Today we’re sharing what to pack in your carry-on bag for an international flight.
We’re taking a family trip from the U.S. to France next month and my travel anxiety is next level. Hi, have we met? I don’t really love to travel so I need all my usual comforts to get me through the long haul flight.
Our travel details include a mid-day departure for a 10+ hour flight, landing in London for a short layover the following afternoon (local time). Barring no delays, we should arrive in Paris by early evening.
Here’s what I’m bringing in my carry-on to France.
Carry-On Must Haves for Long Flights
When I was in my early twenties I was lucky enough to visit Germany and Denmark. At that time, all I needed was my portable CD player (true story) and some Chapstick. Man, my needs have changed. But, it’s not just me anymore either. I am also responsible for having what my child might need while in-flight or after we land.
What Makes a Good Carry-On Bag?
To be clear, I am checking my luggage for this flight. My carry-on bag to France will only hold the necessities I need at an arm’s length as well as tech, entertainment, a change of clothing.
I typically turn to my trusty Stella and Dot Weekender Bag. However, mine is old and the strap isn’t especially comfortable so I purchased something completely new and different for this trip.
Here’s what I bought:
- CALPAK Luca Laptop Backpack ($108) – I bought this backpack in rose quartz. What I like about it was the compartments and the luggage trolley sleeve so that it attaches to my rolling suitcase handle. I do feel it’s a little small for this big trip.
- Béis Weekender Water Repellent Tote Bag ($108) – Which lead me to also buying this bag in beige. It has has a luggage trolley sleeve. It’s quite large and I really like the bottom unzips and has room for storage like shoes – keeping everything separate for the other items.
Things For Your Carry-On Bag
- Passport – zippered travel wallet for carrying multiple passports
- Prescription medications and necessary OTC medication
- TSA approved sized toiletries including toothbrush and deodorant
- Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask Intense Hydration with Vitamin C – keep those lips hydrated!
- Reusable water bottle – my very favorite water bottle is the Owala Free Sip
- Change of clothes (in case your luggage is lost)
- Airpods, USB charging cord, and a Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter
- You definitely need something to keep all these things together too. I like this small tech organizer with its mini compartments.
- Trtl neck pillow – one of the best travel inventions ever!
- Snacks – we usually load up at the airport after going through security. It’s not the most cost-effective but I’m usually not that prepared before leaving town.
What is a Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter?
Ok, this one item might be a huge lifesaver for travelers. You know how most airline entertainment screens have the old round input for headphones? Not great when a lot of us use wireless Air Pods or wired lightning cords with our phones.
This bluetooth wireless audio transmitter plugs into the old entertainment screen and connects via bluetooth to Air Pods or your smart phone. I saw these advertised on Instagram months ago and snapped up three of them for future travel.
A Few Carry-On Items You Haven’t Thought Of
- Compression socks – keeping your legs healthy is super important, especially for travel over 4 hours and sitting upright. I bought two-pairs of Bombas Compression Socks. They are incredible comfortable.
- Tailbone pillow – this is specific to me because I have an irritated tailbone and sitting for any length of time is uncomfortable. I grabbed this pillow from Cushy Tushy and have been using it leading up to our trip and it is amazing.
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