What’s in my carry-on? 7 things I won’t fly without!

What’s in my carry-on? 7 things I won’t fly without!

As I’ve mentioned before, most of the travel I do is for work and I’m usually away for around 12 weeks of the year. The majority of this travel is long-haul (i.e. flights of around 7 hours or more). I also travel to multiple destinations in one trip, which can mean anything up to about 10 short-haul flights per trip in addition to the longer flights. Unfortunately, I’m also not one of the lucky travellers who fly in Business Class (ever), unless the stars have somehow aligned and I’m gifted a free upgrade (rare). So I find it’s vital to carefully plan what I’m taking in my carry-on with two main aims: maximising my comfort and making the time pass quickly. I do take quite a lot of stuff with me that I never end up needing, but here are the 6 things that I consider indispensable to get me through all that air time:

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones

I’ve previously reviewed the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones and they’re definitely my top travel accessory for long-haul flights. If I really had no choice but to narrow this list down to just one thing, these headphones would be it. I can connect them to my phone using bluetooth so I don’t have wires getting in the way when I’m listening to my music. They also have a wire adaptor so you can plug them into the headphone jack to watch films on the plane. Because they’re noise-cancelling, sometimes I just wear them on but without music to drown out the background noise of plane engines and children. They’ve improved my flight experience so much because they let me zone out from the plane environment and enjoy my music/film/book with no distractions.

2. Neck pillow

I’ve been thinking about upgrading my neck pillow for a long time bu have never quite got around to doing it. These days you seem to be able to get hold of all sorts of newfangled neck pillow contraptions, but for me a plain old boring neck pillow does the trick. Usually I’ll clip mine onto the outside of my carry-on handbag to maximise space and then I’ll usually be wearing it before takeoff! For me, it goes a long way in increasing my comfort and has the added bonus of keeping my neck warm. I absolutely can’t do without my neck pillow for a night flight – it stops me getting a horrible crick in my neck, which means the sleep I get is (marginally) better.

3. Lavender silk eye mask

This is one of those little extras that you don’t know you need until you try it. The subtle lavender smell is lovely and relaxing, although I can’t pretend you’ll actually feel like you’re in a spa if you’re flying Economy. Anyway, every little helps and the silk feels so nice on my skin. And if you’re like me, and don’t necessarily need or want most of the food they’re serving on the plane but want to maximise your shut-eye, it does the job of blacking out most of the light in the cabin at obscene times of the day/night.

4. Spotify playlists

I can be a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to new technology and I’m often reluctant to pay to subscribe to things, even if they’re not very expensive and really good! Fortunately, my boyfriend is usually up to speed with the latest and greatest things and he’ll often tell me things I should do to enhance my travel experience. One such suggestion was to download playlists from Spotify, which we subscribe to (to avoid the adverts). This has been so great for me, because it gives me access to so much music that I don’t have to pay any extra for. I just make sure I download anything I want whist I’m connected to our wifi before I leave for a trip and those playlists then see me through hours of boredom in airports and on planes.

5. Oversized scarf

When all you need on a long-haul flight is to be comfortable, it’s time to turn to a giant, cosy scarf. Mine is big enough to wear as a kind of poncho in it’s own right, or sometimes I roll it up to use as a normal scarf. Keeping warm is always a priority for my during a flight and this really does the trick. Then, when you’ve landed you can either squish your scarf back into your carry-on or fling it over your shoulders to disembark looking fabulous!

6. Wet wipes

Is it weird to admit I have sometimes used wet wipes to clean the area around my plane seat? I was talking to some colleagues about this the other day and, as we fly so regularly, there seemed to be general consensus that this was probably a good idea. Normally, I’m not a clean freak but planes can be really disgusting. I’m specifically thinking about wiping down the tray table, screen controls and even the screen itself if it looks particularly grubby. I have also been known to wipe down the window when I can see that someone has been leaning on it and has left a charming greasy stain on there… so gross.

7. Kindle

And finally, my beloved Kindle. This was another dinosaur moment for me – I think even my Mum had a Kindle years before I did. My boyfriend bought me my Kindle last Christmas and I’ve used it on every trip since. I love to read and before that I was genuinely lugging real books around with me in my hand luggage! Clearly this wasn’t practical, so I now get everything on my Kindle. The one I have also has 3G worldwide, which means I’ve been able to download books on the beach and once I’m settled in my plane seat without having to be connected to wifi.

Is there anything you just can’t do without when you fly? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. If you’re starting to think about Christmas shopping and are looking for gift ideas for yourself/a fellow traveller, check out my perfect travel gifts!