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30 Flight Essentials You Should Bring on a Plane

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

what you have to pack for a plane trip

I started traveling with my parents when I was 4 years old, and I have never stopped, so I have a lot of traveling experience. My mother is a super-organized person, and lucky me, I inherited her genes.

She taught me a lot while traveling with her. And when I started to travel by myself, I learned even more. That is why I want to give you all my tips, so your travel will always go as smoothly as possible.

Packing Tip: Don't forget to pack all these essentials inside slide lock bags to keep them dry and all in one place.

Let's start first with the items you absolutely cannot bring on a plane with you, which documents are required for domestic and international flights, and what is the 311 flight rule:

30 Flight essentials you should bring on a plane, what never take on a plane

What I cannot bring on a plane?

There are some written and unwritten rules about what you cannot bring on a plane with you, things that can really ruin your travel:

  • Weapons

  • Sports Equipments (some of them can be identified as a weapon)

  • Batteries (better to remove all your batteries from your electric gadgets)

  • Cheese and Meat (they are allowed only on domestic flights, so keep that in mind)

  • Liquids over 3.4 ounces/100 ml

  • Smelly food (this is the unwritten rule. Keep in mind you can not open a window to refresh the air. Probably the other travellers won't be happy to smell your too much garlic and onion lunch bag)

30 Flight essentials you should bring on a plane, documents to never forget when travelling

What things are required for domestic and international flights?

Well, there are obviously some items you cannot leave at home when travelling. And these are:

  • Valid ID or Passport (make sure your passport is still valid for another 6 months minimum)

  • Valid Driving Licence (even if you are not planning to rent a car, it is always better to have it with you. It is an extra ID, just in case)

  • Travel Insurance (never travel without one)

  • Vaccination Certificate

  • All your Travel Tickets (flights, ferries, car rentals etc.)

  • Accommodation reservation

30 Flight essentials you should bring on a plane, the 3-1-1 travel rule

What is the 311 rule when on a plane?

This is a very important rule to follow if you don't want to end up seeing all your cosmetics going into the bin.

The 311 rule refers to how many liquids you are allowed to bring in a carry-on bag on a plane:

  • 3: 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or smaller containers of gel or liquid (you can bring a bigger container only inside a checked bag)

  • 1: 1 stand for the quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag where to keep all your 3.4 ounces/100 ml or smaller liquids containers

  • 1: 1 stand for only 1 bag of liquids is allowed for travellers.

Tips: As soon as you book your next adventure, make sure to buy good travel insurance in case you need to “unfortunately” delay, extend or cancel your trip. I recommend VisitorsCoverage for short trips and SafetyWing for trips longer than a month. A great insurance company to cover everything about your travel.

*Disclosure: This article contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, I guarantee, if you purchase through my links. See it as a way to thank me and support my travel blog for all the information I provide.

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30 Flight essentials you should bring on a plane, travel with a carry on bag

1. Travel with a carry-on bag:

Always carry with you a carry-on bag, even if you travel with a check-in suitcase. Make sure to board the plane with all the necessary you might need while traveling and some clothes essentials in case your check-in luggage goes lost. In this way, you will at least have some different clothes to wear until they find your luggage.

I always take a carry-on trolley or backpack with me on a plane so that I can have everything I might need during a flight. If travelling to a summer destination for only one week, a carry-on trolley is enough to have everything you need with you.

Carry on essentials to sleep on a flight

compressed socks for travel, travel items to carry on a plane

2. compression socks for airplane travel:

It can sometimes be freezing on a plane, mostly if your seat is near the window (keep this in mind if you prefer a warmer seat). If you are traveling from a hot place to another hot destination, always carry in your travel bag a pair of warm compression socks in case your feet get cold.

These compression socks are very good in case you have a pre-existing medical condition or in case you have a long-haul flight. Compresses socks are perfect for blood circulation, prevent leg swelling, and help against deep vein thrombosis. Fortunately, some don't look at all like medical socks so that you will feel comfortable and good looking at the same time.

I recently bought these compressed warm socks, and my feet were warm and comfy during my last travel.

3. Travel pillow:

I didn't use to carry a travel pillow with me initially because I always wanted to save room in my luggage. I was using my jacket instead (perfectly rolled to look like a pillow, kind of), but then a friend of mine gave me a travel pillow as a gift, and from then, I never travelled without.

Oh my! They are so comfortable. It makes me fall asleep so quickly that I wonder why I didn't get one earlier.

