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The Only 8 Carry-On Essentials You Need to Make Your Flight More Enjoyable

Perhaps you’re the same as me – one who has mixed feelings about airplane travel. I look forward to taking flights, simply because boarding a plane will bring me to the next exciting destination (or bring me home). On the other hand, I don’t look forward to flights – because so many things can happen (Will I reach safely? Will I meet into a kind or rude stranger? Will someone steal my possessions if I fall asleep?) and of course, they all take place only in my mind.

Travel Essentials to Make Flights More Enjoyable

Not sure what to bring on a plane? Here are the top 8 carry-on essentials I always bring on my flights:

  1. Travel neck pillow
  2. Eye-shades
  3. Head-scarf
  4. Earplugs
  5. Earphones
  6. Powerbank
  7. Water-bottle
  8. A small handbag

1. Travel Neck Pillow


A neck pillow is always the first thing I include for my inflight cabin bag. If I were to feel less conscious about how others look at me, in fact, I’ll even pack this in for a two-hour flight. No, seriously, how would you ever guess if your flight won’t get delayed and you’ll get stuck on the plane for many more hours than intended?

A neck pillow will provide support for your head whenever you need to catch some shut-eye and not wake up with a strained neck.

Choosing the right neck pillow can feel rather daunting, in fact. I’ve stopped using those inflatable neck pillows, other than the fact that they need me to do something embarrassing such as blow the pillow up while everyone’s trying to get comfortable since boarding the flight. I also have not tried nor do I think I’ll like a memory foam pillow stuffed into a fixed shape. Give me something versatile like this Bcozzy travel neck pillow, or a simple microbead neck pillow that I can adjust against the back of my neck.

2. Eye-shades

Instead of waiting for the plane crew to dim the lights, or if it was a day flight, eye-shades will be great for blocking light out from your eyes. I don’t love those flimsy ones that some flights provide for free. Instead, I bring my own set.

Recommended:
• SleepWiz Luxiere silk eye-shades – fluffy enough and the fabric is so soft! It comes with adjustable straps.

3. Head-scarf

Trust the Japanese to invent this.

Carry-On Essentials for Better Flights • The Petite WanderessIt’s difficult enough to fall asleep seated upright. Add to the worry that someone might walk past and judge your deep-sleep look – open mouths and drool –, and it’ll be a bigger challenge to sleep.

Specially made for long commute rides designed by the Japanese who always looks so put together in public, simply put this over your head and fall asleep with peace of mind, kinda. (Because my next worry is someone will still get a surprise by this eccentric passenger like a ghost.) Breathing will not pose a problem, and the cloth also blocks out light sufficiently. This item folds conveniently into handkerchief-size, and is washable.

I bring this headscarf for my flights and also used it for overnight bus rides in Myanmar!

Ps: It was purchased at Tokyu Hands in Singapore!

4. Earplugs to shut out noise

There are two kinds I use – silicon or foam. You’ll tend to fall and stay asleep easier when you use earplugs to block out cabin noise, chatty passengers, and the loud whirring of the airplane’s engine. I slept very well on my long-haul flight from Zurich to Singapore!

5. Earphones


If sleeping is something you don’t intend to do on flights, then getting prepared for inflight entertainment is very important. The free earpieces from flights are always of horrid quality whether if it’s for watching movies or listening to music. I bring my own earphones!

6. Powerbank / USB charger

Whether you like to go through photos on your mobile phone in your leisure time, or do some work or type some notes, or just listen to music or watch downloaded shows, it sucks to have a flat battery during your flight. Bring your own powerbank or the USB cable to recharge!

7. Water-bottle


My throat gets very dry on flights, therefore I’ve made it a habit to bring my own refillable water-bottle on flights and trips.

After clearing customs check, before boarding, I’ll fill up my bottle and I no longer have to worry about waking up from throat dryness during the flight, or having to beep the flight crew constantly to bring me water. A water-bottle is the most practical option you can take for yourself on flights!

8. Small handbag

Oops this is for the ladies, especially solo travellers. Have a small handbag with you for your most important possessions, especially your wallet, airtickets, passport, handphone. You can easily carry it with you when you head to the lavatory and not worry if someone will go through your belongings when you’re visiting the lavatory.


There you have it, my most recommended travel essentials to carry on your flight! If you have further tips, do share with me!

More travel guides like this!

Simple yoga stretches to do before boarding a flight
How to travel like a pro even if you don’t have mobile data
Skincare tips for you to survive winter!
How to stay healthy in winter – the TCM way!

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2 comments

  1. Neck pillows are very helpful. The ones with hoodies are heaven-sent too! I always have these essentials with me and trust me, it has made a lot of uncomfortable flights better.

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