10 Carry-On Items You Should Never Board a Flight Without
These essentials will make your next trip a breeze.
Airlines are the worst. People on airlines? Also the worst.
But you? Feeling fine, because you packed some or all of our 13 air-travel essentials.
Enjoy your flight. Actually, this time.
Travel pillow: TravelSnugs NeckSnug
There is no such thing as a “cool” travel pillow, but the TravelSnugs (an Amazon Choice) packs down into a small bag and features a machine-washable cover. And we prefer memory foam over inflatable.
Travel pillow (gives no f*cks edition): Huzi Infinity
A large, Möbius-shaped sleeper that adjusts to any weird position you’re crammed in. Comfy albeit ridiculous.
Travel pillow (that’s really a blanket): Flight 001 Travel Blanket
Versatility wins out here: when tucked in the included pouch, the lightweight blanket becomes a head rest or makeshift cushion. Take it out and you’ve got a large, lightweight cover (and an extra little tote).
Headphones fix: Twelve South Airfly
A tiny device that allows you to use AirPods or any wireless headphones where a wire was previously required. Meaning our ridiculously nice Bose wireless headphones can finally be used for in-flight entertainment systems without digging around for a cord or dongle.
Sleep aid: Bose Sleepbuds
Not for streaming music, but small, wireless earbuds to mask your outside environment (engine drone, seatmate snoring) with more soothing, pre-recorded sounds. Unobtrusive for side sleepers and a built-in alarm will gently wake you before you land.
Toiletry pack: Travel Dopp Kit
Oars and Alps keep all their grooming products TSA-friendly (small sizes, often solids rather than liquids). This philosophy extends to their mini Dopp, built from water-resistant fabric and featuring a pebbled leather blend handle and an inside storage sleeve. It’ll keep your (small) group of necessary toiletries intact. Throw in one of their caffeinated Wake Up Eye Stick if you’re stuck on a red eye.
Tech pack: Tech Dopp Kit 2
This is Ground crafts extremely handsome leather organizers. This one’ll keep your array of headphones, cords and adapters all in one place. (They apply the same ethos to their grooming Dopp kits if you need something a little larger for your toiletries.)
Cocktail kit: W&P Carry On Cocktail Kit
W&P makes more than a dozen of these drinks kits (filled with bar spoons, jiggers and cocktail syrups), which transform your in-flight mini-bottles into Old Fashioneds, Moscow Mules and the like. New: the Italian Spritz, an aperitivo kit for sparkling wine cocktails.
Travel wallet: Passport Sleeve by Bellroy
Keep your wallet in your pants or carry-on, and this handsome leather sleeve in an easy-to-reach jacket pocket. It’ll give you quick access to your passport, ticket, a few cards/bills, and a micropen that you’ll begrudgingly share a your clueless seatmate (“Wait, customs form? Anyone have a pen?”).
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