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I would not, by any means, claim that I’m a frequent flier. There are people who fly several times a week who probably are way more prepared than I’ve ever thought about being. And yet, I know that there are people who fly even less than I do, and they have no idea what to bring with them on the plane.

This came to my attention when my friend had to fly for the first time in 20 years a few months ago – and he literally had no idea what he might need.

Side note – I really hate to fly. Being trapped in a metal tube that hurtles me through the lower stratosphere crammed in tiny seats next to people I don’t know…don’t know if they washed their hands…don’t know when they showered last…don’t want to make small talk with… NOT my favorite thing. However, it is the only way to get places in a relatively quick manner, and as such, I’m down with it.

On longer trips, I take my laptop – which means I’ll throw all this stuff in a backpack. But I really prefer the bag pictured. It is way cuter, and kinda looks like a saddlebag – which makes me feel all like I’m a cowgirl or something, so win-win.

Here’s my list of items I don’t leave home without:


Books &/or Magazines. This one is a little hard. I would much rather have an actual book. Because, you know, you don’t have to worry about charging cords, etc. But, if it’s a small-ish book, I might finish it too quickly, and I surely don’t want to tote three or four around with me the whole trip. Choose your book wisely. Make it something entertaining, but not too short. I also usually grab at least one magazine to leaf through. When I finish it, I just leave it in on the plane for the next person. (The in-flight option is usually good to peruse too, because they are targeted toward major destinations, listing restaurants, etc.)

Cards. I always, always, always have a deck of cards with me. Solitaire if I’m alone…Euchre or Hearts if I’m not.

Leather-bound journal. Because I’m snobbish about such things. And I love the one I have. Even though I hardly ever find time to write anything down.

Writing implements. A good pen, maybe a pencil or two.

Earbuds + a well-stocked & downloaded playlist. Whether it’s on your phone, a tablet, or an mp3 player…make sure it’s charged and doesn’t require data or wifi to play.

Tablet with a movie or two. If it’s a long flight, this is necessary. Some planes have free in-flight entertainment. Some do not. Depends on the airline, the flight time, the age of the plane, etc.

General Hygiene and Medical options:

Floss. I do not ever leave home without floss.

Band-aids. I’m allergic to Latex, so I always make sure I have some non-latex band-aids with me. Nobody needs a rash that lasts the whole trip being all itchy and whatnot. I also always have a few blister packs because I love to hike, and blisters are inevitable.

Cleansing Towelettes. I have a pack to clean hands with, one to wipe my face etc.

Lip Balm. I always have this with me anyway, but flights always seem to dry me out even more.

Meds. Dramamine. Benadryl. Advil. Advil Sinus. (Without fail, I get a stuffy nose on every flight I’ve ever been on. When I can’t breathe, I’m less than pleasant to be around.)


An Extra Hairband. I always wear a hairband because I have thinning hair issues – so I make sure I have an extra just in case. They help with bad-hair days too.

Sunglasses. Sometimes you might even need them on the flight.

Hankybook. “The HankyBook is a stylish pocket-friendly fabric book that offers easy storage, use and unprecedented cleanliness.” They are awesome.

Something to keep you warm. I ALWAYS get cold on an airplane. I have an over-sized cashmere scarf that I like to take. It’s super thin, but super warm.


A few zip-lock bags. Don’t buy the cheap ones, and don’t take a whole box. A few will do. The cheap ones led to my phone dropping through the bottom of the bag into the Virgin River in Zion National Park…trust me on this.

Tide pen. This works to get out stains on the go. Unless you spill coffee on a white shirt. Then it makes it worse.

Charging cords for devices. That’s a given. Maybe a portable too if you have a good one.

Necklace my girlie made me ages ago. I had to fly to NYC alone, and she stuck it in my bag for me to find. It always goes with now.

Snacks. Non-stinky, quiet, yummy. Those are the requirements.


So, what’s in your bag? Anything I’m forgetting?

Drop a comment and let me know what you never leave home without.


  1. Susannah says:

    Yes! Floss is always in my bag, too! Makes a huge difference on a flight!

  2. Ithi says:

    Fantastic on-board items! I take many of the same but the ziplock bags are a great idea! Also I always fall victim to the air on (I recently read turning it off makes you more sickly to get sick) so I’ll bare the scarf idea for future travels, great idea without having to lug too much around!

  3. Melanie says:

    I always have a book in my bag too! And usually a thing of beef jerk haha. Love that wild and free notebook!!

  4. Cristine says:

    I always carry wet wipes/hand wipes. They are good for so many items

  5. Jenny says:

    These are all of the essentials for sure.

  6. Lisa says:

    You have some great items that I don;t usually carry in my bag but might start needing to! Thanks for the ideas!


  7. I had to laugh about your comments with the snacks. Non-stinky is a huge plus! I think I might need your bag, too. I love it!

  8. Shell says:

    I love that you have Tolkien in your bag!!! I also always carry wet wipes for my sons hands and face …

  9. kristal says:

    I need to make a checklist of my up coming trip. I always forget something.

  10. kristal says:

    I need to make a checklist of my up coming trip. I always forget something. when I go anywhere

  11. I really need to do a better job of downloading a movie AND music. I always forget until I’m about to walk on the plane! Earbuds are key…I used to forget those too, or pack them in my checked luggage…I never do that anymore

    • Amanda Krill says:

      Once I assumed there would be a movie on the plane, and there was not. I almost cried that I hadn’t thought ahead. My attention span is like a toddlers! LOL

  12. Shell says:

    I love that you carry Tolkien with you ! In my bag I always keep wipes for my sons hands and face plus healthy snacks…

  13. always hand sanitizer!! love this list!

  14. Perfect! Can we add power bank and Camera ( Point and shoot or DSLR) 😉

  15. Renuka says:

    Wow that’s a very Organised list of things, I especially liked the cards idea, we used to carry that’s without fail during our travels through trains.

  16. Angela says:

    Bringing cards is such a good idea! That would keep me off of my phone!

  17. I love these kinds of posts, because I love caring a bag with everything I need in it. I’ve got all of my needs, wants and emergencies covered in one bag! So, I love checking out what others have in theirs. I like your choice in snacks and book 🙂

  18. courtney says:

    This post is honestly so helpful! I haven’t flown in 10 years and I will be going on my honeymoon soon so I feel like I have no idea what i’m doing. I’m definitely going to save this post for later.

  19. Are you allowed to bring nuts and stuff up the flight? Hmmm… I might just do that next time so that I don’t have to spent the dollars getting disgusting in-flight food. I bring my pills with me too~

  20. Floss and an extra hairband is key! Especially with a daughter who has long hair too!

  21. Oyinkan says:

    Shades are so very necessary. Sometimes the eyes get puffy from naps on the plane.

  22. elizabeth o says:

    Like you, I have a lit of must have items that i travel with and i always make sure to have my international charger converter, extra batteries and all the documents I need. I travel light and a carry on case is my ideal companion

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