Travel must-haves (Air edition)

Everyone has their personal favourites to include in their carry-on for long haul trips and go-to’s to help with the packing phase. This is a short list of mine, by no means is it definitive and it changes slightly from trip to trip but it is a good starting point.


Travel Documents & Money

This goes without saying, make sure your paperwork is in check. This varies depending on travel location but I always have print outs of airline tickets and bookings (especially car rentals) as well as my passport in a safe but easy access location in my carry-on (be sure it’s not about to expire!). Thanks to COVID some countries require upload of vaccination certificates or additional requirements prior to entry.

I always like to have a couple of different forms of payment available, just in case one card gets blocked by your bank (this has happened to me on occasion even though they have been aware of me travelling). I like cards which have no international transaction or conversion fees such as Latitude and Maquarie credit cards and UP debit card.

Packing List

What can I say, I’m your typically Virgo girl who loves her lists and I find packing lists are good to help minimise overpacking. Normally, it’s just a mish mash list in the back of my planner that I add to in the lead up to a trip, but I have just found this freebie by Passion Planner that has been a game changer.

Thanks Passion Planner for making such useful (free) templates; they also have great planners too.


EAR Plugs, Meds and Other Things

I am prone to bursting ear drums while flying, not the greatest way to start a trip so I need to take some preventative measures both prior to and while flying. I use decongestants for up to three days prior to flying to ensure my sinuses are clear and then use Ear Planes while flying which are a god send. They work by essentially slowing down the pressure change via a ceramic filter (I’m sure there’s a more technical explanation) but they work wonders for me and also help minimise noise.

Available from your local pharmacy or online.

In my little bag with decongestants and my Ear Planes, I add some facial moisturiser, Caramex, toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant and facial wipes to help feel fresh and hydrated while flying.

Head Phones

This is where I admit I’m old school, I love my corded over-head phones, like those below, while travelling for a couple of reasons.

  • They fit well over my Ear Planes (discussed above) and are comfy enough to wear on the longest flights.
  • I don’t have to worry about the batteries running out.
  • With an adaptor you can connect to inflight entertainment systems with ease.
I have these Sennheiser Over Ear Headphones in white and love that they fold up.


Although I tend to make the most of the entertainment systems offered on the flight I still download a bunch of podcasts and playlists to listen to (thanks Spotify) and also take a physical book. These are more distractions while in the airport but also gives options in the air. Oh and be sure to have a good, reliable battery pack on hand to keep things charged.


Packing Cells

No matter which bag I use, suitcase or duffle bag, or how long the trip, short or long, or purpose of trip, work or leisure, I use packing cells. They help me organise my clothing, typically underwear in one, bulky in another, and a third with layers etc.. I also have a small one, which I don’t even unpack, that I use to put all my charging cables and other electrical knick knacks.

I’ve had mine for years so cannot find an exact match, but this Travelizer set is similar and come with a laundry/shoe bag (always handy).

Phone Mount

These days with the ease of GPS coordinates on your phone you no longer have to rent/buy a purpose built GPS at your location to help with directions while driving. Instead I pack a universal phone mount that attaches to the air vent in any car. A magnet, that you slip between your phone and case, then attaches to the mount so you can find your way hands free. Also, you are able to download Google Maps to use offline so you don’t have to pay those data roaming fees.

So, these are some of my travel must haves, what are some of yours?