Carry-On Essentials

As you’re reading this, I’m on a plane making my way across the world. Over the years, I’ve learned what’s essential to bring on long-haul international flights. Having spent a lot of my life flying to be with loved ones, I refuse to fly in discomfort even if I’m flying economy class. In this post, I share my carry-on essentials and some tips to survive, and possibly even thrive, on the airplane.

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  1. Travel documents : For organizing all important travel documents
  2. Pens: For filling out customs forms or doodling.
  3. Glasses case 
  4. Carry-on liquids: For my in-flight skincare and bodycare routines. I never used to do anything on planes except sleep and eat but taking care of yourself is part of feeling less crappy on a long flight. I like to bring my travel-sized in-flight mask (I use this one as it’s clear) and some essential oils for aromatherapy on the plane (I use this one for tiredness and jetlag, this one for headaches and anxiety and this one for an immunity boost).
  5. Toiletries: For holding toothbrushes, sanitary napkins, wet wipes and a first aid kit.
  6. Jewelry holder
  7. Jaw clip : For my hair when I get off the plane.
  8. Neck pillow 
  9. Eye mask : For sleeping without disturbance. I like this one as it doesn’t leave my eyeballs gummy.
  10. Beanie: For wearing onto the plane and protecting my hair while I sleep. I use this one as it’s lined with satin and keeps my hairstyle intact while I sleep.
  11. Wool socks : For keeping my feet warm on cold planes.
  12. Circulation socks : For my legs to ensure proper circulation on the long flight.
  13. Noise cancelling headphones : For optimum comfort and enjoyment. I have these ones.
  14. Snacks : For those times in between meals when I get peckish.
  15. Water bottle : For staying hydrated on the flight. I love my 500ml bkr bottle.
  16. Book : For reading entertainment.
  17. IPad : For music and movie entertainment.


  • If you have a layover (mine is usually in Hong Kong), try to walk around to increase circulation. If you have the resources, take a shower at an airport lounge. Trust me – you’ll feel loads better!
  • Take some over-the-counter anti-nausea or sleeping aid pills, especially if you tend to get motion sick or have trouble sleeping while travelling.
  • Try to maintain a positive attitude. This one is easier said than done but I’ve noticed that when I maintain a courteous and positive attitude, my journey is much better. I’ve seen really bad behavior from both passengers and travel staff alike. You never know what might happen when you travel…it’s important to smile and be courteous to your fellow travelers. You’ll feel better and hopefully, others will feel your positive energy too.
  •  Remember that the flight is temporary! As a way to let out some stress and lift my spirits, I have a ritual of dancing in the airplane bathroom once per flight. Once you get to your destination, give thanks and continue the happy dance   🙂

Are you travelling anywhere this holiday season? What are some of your travelling essentials? 

xoxo your modern day renaissance woman, Syah


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