise rather than listen to anything.

I like wireless because cables on planes are super annoying, especially when you have kids and everyone is piling on top of themselves to get in and out of seats!

If you get stuck or the headphones go flat, not to stress, as there is a cable you can run from the device or plane to the headphones.

I have Bose QuietComfort II (I’ve linked them on Amazon as there is 12% cashback on ShopBack) and so does Jezz. They’re amazing!! We opt for over-ear to lower the risk of losing small wireless earbuds, which is highly likely while out and about travelling and on planes.

iPad: If you are travelling on a budget airline that either doesn’t have back of seat entertainment or makes you pay, then I highly recommend bringing your own device to watch movies.

Especially if you have kids, iPads are great to load movies, games and apps for them to keep occupied. I find as a solo adult though I don’t really care as much, or I can just use my own phone.

If you have entertainment on the flight already, then ditch the iPad – one less thing to carry!

Pre Downloaded Videos: Again, like the above. If you are travelling on budget airlines then use the “offline” video function on things like Netflix and Stan. That way you have access to your videos without having to pay to use their service.

If you have any podcasts or music you want to listen to as well then make sure it is downloaded and available offline in aeroplane mode.

Domestic Qantas flights in Australia usually have WiFi on their plane, so also check your aircraft for that!

Book: If you are a mum like me, then this is the best time you will ever get to read. 90% of the books I have read in the last few years were on business trips for work.

Of course, if you do have kids with you then absolutely forget about it and leave those books at home, because girl, you are KIDDING YOURSELF!!


Lip Balm: An absolute must on all flights! This is my #1 DO NOT FORGET. Planes make your lips and skin so dry and there is nothing worse than cracked lips while travelling. Even my husband brings some!

Toothbrush: Especially on the long haul, this is a must. Some airlines supply them but they are budget and usually stiff as a brick. Bring your own and save yourself the discomfort.

Toothpaste: I mean, it goes with the above right, but if I didn’t add it then you might forget 😉

Moisturiser/Face Mask: This was a life saver for me on my recent trip. I used the Esmi Skin Mineral Hyaluronic Hydrating Booster mask on my flight to the US (only to have it confiscated, make sure you transfer to a small bottle for the LOVE of god learn from my expensive mistake).

But my skin was amazing as where usually it breaks out and gets so dry. I slept with it on the entire flight 🙂 and also use my Esmi Skin Treat every day while away. Keeping your skin hydrated while travelling is essential.

Deodorant: For some reason, planes make you sweat even if it’s cold and you always smell stale (sorry TMI), so keep a roll on hand (to avoid all the drama with aerosols on planes).

Hair Brush: You will always want/need to put your hair up or freshen up on the plane when you land, so take a hairbrush for sure! I’d keep a hair tie or two handy as well 😉

Hydrolyte: Back to staying hydrated on planes, this is another must for me! I take on mid-flight just to keep me feeling good and also keep them handy on holidays!

Baby Wipes: Because you always need to clean something!

Hand Sanitiser: See above. Lol. Public spaces = GERMS


Thick Socks/Slippers: Wearing shoes on a plane is so uncomfortable but you also don’t want to have to put your shoes on every time you need to go to the bathroom. So thick socks or slippers are a must.

Change of Clothing: Back to the whole sweating on planes. If you are on a long-haul flight then you will 100% want to change since you cannot shower on the plane. A spare pair of undies is a must also, maybe a few spare 😉

Neck Pillow: Personally I hate them. But when it’s your only option and you’re travelling in economy, it’s necessary. Just having something to lean on or prop your head up is essential to avoid getting a stiff neck!!

Blanket: My secret tip is to actually wear a long knitted cardigan. Then use it as a blanket on the plane. Then you don’t have to double up. But I have a thin knit from Kmart that rolls up super small. It fits in my handbag that I use, usually for the kids!

Water Bottle: Keep hydrated on that plane girl. Especially so you can down that Hydralyte. But other food and drink I try not to worry about if travelling solo. With kids is another story though!


Passport: I mean, DUH?! But you never know right lol.

Pen: Customs cards! You don’t want to be the person asking everyone for a pen! Be the person who offers one 😉

Itinerary: Especially heading to the USA, you need to give details of where you are staying for your ESTA. You even need an international number to get directions from your hotel?!

I keep a digital and printed copy of all my travel itinerary and any details of my trip handy. Just in case I need them!

Insurance: I feel like this is essential to pop on your checklist before you leave. It can be SO easy to forget.

You might not think anything will happen, but costs can blow out super quickly if you’re in another country. If you require emergency medical assistance or something goes array.

You can currently earn up to 2,000 bonus Qantas Points on a new comprehensive Qantas Travel Insurance policy. Including their Annual Multi Trip Policy, which is a policy that covers all travel in 12-months (60-day maximum for any one trip). That way if you forget, then you are already covered 😉

Credit Card: I like to keep a couple of source of funds on me just in case. I find my credit card is my primary way to pay OS as it has the best rates and conversions.

Travel Card: My Qantas Card also doubles as a money card, which is my back up for funds. I keep it separate to my credit card, again just to be safe!

Cash: I always carry a tiny bit of cash. Some places, especially in third world countries, don’t take the card as freely. And while in the USA I used NO cash. Yhis was only because I could use the card to tip, and usually, you’d at least need a little cash to tip! They don’t like card tipping as much 😉

Valuable Items: I never put my camera under in the cargo, even though it fits in my big bag and it super padded. I just don’t trust it to not get damaged or go missing. I also take my laptop and any other valuable items on the plane with me, just in case!

You might notice I haven’t popped things like food and drink on here. When you travel internationally it’s hard because you likely cannot take things on and off the plane. And plus, it can get super messy.

Of course, if you are travelling with kids then I highly suggest snacks – I wrote about this in a blog about travelling with kids. But when travelling solo, especially international, then I rely on airline food.

If anything, take some protein bars to keep you full, a bottle of water to keep you hydrated and you’ll be good to go!


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