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  • Writer's pictureAnna Grace

Packing Your Carry-On

Updated: Dec 26, 2022

In this post, I will be talking about some of my recommendations for packing your carry-on for flight travel.

As someone who either over-packs or under-packs, what to bring and what not to bring in my carry-on is definitely still a life lesson. However, I will share some knowledge I have acquired through my experience with flight travel.

The Must Haves:

Snacks, snacks, snacks

This is a MUST have, unless you want to pay an outrageous amount of money on food while traveling through the airports. Also, if you are anything like me, I get cranky or very low on energy if I don't have a snack throughout a day of travel (throughout any day honestly). I recommend having snacks with you, even if it is a short flight.

Chargers and headphones

Place your chargers and headphones in your carry-on, not in your checked baggage, as placing those items in your checked baggage will not do you any good if your phone or tablet dies or if you want to discreetly listen to music, videos, or podcasts, etc. Have them easily accessible as there is very little room to move around in seats on an airplane.

Something other than your phone Bring something to keep you entertained on layovers or the flight besides your phone or tablet. For instance, I always bring a book or journal and even sometimes a coloring or sketchbook.

Something warm

Dress in layers and/or bring a blanket. I usually wear my sweater most of the day when flying. The only time I get hot is walking or running to my gate. I will often tie it around my waist so I have more room in my carry-on for other items. If you do decide to bring a small blanket make sure it will fit into your carry-on or that it is small enough to easily carry around with you.

The Don'ts :


Don't over-pack your carry-on. Only bring what you absolutely need access to either during your flight or your trip. There is a weight and size limit and sometimes shape requirements for your carry-on which often differs between airlines. Research your airline's regulations to make sure your carry-on meets specifications. Otherwise, consider springing for the extra cost of checked baggage. Depending on the airline and any traveler's benefits you may have, sometimes your first checked baggage is free of charge. If it's something you can live without until you arrive at your destination, it might be best to place it in your checked baggage.

Liquid over the size of 3.4 oz (100 milliliters)

If you bring any liquid over the size of 3.4 oz, there's a likely chance it may get dumped or thrown away when going through security. This is a security regulation for all airlines and airports. To avoid this, store your important liquids in your checked baggage and place any liquids in a clear plastic baggie in case of spillage or for security purposes. I recommend purchasing travel-size toiletries to be on the safe side.

Hidden liquids and electronics

TSA will sometimes ask you to remove liquids and electronics from your carry-on while going through security checkpoints. Depending on the airport or your TSA Pre-Check status, you may have to remove those items and place them in separate bins. In order to keep the line moving and to make it to your gate with time to spare, it is best to keep them ready to remove from your carry-on.


Do not attempt to bring any items that could be considered "weapons," such as a pocket knife or pepper spray, and certainly not a gun on the plane with you. Also, check with your specific airline's policies before placing them in your checked baggage. Attempting to bring these items through security will cause delays.

Messy snacks or foods needing refrigeration

As I said above it is a very smart idea to pack yourself some munchies for your day of travel, but do consider a few things when packing your goodies. Consider whether the snack is sticky, might leak, have messy crumbs, or whether it would spoil if not refrigerated, etc. Some of my go-to snacks for plane travel are; goldfish, apples, granola bars, or fruit snacks. My grandmother always packs a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for her flights.

I hope these do's and don'ts find you in time to pack your carry-on and make your day of travel easy and breezy!

Lots of love & safe easy travels - Anna Grace

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