What can you take on an airplane? Sneaky hand luggage essentials

You can get away with more than you think! Hand luggage essentials
Have you nailed your carry on bag essentials? (Photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa/Unsplash)

Can you manage a week’s trip with only a carry-on bag? I’m finally there. Yes, I’m always editing out contents, but I do have several tried and true favourites. I’ll be sharing those on BT Calgary today – tune in around 7:50 a.m. to watch. Besides duct tape, clothes pins and other weird travel items, these are my hand luggage essentials.

What can you take on an airplane? Sneaky hand luggage essentials
The Huz got a sneaky pic of me and my trusty Travelpro Crew 11 charging my iPhone before our flight to Jamaica.

Best carry-on suitcase

First up – which carry on bag should you be using? You need a bag that’s lightweight, ideally has those 360 wheels and fits in even the smallest of overhead bins. You also want convenience. Has it ever annoyed you not being able to nab an electrical outlet near your departure gate? Now suitcases are built with battery packs inside luggage allowing you to charging electronics while on the go. I got this one at Hudson Bay. It’s the Travelpro Crew 11. Unlike some smart luggage, this one has a removable battery pack. Some American airlines won’t let you fly with smart bags that contain non-removable lithium batteries. This one is removable, so you’re safe there. The bag also expands and I packed way more into it than I ever thought possible.

poppy barley backpack
This stylish slim backpack takes you from the plane to the boardroom, plus has a strap to make it look more purse like.

For your second carry-on item, go for a luxe backpack. Mine from Poppy Barley doubles as a purse, unfortunately fits your laptop, plus has room for a whole host of other essentials. I say unfortunately because The Huz is trying to highjack it. But that’s OK, because after my book officially hit the Canadian bestseller list, I splurged on this awesome purse from Poppy Barley. It was on my list of 18 for 2018 and it ALSO fits MY laptop.

purse breifcase
Just in case you wanted to see my new Poppy Barley handbag. Those 2.5 ankle boots are a Jillian Harris fave, BTW…

Healthy travel snacks

Naturally, you need some kind of non-perishable snack. Granola bars are loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Go ahead and give them to your kids if you don’t mind them being jacked up on airline. That’s not my jam, but to each their own. The one bar my disconcerting child will eat are Kind bars. I’m down with that because several options only contain 5 g of sugar vs the 20+ grams you’ll find in so called energy/protein bars. They’re gluten-free and contain only real, natural ingredients.

healthy granola bar
This Kind bar is a family favourite.

Hand luggage essentials

I’m totally brand loyal to my Bose headphones. The Huz got pretty frustrated I was always borrowing his pair and insisted I buy my own. I cheaped out and got a $50 set from Target. They broke in less than a year. Back to Bose it was. I’ve had my Bose headphones going on three years now. And I don’t just use them for air travel. I pop these babies on whenever I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. The white noise is a total sleep prop for adults and I love it.

new bose headphones
No need to plug these Bose headphones into the armrest of your airplane seat. They’re wireless!

Because of the new features they’ve doled out with QC35 II, I’ve upgraded. They’re wireless, so you can use them instead of earbuds to listen to music or take a call without annoying cables. Google Assistant integration allows you to shout out commands like: set a timer, tell me the headline news or are there any Japanese restaurants nearby.

retro eye mask
This satin eye mask feels way better than the polyester one I used for years.

Inside my headphone case I always tote an eye mask. I’m currently crushing on this pink and grey satin one I got handmade from a Canadian ETSY artist. Now The Huz wants one, but not in pink, he says.

Travel hacks for liquids

Did you know, not all your liquids need to fit in one clear plastic bag? Side note: I don’t use the airline one. I think a medium Ziplock freezer bag nets you a bit more real estate. Lately, I’ve been stashing my zit cream, toothpaste, foundation and several tiny tubes of sunscreen in my toiletry bag. Angled (not sharp point) tweezers and a razor also get the pass. Please don’t call me out.

Forget toting eye make up remover. Cleansing cloths do the job and don’t count as a liquid. These Consonant ones do triple duty by cleansing, conditioning and brightening skin. Wipe down surfaces, spills and baby’s bums, too.

Consonant skincare store
Their stores in Toronto are bright, light and hard to leave empty handed.

To keep your skin in tip-top condition, you may want to consider applying a facial mask the first night at your destination. I double dog dare you to put one on during your flight! (I will for $20, if anyone wants to wager:) Anyway, these travel-friendly sheet masks from Blitz Facial Bar don’t count as liquids, pack flat and jazz up your skin with collagen and Vitamin C.

Sunscreen is where it gets tricky. It’s hard to find quality, non-chemical sunscreen in a small enough bottle to meet FAA carry-on requirements. After searching high and low, I came across literally The Perfect Sunscreen. Unlike most other natural sunscreens, this SPF 30 is a non-greasy and leaves no white residue.

What are your favourite products to pack in your carry on bag?

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top