Think back to your last travel adventure. Was there an item in your carry-on that you never used? What didn’t you think to bring that you wish you had?
We asked six travellers what they carry in their own carry-ons.
- Bob works in the travel industry, flying all over the world, often on long-haul flights.
- David is a computer consultant, who has worked in England, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Denmark and the U.S.
- Kate works in the financial services industry – in large part to fund her travel habit.
- Robert works for a pharmaceutical company and travels both for business and pleasure.
- April is a self-employed mother of a six-year-old who keeps her busy both on and off flights.
- Jonathan grew up travelling and now travels often for business. He doesn’t leave home without his electronics.
We used their tips to build our very own comprehensive carry-on checklist.
The ultimate carry-on list
- Travel documents (passport, tickets, boarding passes)
- Some local currency to get you out of the airport, and for tips and snacks
- A bottle of water (purchased after security) and a snack
- Prescription medications, in their original prescription containers
- A pen, for filling in luggage tags and customs information
Kate recommends: “I know I’ll always have my travel docs in my carry-on, so I keep a few things with them so they’re handy: my parking stub and parking spot location; the contact info for the car or driver meeting me at my destination; and the name, address and phone number of my hotel.”
The entertainment items:
- A book or magazine
- Destination travel guide
Bob recommends: “Remember to put your reading glasses in your carry-on.”
- A pen and notebook
Robert recommends: “Instead of a notebook, I take sticky notes, which are smaller and lighter.”
- Ear buds or headphones (even if you don’t carry electronics, so you can use your own for the in-flight entertainment system)
- Phone and/or tablet
- Phone and tablet charger
Robert recommends: “Most planes and hotels have a USB charge point these days; take your charge cord, but pack the block in your checked baggage.”
The business essentials
- Laptop and charger
- Wireless mouse
- USB stick
Jonathan recommends: “Don’t forget extra batteries for your portable mouse.”
David recommends: “I own my own business, so I take business cards along; when fellow business travellers ask what I do for a living, they often ask for one.”
The comforts of home:
- Tooth brush and travel-size toothpaste or travel-size mouthwash
- Travel-size deodorant for overnight flights
- Lip balm
- Gum or mints
- Ear plugs
- Sleep mask
- Advil or Tylenol and Gravol
- Neck pillow
- Hand sanitizer
Kate recommends: “On long flights, I change out of my shoes, into flip flops or anti-compression socks for the flight”
April recommends: “When I travel with my six-year-old, I carry markers and pens, and a blanket so he can get comfy.”
The “just in case my luggage gets lost” items:
- Change of socks and underwear
Robert recommends: “Wear shoes that are versatile (weather and events) in case your luggage is delayed.”
Make your own carry-on list
Copy the items from this list that you want to carry-on. Save the list on your computer so your carry-on is complete every time.