Carry-On Essentials for a Long Flight (Say Bye to Lost Luggage Headaches!)

Carry-On Essentials for a Long Flight (Say Bye to Lost Luggage Headaches!)

Summer travel has been a headache for many this year, with canceled flights and lost luggages being a pain for all around. But, if you already have that plane ticket booked, vacation time off, and reallllllyyy need to get out of town, you'll have to pack to be ready for anything!

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Here are our Carry-On Essentials for the easiest long flight this summer!



1. RFID-blocking Passport & Documents Holder

A main hub for all the important essentials is the key to getting through security and checkpoints with the least amount of stress. Keep your passport, vaccine card, credit cards, cash, tickets and paperwork all in one place with an RFID-blocking wallet, like the Grande Marina Wallet (Carmen's go-to) and Kelso Phone Pouch (Karin's Pick).

Both of us swear by these bags paired with a short strap to turn these wallets into belt bags/ fanny packs so you can go about the airport handsfree but access these documents at a moment's notice!

Left is Grade Marina Wallet, right is Kelso Phone Pouch, worn as a fanny pack with short strap. 

RFID-blocking will bring peace of mind to keep your personal information safe. 

Bonus tip: Add a mini bottle of hand sanitizer, small pack of wet wipes, noise canceling wireless earbuds (You can use a wireless transmitter or bring wired headphones for the in-flight entertainment systems), ear plugs, and an eye mask to get some shut eye.

2. Refillable Water Bottle

Fill it up once you pass security so you can stay hydrated while in the terminal and in the air. No need to wait for a flight attendant to bring you mini cups of water every time you're parched in the dry cabin air.

3. Snacks 

Don't skip your meals because your flight got delayed, you have that flight that's a little too short to serve meals but long enough to get hungry, or you just don't want to spend money on overpriced food you don't like at the airport. Bringing a snack from home can tide you over until you land.

4. Personal Carry-On bag that fits under the seat, but fits A LOT

If you are traveling with a check bag, you'll want to pack a carry-on that will get you through the day just in case as many airports this summer are experiencing luggage chaos due to workforce strikes

If you can fit everything into a carry-on luggage, do it! If your ticket doesn't include checked luggage you can always bring a personal bag that fits under the seat and the MB Packing Backpack can fit everything you need for a couple days

Just in case, pack in your personal bag:

  • Spare set of clothes (and something you can sleep in)
  • Mini toiletries set (liquids, gels, and aerosols to be under 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters)
  • Medications (never pack in checked bags!)
  • Valuables / sentimental items you may want to bring, like jewelry

5. Battery Pack / External Chargers

TBH, this is not just a travel essential, but an everyday essential for me! You never know when you might get a flight delay or in a plane circling awaiting landing so it's best to have enough phone juice to distract yourself from the discomfort of air travel, keep in touch with loved ones about plans, and to order that Lyft/Uber once you do land.

6. Moisturizers

Call me extra, but as someone who already has dry skin, I find that on a plane I especially need some extra love. Sunscreen, a light moisturizer, hand lotion, and lip balm can soothe my skin before it gets uncomfortable.

7. First Aid Kit 

If you have any medical conditions you'll want to pack them in your personal bag (never, ever a checked bag). For example, I'm prone to migraines and allergic to mosquito bites so I always pack Ibuprofen and Benadryl on a trip. I also pack Melatonin for red eye flights to make sure I can sleep. 

You know your body best, so pack accordingly if you get heartburn or motion-sickness, find what can keep you as comfortable as possible.

8. Entertainment 

I'm not a big fan of packing large electronics when I don't have to, but I do enjoy having my kindle which can fit tons of books that will last the whole trip. You can also download movies and shows onto your iPad so you don't have to select from the limited in-flight entertainment options. 


Is there anything I missed? I'd love to hear your in-flight essentials in a comment below! I hope this blog post was useful, and don't forget to sign up for our mailing list for more helpful tips. 


More Articles: 

5 Tips to Ward off Pickpockets & Protect your Belongings

Packing Carry-on Only with the MB Packing Backpack

FREE Packing List Download

FREE Travel Planner Download


Karin is the co-founder of Arden Cove and co-creator of the Anti-Theft Waterproof Crossbodies - bags created for women who want all the practicality and safety features without compromising in style. Shop 


  • Arden Cove

    Thanks for the comment, Rebecca! Yes, I completely agree – got to have music!

  • Rebecca

    Depending on the length of the flight I need to have music either on my phone or an MP3 player in order to survive.

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