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8 Essential Items You Need in Your Carry On Bag

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Most people pack, with great care, for an international trip. The right clothes, the right accessories, toiletries etc. However, there’s one piece of luggage that needs equal (if not more) attention – your carry on bag.

Your Carry on bag includes everything you need, at a moment’s notice. Which is why you need to pack more than just your wallet, passport and phone.

We’re now going to guide you through the 8 of essential things you need to carry, in your carry on bag :

1. ID and money

This one is the easiest and most obvious choice. Keep your wallet and any form of valid identification (drivers licence, pan card, etc.)  with you in your carry on. You might feel like your passport is sufficient. But it’s always good to have a backup.

Secondly, your money – any foreign currency, or your forex card should be kept close to you at any point. It can be equally disastrous to lose your money abroad. Keep it close to you.

Carry On Bag

2. Medication

If you’re on a daily prescription of any sort of medication, include it in your carry on. Pack a larger version of this in your luggage but keep a small kit of the medication you need in your bag. You can also include your prescription.

Don’t just pack medicines for the duration of the flight. If your luggage is lost, it might take days or weeks before you get it back. In that time, you’ll need your medication. Keep a buffer amount, just until the time you can locate a clinic and a pharmacy.

Must read: 8 Ways to Protect Your Valuables on an International Trip


As we’ve mentioned previously, your wallet, passport and ID are extremely important. But we’re taking it one step further – keep all the documents you need for the trip. This includes any tickets – flight tickets, concert tickets etc. – any invitations or important addresses you might need.

Go through your documents. Is there anything that can’t be saved on your phone? Take a printout of that document and keep it in your carry-on. You can never be too safe!

4. Chargers

These days, we cannot go anywhere without our phones. And while batteries might be created with longer lives, they’re not infinite. Carry your charger so you don’t need to worry about your battery midway through the trip.

This can be extended towards laptops, tablets and e-readers as well. For those long flights, stay charged!

Carry On Bag

5. Entertainment

It’s a long wait at the airport, coupled with a long flight and maybe even a layover. Unless you’re okay with taking in the sights and sounds around you, it’s smart to keep some entertainment on hand.

This can include a laptop, kindle, phones, tablets or even a book. Depending on the size, carry an appropriate bag that can handle the weight of a laptop and that is comfortable to carry.

6. Valuables and Breakables

Jewellery, camera, laptops or any luxury items should be kept in your carry-on. Although airport security is getting stricter by the day, incidents of theft still do happen. If you’ve spent a significant amount of money on something, keep it in your carry-on.

Secondly, if you’re carrying anything that’s breakable or fragile, keep it with you. Luggage handlers are not known for being gentle. Any mishandling of your luggage can result in fragile items being damaged.

Carry On Bag

7. Toiletries and a change of clothes

Stepping off the plan, you can feel wrinkled and unclean after a long trip. That’s why you need to ensure that you keep airline-approved sizes of toothpaste, a toothbrush and wet wipes in your carry-on. That way, you can freshen up before stepping out of the airport and start your trip with a clean slate.

A change of clothes comes in handy if your flight has been cancelled, delayed or after a long layover. In case of your luggage is stolen, you’ll also have a clean set of clothes and underwear to change into. This will save you the trouble of rushing out to buy a new set of clothes and toiletries.

Also read: Tips For Money Management While Travelling Abroad

8. Snacks

It’s going to be a long trip and while you’re keeping your mind entertained, your stomach needs attention too. Unfortunately, food at the airport or on the plane can get quite expensive. Why waste your travel money? Carry biscuits, fruits or something crunchy to reduce any hunger during the trip.

As long as its wrapped and non-liquid, it will pass through airport security. Do make sure you finish any snack items or food before you step off the plan. You will not be allowed to carry it outside and you might be charged a fine.

Above everything else, get travel insurance.

Finally, the reason you need to take these precautions is due to the fact that luggage can be mishandled, stolen or lost. So as a final precaution, arrange for travel insurance before your trip. This way, if your luggage is missing, you will be covered by your insurance.

Check out Thomas Cook’s options for different types of travel insurance.

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