Save. Spend. Splurge.

My List of Perfect Carry-On Travel Essentials




Bose Headphones or earbuds

Trust me, you’re going to wish you had some when the in-flight movie kicks in and you have 4 hours to go before reaching your destination but can’t sleep.

I like my Bose headphones especially because I can block out noise with them when I flip a switch.

They’re only a little uncomfortable to sleep with..

Slippers / Thick Socks

It’s gross to walk around a dirty plane cabin with your regular socks. Get some cheap hotel slippers or buy something more luxurious, and IMMEDIATELY take off your shoes and socks and slip them on especially for flights 2 hours or longer.

You’ll thank me later when you don’t want to lace up your shoes again, cramped in your tiny seat to go to the bathroom which is even more gross than you can imagine.

Blanket or Pashmina

I like cashmere pashminas because they act like blankets when you are on a chilly airplane.

Yes, they have blankets they can pass out to you for a fee (or for free) but… ick. Who knows who has sneezed or wiped their noses on those things?

Now that you’re sufficiently grossed out, bring a light pashmina or a blanket and wrap its coziness around you.

Travel Neck Pillow

I ALWAYS end up falling asleep on flights and without a neck pillow I wake up with very painful cricks in my neck. Honestly, this is the a neck saver because when my neck hurts, I turn into someone SUPER CRANKY. It’s bulky and annoying but worth it.

Universal Adapter Plug

When traveling internationally, don’t assume they’ll have what you need. Bring one. It doesn’t take much space.


iPod Touch / Phone

I use this to organize my life so I need it. You might want to bring your cellphone instead if that’s where you make notes about everything.

Moleskine Japanese Folio

This is what I use to keep my extra cash as well as my receipts. You can use a simple envelope or a bag or any other kind of method, but I like the Japanese Folio because it has 6 compartments, and I can separate out my receipts or pieces of important paper in these 6 compartments.

Pen & paper

When your iPod Touch / Cellphone dies and you want to make notes. Or when you don’t have time to turn it on, go through the passcode and find an app to make notes, a pen and paper is always the best.

Or maybe you want to give your details to someone!

Cash (in USD because it’s taken everywhere)

I always have at least $100 in USD because it is accepted worldwide and you never know if when you get there (*cough* Paris *cough*) the banks will be open to exchange your money.

Photocopy of my passport

Losing your passport (*knock on wood*) has to be the most stressful thing when you’re abroad. I keep a coloured copy of my passport IN THE HOTEL ROOM along with a piece of paper of where the Canadian embassy is in each country so that in case it gets stolen or it is lost, I am able to replace it immediately and without much hassle.


  • tomatoketchup

    What brand of neck pillow do you prefer?

  • Vanessa

    I forgot to bring a pashmina with me when I went to Korea and I regretted it immediately. Not only was I pashmina-less the whole time I was there but they were SO expensive to buy and I had like… 8 pashmina-free flights this year. Horrible.

  • Lisa

    Good recommendations! And yes on the slippers/thick socks; they are absolute must-have on the plane. Unfortunately my feet get swollen easily and after 14+ hours of being free in the open they are especially difficult to fit back into my shoes at the end of the flight.

  • Ramona

    My list is a bit smaller: wallet, phone, tablet, DSLR, camcorder, chargers (for previously mentioned gadgets). If we get into the ‘being a mother’ essentials, then a big carry on would suffice, since I usually take 80% of my baby’s stuff with us. And yes, it’s all essential 😀

    • save. spend. splurge.

      For the plane!? No pashmina or comfy socks?? 🙂

      • Ramona

        @save. spend. splurge.: Well, planes in Europe are pretty hot inside. I don’t even own a pash-how it’s called 😀

        I didn’t need these on flights from Europe to the US (which are about 9 hours), the ones we experiences in Europe were 3 hours max, so it was OK. The issue was that in said flight daughter cried for at least half an hour and I sincerely wished I had some very good ear plugs. I am afraid all the other passengers felt the same

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