International Flying Carry On Guide

Since I was a little girl, the airport was such a magical place full of excitement, adventure and lots of fun people watching. Plus it meant we were going someplace fun. But after more than a couple of delayed flights, sleeping in the airport, misplaced bags, and of course being sat being in the middle of the snorer on one side and the arm rest hog on the other, the magic sort of wears off.

With International Flying, you may be adding several more hours of flight time, cramped leg space and for me, it can be very hard to fall asleep on those over night flights.

However, there are still some things I look forward to: Ginger Ale is my favorite thing to drink on an airplane, I don’t know why, but it just tastes better 30,000 feet up in the air. International flights usually have free entertainment to help pass the time and on most planes you get your own TV. They serve free meals and depending on the airline, they are usually pretty good. Bags are usually free and some airlines give you goodies for the flight like a mini toothbrush, an eye mask, slippers and more.

Wanderlust is in my blood and if you are like me, you are always itching to catch a flight and go on an adventure. But before I can even start my exploring, it is important for me to start my trip out right. For me, it all starts in my carry-on. I try not to overpack (emphasis on try) but I do have essentials that I must have. So whether this is your first trip across the pond or your a seasoned traveler, here are some of my go-tos for my carry-on that might help you on your next flight. Hope to see you in the friendly skies…


1. Passport and Passport Cover– It is so important to have your passport close to you while traveling internationally. They won’t let you in the country without it! I also love a cute cover, it helps to protect while helping you dress to impress.

2. Guide Book to where you are going- I love DK Eyewitness Travel Books. They are easy to read, have great tips and guides and most of them have pull out maps! On our flights, I love reading about the special places we should go, circle and star important facts, and get familiar with information I may need as soon as I land. They are also very helpful in telling you the prices of places including restaurants and shops and what guided tours to take. In the front pages, each book gives you run down of the country you are traveling to, including where to stay, how the culture is and tips for traveling. I can’t say enough good things about these books.

3. A Camera – This is my Nikon D700. I take it most everywhere with me because I am a photographer and I feel lost without it. Even if you don’t have a big camera like this, I would suggest carrying your point and shoot camera with you because you never know what you will see before you get your bags!

4. A Scarf- I always get cold on planes and some planes don’t hand out pillows anymore for hygienic reasons. A scarf comes in handy for when I am cold and also for when I need a pillow. Depending on where your traveling too, it also might come in handy when you land.

5. GUM and a Protein Bar – This is essential! Not just for bad breath, but if you ever get ear aches from the pressure from taking off and landing, the gym will help your poor ears out. (If you forget gum, ask the flight attendant for some ice to chew). A protein bar is always good to have inflight as well. You may not like the food on the flight or find yourself really hungry in between meals. The last flight we had, we went about 7 hours without eating and that protein bar goes a long ways.

6. A Book- Reading helps me pass the time but also helps me get sleepy for those long flights. This is the book I am currently reading and I highly suggest it. For really long trips, I do tend to read more on a digital device but nothing really beats an actual book you can hold.

7. Crosswords or any Game- Having a fun game definitely helps pass the time. Crosswords are my jam and this Black and White Sunday Edition is one of my favorites!

8. iPad or Tablets- I own an iPad and love it for travel. We watch movies, tv shows, play games, read and import pictures onto them. Unless I am taking my laptop for editing, I no longer need to cart my laptop around which helps cut down on weight. It also helps for the pesky long layovers you may have.

9. Lotion, chap-stick and Natural Sleep Aid– Flying can really dry out your skin and lips with all the air circulation. I love these natural products. The sleep aid also comes in handy for me when I am trying to fall asleep and for jet lag after we land. Because it’s Natural, it’s not habit forming and you don’t have that sleepy after feeling.

10. Noise canceling earbuds– These are little miracles for your ears. They block out any noise around you while you are trying to sleep, read, or listen to your movie. These ones from Skull Candy are amazing and you can control the volume on the cord.

We hope this guide helps you on your next adventure! Do you have any good carry on items we just can’t miss out on? Let us know!

About the Author


Emilie is a Colorado Mountain girl who has a love for all things creative. While her background is capturing everyday moments through photography and designing pretty things for every day, she has a wanderlust spirit. Bitten by the travel bug at a young age, Emilie and her husband like to get lost in cities exploring, eating, and experiencing what that culture has to offer. You can usually find her drinking peppermint tea, snuggling her puggles, and editing her last travel photos.

Reach Her At: Website ~ Instagram ~ Facebook


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