8 Things You Must Have On Your Next Flight

When you’re packing you might make lists, think about the things you’ve got planned on your trip, but what is often just an afterthought is packing you bag for the plane. Whether it’s a long or a short flight if you don’t have the right things it can be a boring or even miserable experience. You really can only stare out the window for so long.

Next time you’re packing for a trip, make sure to include your personal bag as part of your planning. And to get you started here are eight things you must have on your next flight. Plus, a bonus item that never hurts to bring along.

Note: You’ll find affiliate links in this post which allow me to continue to improve Traveling Nine to Fiver. I hope this article is useful for you. 

Reading Material

This is my number one item. I’ve fallen in love with the Kindle for travel, it allows you to bring multiple books along for you trip all in a tinnie tiny package. Real books are a great option as well. Get inspired for your trip, read something trashy to start relaxing before you even arrive or start that book you’ve been putting off for too long.

Another great option is taking the time to create your own, whether it’s writing or drawing, bringing a notebook to create instead of reading is another great option.

Reusable Water Bottle

One of the worst things to be on a plane is thirsty. I always most need a glass of water right during takeoff, or when the pilot asks the flight attendants to sit down. It’s never when they actually bring you a drink. So bring your own water onto the flight. I love having a reusable bottle when I am traveling so I start with the flight. Either fill up from a water fountain or ask a bartender to fill up your bottle for you. Two of my favorite reusable bottles are CamelBak and Sigg, all depending on if you like the straw or the open metal style better.

Healthy Snacks

Half the time I don’t end up eating these, but even if it’s an hour flight, if I don’t pack myself a snack I will be starving. Pick your favorite snack to bring along while traveling and make sure to put some in your personal bag. My favorites are KIND Bars, they are tasty and pretty durable.


If you’re like me, your ears pop when you fly. Whether that’s something normal for you or if you’re fighting allergies, a great way to beat the plugged up ears is chewing gum during take off.


Getting comfortable on a flight isn’t always easy but a scarf can help solve many problems. It serves as a blanket, a pillow or just a scarf. They are all things that can help make your flight more comfortable. A pashmina style scarf can be one of the most versatile.

Toiletry Wipes

Toiletries aren’t always easy to figure out when your flying. Whether it’s waking up with bad breath, needing your face washed or hands cleaned, Savvy Traveler has you covered. Their wipes take up almost no space and are perfect to use on your flight or at the airport.


Another one of the most uncomfortable things that happen on a flight, or in general, is chap lips. Somehow as much as I try and keep a chapstick in my bag at all times it’s on flights that I end up without one.

Portable Charger

Especially on long flights, you’ll want to make sure you don’t run out of batteries. Bring along a portable charger that you can easily adapt to all of your electronics. Belkin makes some great options that can be a lifesaver. It can recharge your iPhone three times, so you can listen to music through just about any flight.

Bonus: Drink Tickets

Travel is stressful and sometimes the best way to let go of the challenges that can come with it is grabbing a drink, for me, that means a glass of wine. If you’ve got them don’t forget to throw your drink tickets in your wallet. Maybe you can even share one with a traveler who is having a bad day.

What is the one item you must have on your next flight? Let me know in the comments below. The eight items you must have on your next flight. What you can't forget to pack in your carry on personal bag.

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the political world in California, but on evening and weekends spends time exploring the West Coast and more. All while encouraging others to join in on the adventures.

  • Great list! I’d add hand sanitizer too…

  • Tamara Wilcox

    I think I pack all those items every time I travel. Great list! Other must-haves: protein bars (beats hunger better than granola bars), hand cream (my skin gets so dry), and my camera (for great aerial views).

    • I am so guilty of taking shots out of the windows. I’m like yep, I’m one of those.

  • This list was perfect, really good for long and short term flights! I recently discovered the joy of carrying my own reusable bottle. Now I can’t go anywhere without it! Great idea for flights too, I never considered having a bartender fill it or going to a water fountain!

    • I tried it on accident but it’s worked so far and can be nice to have some ice in it as well.

  • Great tips and must haves for any trip. Completely agree with the Kindle. Love this little device that allows me to have so many reading options. The one thing that I’d add to your list is hand lotion. Hands do get dry with the long haul flights. Thanks for your list 🙂

    • I should definitely pack some of that for my 15 hour flight I have come up!

  • Great ideas! For me, more important are tights that protect my veins 😉

    • I’ve tried them but I have a 15 hour flight coming up and was going to give them a try. Any recommendations?

  • Arzo Travels

    Thanks for the tips, I also always need music and a neck pillow (for long distance flights) 🙂

    • I totally skipped music! Can’t believe I did that one. A must have for me too.

  • Fantastic tips! I can’t tell you how often I wish I had a reusable water bottle handy in the airport, yet I never remember to pack one! Most importantly, I need to get my hands on some drink tickets 😉
    Bookmarking and saving for a reference when I pack for my next flight. Thanks!

    • Southwest somehow always knows when I’m about to run out and sends me more 🙂

  • Good list. I must say I am never bored on a flight. Maybe it is the excitement of going to another country. If there is one thing I must bring with me it would be my iPad. I can do some writing, watch a movie or just play some games.

  • For me, I need my compression socks! 🙂

    • I’ve never tried them before but have a 15 hour flight coming up and was thinking I need to get a pair. Any recommendations?

  • Buddy The Traveling Monkey

    I need to remember to pack a water bottle!! Another thing to maybe add to your list is a good pair of headphones. I like to listen to music when I travel. They also help to block out the noise of screaming babies. 😉

    • I have a set of giant headphones that I love for exactly that reason.

  • Jennifer @ Made all the Differ

    I always make sure to have that water bottle. It saves me so much money in the airport. I also have chapstick stuck everywhere so I always have some on me.

    • I wish I did. Somehow it always disappears when I need it.

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