PLT’s Carry-On Must Haves

Traveling without checking luggage is easier – plain and simple.


The PLT advisors have been traveling without checked bags since the start even on lengthy trips. A carry-on is really all you need and you don’t have to worry about lost luggage. While packing a carry on it can seem daunting but these products and practices can help make you the proficient and effective packer.

Whether your carry-on luggage is just supplemental to checked luggage or you’re firmly in the carry-on-only cohort of travelers, this list will make sure you’ve got everything you need packed and flying with you. Don’t worry, we promise there’s room for it all (and more).

Carry on Packing List

Here’s a round-up of everything you’ll want and need to have with you on your next flight, even if you’ve checked a bag. This checklist covers the best luggage, tech, and well-being items to make sure your next flight is as convenient and comfortable as possible. We’ve already assumed you’re planning to pack your phone, necessary documents, and your favorite travel snacks. We have everything linked here for an easy one-stop-shop for all your carry-on needs!

Carry-on Suitcase & Personal Item

A good travel experience starts at home with a dependable carry-on suitcase and versatile personal item. These bags should be thoughtfully designed to keep you moving and organized from the packing process, through security, during the flight, and at your destination. Look for luggage that fits within the standard carry-on size requirements, glides easily on four wheels, can take a beating, and allows for interior organization and easy access. This is where packing cubes come into play – they are live savers!

And your personal item? Make sure it’s got enough room for everything you need, plenty of access points, and serious organization so you never have to awkwardly fish around for something inside.


Packing Cubes

Space is prime real estate when it comes to packing a carry-on, so every last inch counts. Thankfully, using compression packing cubes can help you fit nearly double the amount in your carry-on suitcase (don’t forget to monitor the weight) or personal item.

Best Toiletry Bag

This all-in-one toiletry bag is a PLT favorite and will hold you accountable when it comes to the 3-1-1 liquids rule. And it will fit snuggly in your carry-on bag. Plus, the inner main pockets have elastic straps to hold bottles upright, double zipper compartments for easy access the items even when the bag is not full-opened, and transparent sides for providing clear overview of contents making TSA a breeze.

Clothing and Shoes

Limited space and weight limits for carry-on luggage mean you’ll have to be smarter about what you pack. Clothing and shoes will likely take up a good chunk of your luggage space, and focusing on lightweight, wrinkle-resistant fabrics is a must. Even if you’ve checked a bag, always, always, always pack a backup outfit or two in your carry-on bag, just in case your checked luggage gets lost or delayed along the way. Same goes for shoes. Leave the heavy, chunky, only-going-to-wear-one-time shoes at home (or in your checked luggage), and pack your carry-on with lightweight footwear you can wear with several outfits.

A PLT favorite shoe is the Planka Genesis Slide Sandal. Not only is it comfortable, but it’s versatile and can be dressed up or down.



Tech and Gear

Loading up your carry-on bag with essential tech items and gear can be a lifesaver and boredom breaker. Keep in mind that some planes don’t have USB ports or outlets to charge your phone or other electronics, and you may be sitting next to someone who is hogging the one power outlet for your row. We also like to bring my own reusable water bottle. Plus, all of the tech and gear you take on the plane will likely come in handy to have during your trip, too. It’s a win-win




Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition


A comfortable flight is always the goal, regardless if you’re in the air for an hour or 16 hours. Travel can take a toll, so we figure we might as well use the down time we get up in the air to kick back and relax. Simple things like a supportive pillow and compression socks can really take your flight experience to the next level. Here are some travel-friendly favorites to keep your flight feeling five-star, even if you’re in coach.




Health and Beauty

Did you know you can get sunburned on a plane? Taking care of your skin is just as important at 30,000 feet as it is back on solid ground. Flying is also incredibly dehydrating, so you’ll want to be sure to pack moisturizer and lip balm, preferably products that contain sunscreen, especially (but not only)  if you’re a window-seater. Looking and feeling fresh are also clutch after a flight, so we’ve also included a travel-friendly toothbrushing kit and our favorite dry shampoo.


Finally, be sure to pack any essentials you can’t go a day without in your carry-on luggage, you won’t want to miss it!