11 Must Have Travel Essentials

Flying both domestically and internationally requires you to bring some important essentials with you onto the plane. My first time flying taught me a very important lesson on what to pack & what not to pack, both in my suitcase and in my “personal item”.

If you have never flown before, then you may not know that most airlines allow you 1 free carry-on suitcase (check with your airline on size requirements), and 1 personal item (again, check with your airline on size requirements). Depending on the length of your trip, and where you are going, then these might be the only items that you need to bring with you, luggage wise.

Now that I have traveled a bit more, both domestically and internationally, I have an essentials packing list that I use every single time I am getting ready to jet-set somewhere. The Travelpro Platinum Elite Carry-On is an excellent roll aboard suitcase. You can easily pack for two weeks worth of travel in this suitcase, and still have room to pack a few souvenirs on the trip back home.

When it comes to my “personal item” that I also take with me onto the plane, I always use the PKG Durham II backpack. This is my all-around backpack for both personal and career use, and it is absolutely amazing.

Now, onto the reason that you clicked on this post to begin with….the 11 essentials that you need to take onto the plane with you….

A Good Travel Wallet

There is nothing worse than having to fumble around in your purse or carry-on for your boarding pass, passport, etc. Which is why you need a good travel wallet, like this one. This travel wallet holds all of your monetary and travel document essentials in one convenient place. No more holding up the customs line while trying to figure out which pocket you crammed your documents into.

Cellphone, Charger & External Power Bank

Every airport is different. So is every airplane. Sometimes, the only source that you will need, in order to charge your cellphone, will be a USB cable. Other times, you may need the USB cable and a charging cube. But in the event that you can’t find a power outlet to plug said charging cube into, you will need an external power bank. So it is important to make sure that you have all three items with you at all times. This external power bank is a great one! I have personally used it for a couple of years now, and it has been a great addition to my travel essentials.


Airports and airplanes can get very noisy. Which is why it is always good to have at least one set of earbuds with you. I personally prefer Apple AirPods because they sync easily with my iPhone and iPad, and they sound great. But I also carry a pair of Skullycandy Ink’d earbuds with a standard auxiliary connector so that I can plug them into the airplane’s headset jack and watch movies on the plane.

Laptop & Charger

While most of us are able to utilize our smartphones and tablets for most of our online work, sometimes we still need our laptop to finish getting the job done. So it only makes sense to pack your laptop and charger, whether you are traveling for business or for pleasure. If you are bringing a digital camera with you, then you will most likely want to have your laptop handy to download pictures to so that you don’t eat up all of the space on your memory card.


I learned a very important lesson the first time that I flew on an airplane… always bring your own refreshments. The flight that I was on didn’t provide any snack options beyond the small bag of pretzels that they handed out, and the limited beverage choices that they provided. So I now pack simple snacks, some gum and a water bottle every single time I fly. Just be sure to leave the water bottle empty until you pass through security. You will be able to fill it up in the airport once you make it past TSA.

Medicine Bag

You truly never know what will happen while roaming through an airport, or even mid-flight. Make sure that you are prepared for motion sickness, an upset stomach, headaches / muscle aches, blisters, etc. I use a small cosmetic bag like this one, and fill it with travel sized containers of Advil, Dramamine, Pepto Bismol, and some standard sized Band-Aids.

Toiletry Bag

Whether you need to freshen up before your plane lands, or you need to keep some necessary feminine hygiene products with you, a small cosmetic bag like the one above is perfect for stashing a few toiletry products like travel sizes of toothpaste, a toothbrush, face cleansing wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, period products, and deodorant.

Beauty Bag

While not wearing any makeup on long-haul flights is ideal, some people simply prefer to at least have the bare minimum on whenever they land. Especially if they are meeting somebody as soon as they get off of the plane. If this is you, then you will want to have a small “beauty bag” prepared to help you put your best face forward. In this bag, I recommend packing a good CC cream, an eye brightening stick, some mascara, some blush and some lip gloss / lipstick (whichever you prefer. Oh, and don’t forget a delicious smelling body spray like this one (just be sure to wait until you are off of the plane to spray it, please).

Warm Socks

Long-haul flights generally mean getting some rest while waiting to land. So you may not want to wear your shoes the entire time. However, you do NOT want to go barefoot on an airplane, specifically for hygiene purposes (not to mention courtesy to others). This is where a good pair of compression socks will come in handy. You keep your feet covered and warm, while protecting yourself from possibly blood clots. It’s a win / win situation!


Catching some sleep on an airplane can be a bit tough, so you should invest in a good sleep mask to keep with you. Plus, you might want to sleep in late if you are on vacation!


One of the most important travel essentials (in my opinion) is a good sized scarf. Whether you are cold, need to cover your head to help block out some light, or possibly hide your nose from the person sitting next to you who has some tough BO going on (I had this happen to me once, hence the scarf now being on my top “to pack” list), a scarf is very versatile and a definite must have essential on the airplane.

What are some of your travel essentials that you “must” pack for the airplane before you jet-set? Please share in the comments below!

About the author
Hey ya'll! My name is Laura. I'm a coffee drinking bookworm who loves to travel, eat, write words and snap photos.

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