7 essentials for your airplane carry-on bag

Don’t leave home without these flight must-haves to make your journey better

Plane flying into sun

Flying isn’t for everyone – but it can be. There’s enough smart tech, gadgetry and general travel accessories available now that any flight can be a personal oasis of calm and comfort. 

Flying is a great way to escape the stresses of the world and with the right kit it can be something you look forward to as a positive part of your holiday or trip.

From noise cancelling headphones to drown out the plane sounds, and that of its passengers, to the right luggage to set your mind at ease knowing everything you brought is safe – it’s all a matter of preparation. So let’s take a look at the best gear for flying that will make your next trip above the cloud-line one to remember.

1. Travel in quiet comfort

Research shows that even though you get used to that plane noise, your brain is still actively working to cut it out. So when you travel with noise cancelling headphones not only can you hear your movie, music, game, or whatever you’ve got on the go, more clearly – your brain can rest more easily too. Yup, that should also mean a deeper and more refreshing sleep on a night flight.

Best noise cancelling headphones 

2. Carry on easily

If you get the right bag for travel, the packing and thinking about what to take is all easier. You can pick what you really need based on space so you’re not lugging too much about the whole trip. Plus you can, in many cases, pop the bag in carry-on meaning you don’t need to wait around to check a bag, collect it and, of course, worry the whole time that it’s been damaged.

Best lightweight carry on cases

3. Travel light but dry

Carrying a jacket is a must on most trips. Even if you’re off to a hot country, chances are a tropical downpour will welcome you, because of course it can. So why not pack a light and compact waterproof jacket so you’re prepared for all eventualities? Just another way to set your mind at ease for the best possible trip.

Best waterproof jackets

4. Travel in silence

We don’t want to labour the point but cutting out plane noise and – of course – fellow passenger chatter is essentially. But if you don’t want large over-ear headphones, or generally could do without music and another gadget to carry then perhaps some ear plugs are for you. These are comfortable so you can sleep but also tiny and easy to use plus they’re often affordable too.

Best ear plugs

5. Keep your phone juiced up

A flight is the perfect time to read that article or book, listen to that album or podcast, catch up on that series or film that have all lived on your phone for too long. But any long flight can chew the battery and you’re not always going to have an outlet to charge from. This is where battery cases for your phone are ideal as they extend battery life without adding too much to your long list of items to carry.

Best smartphone battery cases for iPhone and Android 

6. Arrive looking fresh

A flight will take it out of you however much you sleep, the air con will see to that. But you don’t have to arrive looking like a shrivelled up mess. If you apply the right moisturising cream your face can look, well never fresh, but as close to it as you’re going to get.

Best eye cream

7. Bring your own towel, without the bulk

If you’re backpacking, beach holidaying or just away for work, it can often be a good idea to bring your own towel. That freedom to go swimming anywhere or shower where there are no towels doesn’t need to mean half your luggage space is gone to a towel though. There are plenty of light and compact travel towels that do the job of drying you well.

Best travel towels

Luke Edwards

Luke is a former freelance writer for T3 with over two decades of experience covering tech, science and health. Among many others Luke wrote about health tech, software and apps, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and plenty more. In his free time, Luke used to climb mountains, swim outside and contort his body into silly positions while breathing as calmly as possible.