4. Ear-plugs:

There are many kinds of earplugs you can buy, honestly. But I think the best ones are Anbow earplugs which help you avoid the discomfort you feel in your ears while on a plane and reduce the noise so that you can sleep much better.

I tried many earplugs. If you don't like feeling them in your ears like me and are a side sleeper, I am sure you will be very happy with these earplugs.

Carry on essentials to sleep on a flight, travel eye mask

5. Eye mask:

How many times do you end up trying to cover your eyes with your scarf or your hoodie? Well, those can be useful, but nothing can beat a good eye mask. It will keep out all the light, so you will feel like being in a dark room and fall asleep in no time.

Not sure which eye mask you should buy? Have a look at some eye masks here.

Carry on essentials to sleep on a flight, glasses

6. Glasses:

For those who have to wear glasses to avoid being like a blind mole (like me), never forget your glasses at home. Mostly while traveling, they are the best option for your eyes to feel rested. Plan air can be very dry, so wearing glasses can be a great way to care for your eyes.

Carry on essentials to sleep on a flight, sunglasses

7. Sunglasses:

I know you are not at your super sunny destination yet, but sometimes the sun can be pretty annoying on a plane, especially when it hits your eye straight from the window and your travel mate doesn't want to close the window. Sunglasses can save your eyes.

Health & Beauty to take care of yourself

Carry on essentials to sleep on a flight, contact lenses with case and solution

8. Contact lenses with case and saline solution:

I always prefer to wear my contact lenses, but the air on a plane is always so dry that I can do it just for a couple of hours. For longer travels, I have to remove them and wear glasses, or I end up with a very painful feeling of having sand inside them.

So always carry the contact case with a new saline solution with you. Take care of your eyes!

eye spray to refresh your eyes while travelling on a plane

9. Refreshing eye spray:

Oh, these are awesome! They make your eyes feel so much better. They will feel like an eye spa treatment. Try this excellent Refreshing Eye Spray here. You can thank me later.

medicine to take when travelling

10. Medicine and your prescriptions:

If you take any prescriptions, never forget to take them with you in your carry-on bag. For other medicine, I honestly prefer to carry with me some travel medication that I have already tried, and I know they don't give me collateral effects. Like aspirin, paracetamol, motion sickness pills and Imodium.

wipes to carry when travelling on a plane

11. antibacterial tissues:

Before Covid 19, I always had antibacterial tissue to clean my hands and table seat. I know many people advise buying the antibacterial gel, but I really hate it.

It leaves my hands so sticky, and it doesn't really clean. It just kills bacteria, which means that if your hands are dirty, they will keep being dirty. So if you cannot wash your hands with water and soap (that is ALWAYS the best solution), make sure to have antibacterial wipes with you. They actually remove the dirt.

Not perfumed deodorant, solid crystal salt deodorant

12. Not perfumed deodorant:

After a long flight, you might want to refresh yourself and your underarms with wet tissues (I always use biodegradable tissues). After that, a good deodorant will finish the job, but please avoid the scented one. Trust me that your travel mates will thank you for that.

I always use the best natural deodorant, crystal deodorant stone (salt). It is solid (100%), so you can take it with you on a plane anytime you travel and even use it at home.

13. Super moisturizing cream:

While traveling, I always carry all my favorite creams in little containers to save as much room as possible. I would never travel without my favorite creams.

The air inside a plane is so dry that your face skin will thank you for that. For this reason, I never wear makeup while traveling. It is also not suitable for your skin because there are high chances you will sleep with an eye mask on.

You don't want to wake up looking like a clown or a lovely panda bear. For a very good moisturizing cream to use for all your body while traveling, check out the Aveeno Moisturizing cream here.

toothpaste tablets travelling

14. Toothbrush and toothpaste tablets:

You will eat, drink and sleep on a long-haul flight. So before landing, you will need to brush your teeth and refresh your breath. Don't do it only for yourself but also for your travel mates. I always try to reduce the liquids I carry with me while traveling, so I never forget to take with me Toothpaste Tablets.

15. Hairbrush:

Even a small hairbrush will do the work. I always carry a travel hairbrush or a hair comb. In this way, I can carry it with me even while exploring because it is so tiny that I can fit it inside my purse.

You will sleep on a plane, so who knows how your hair will look when you wake up (mine is usually very messy).

16. Pantyliners and wipes:

If you are about to have a long flight, it is always good to have a couple of pantyliners with you with some Goodwipes Flushable & Plant-Based Wipes with Botanicals. In this way, you can refresh yourself and feel clean.

thermal water to refresh your skin during a long flight. essential items to carry on a plane

17. Thermal Spring Water:

A thermal spring water spray is a great solution to carry during your long-haul flight. This incredible thermal water has the power to soothe and soften your skin.

It helps to minimize your skin sensitivity and provides anti-oxidant protection.


things to carry on a plane, snacks

18. Snacks:

Yes, I know I added them as entertainment, but honestly, guys, how many of you eat when bored? I do, and I am sure most of you do it too.

So before leaving for a trip, go to your local supermarket and buy your favorite snacks. I always carry nuts and popcorn because I love eating them while watching a movie on a plane. And buying snacks on a plane is too expensive.

things to carry on a plane, newspapers

19. Newspapers or magazines you have at home:

Tell me you don't have some newspapers or magazines at home that you are keeping just in case one day will have some spare time to read them.

I do, so take them with you and read them on the plane. There are also some free magazines on the way to the gates in some big airports (like in London ones), so grab some.

They are free!

20. e-reader:

The E-reader is my favorite travel mate; I love mine. I filled it up with so many novels that I have no idea when I will be able to read them all.

If you like to read, but you don't want to carry heavy books while traveling, buy an E-reader. It is light, and you can take it with you anywhere. It keeps you company while traveling and at night before going to sleep. Some of them also have a nightlight to read in the dark.

to have with you on a plane, a phone or tablet with movies

21. A Phone or tablet with movies:

If you don't want to take your tablet or laptop with you, downloading some movies on your smartphone is a good option. I have the Netflix app on mine, and the day before departure, I always download some movies to enjoy on the plane.

22. Noise-cancelling headphones:

Do you like listening to music while traveling? I do too. That is why I always travel with good noise-canceling headphones. They are the best to listen to music and watch a movie. Avoid those cheap ones some airlines give you, they just hurt your ears, and the sound is terrible.

cards, travel games to carry on a plane

23. Cards or travel games:

If you like to play cards or other games (in that case, look at these fantastic travel game sets), you are lucky because you have another excellent way to spend time in an airport or on a plane.

Luckily, they make a travel version of the most famous table game nowadays, so you can carry them anytime and anywhere.

power bank to carry with you when travelling

24. Power bank:

Having a Power Bank when traveling is a must. After watching movies and listening to music for hours, you don't want to get to your destination without enough battery in your phone. Have a look at the Power Bank I never travel without.

Clothes you should always have on a plane:

25. Comfortable clothes:

While traveling, comfortable clothes are essential, mainly when you stay in an uncomfortable, little seat on a plane for many hours. Plan ahead what to wear; being comfortable wins against being stylish when traveling (at least in my opinion).

carry an outfit change when travelling on a plane

26. Outfit change:

Leaving a cold place to get to a much warmer one? I don't think getting out of your plane and still wearing winter clothes in the Caribbean is a good choice, so always pack a more appropriate outfit you can wear before landing in your carry-on bag.

A scarf to protect your neck from the air conditioning on a plane

27. A scarf can protect your neck from the air conditioning:

In case the air-conditioning is too strong on the plane, a scarf can save you from getting a cold or some neck pain and in this way also avoid you ruining your travel because you got sick. No one wants to start their vacation with a cold.

Extra items to always carry with you on a plane:

carry a reusable bottle when travelling

28. A reusable water bottle:

I never travel without a reusable bottle. You can refill it up as soon as you pass the security check at the free water fountains inside the airport. In this way, you reduce plastic waste and save a lot of money on bottled water (that is basically just filtered tap water most of the time anyway).

travel insurance

29. Travel Insurance:

This is a must if you want to travel. Please never leave without one. I did it once, and I regret it.

As soon as you book your next adventure, make sure to buy good travel insurance in case you need to “unfortunately” delay, extend or cancel your trip. I recommend VisitorsCoverage for short trips and SafetyWing for trips longer than a month. A great insurance company to cover everything about your travel.

30. Travel Apps:

It was so tricky traveling many years ago without smartphones. I have pictures of myself with my nose inside a city map or a list of places to visit, restaurants, etc., trying to understand which way to go. Now it is so easy that even a child can plan a trip.

Look at CityMapper, it will make your exploration os main worldwide cities easier than ever!

So, let's make it easier for you too, shall we?

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