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Travelling is always pretty exciting; the only drawback is figuring out what to take with you and what to leave behind. While most people think that women draw the short straw when packing, it is just as much a headache for men. Whether you’re going on a family vacation or a business trip, deciding what essentials to put on your carry-on bag shouldn’t be so frustrating. 

man thoughtfully packing suitcase

That said, it is crucial to identify what constitutes an essential item and what doesn’t. At, we took the liberty of making a list of 10 things that you should prioritize on all of your travels. 

Appropriate Clothes

Planning is the single most crucial step in the entire travelling process. Note that only a select few items can fit in your carry-on. Once you’ve established where you are going, and what kind of attire is required for that specific occasion, pack the appropriate clothes, no extras. Things like sweaters and sweatshirts you can put in another luggage bag to ensure you don’t lose any space you may need for more essential items. 

man packing carry on suitcase


Theft is relatively common in many airlines today. It’s a fact of life. Ensure you don’t spend half your day trying to find your lost luggage which is frustrating. Imagine if you had to deal with losing a laptop, expensive jewellery or any of your valuable possessions. Have your valuables tucked tightly in your carry-on. Anything you consider useful, even a confidential work document, should be kept close. 

Spare Undergarments

The reality of losing luggage sinks in pretty fast when you realize you’ve lost all your clothes. Always have a change of underwear tucked neatly into your carry on. You can have a light change of clothes as well, just as a precaution. You never know when it may all come in handy.

man looking at suitcase


Nothing is as consuming as a long flight. Have a source of entertainment, anything you can use to pass the time, to amuse yourself. Remember, however, that you still have to save some real estate in your carry-on, so don’t stock up on heavy hardcovers. Try an E-book or a light magazine. You can also have a portable video game, anything that helps you pass the time will be of great value to you. 

Crucial Documents

If you’re on a business trip, then ensure all your company documents are stored safely in your carry-on for safekeeping. There is also the issue of your wallet, your passport and airline tickets. Anything you consider as an important document should be with you at all times. 

man holding passport

An extra precaution would be to ensure that you take photos of these documents and store them on your phone for safekeeping. So even if you do lose them, you have it all backed up. 

Grooming Kit

A grooming kit is perhaps one of the most overlooked essentials. Consider the fact that you may want to make a good impression when you reach your destination, which is why you need to ensure you have your good grooming kit available whenever you need to freshen up. You can fit anything from your shaver to your comb. Get this, with a useful grooming kit, you won’t need a different compartment for your toothbrush and toothpaste. You can fit it all in one bag. 

Face Wipes

Long flights can be brutal on your skin, which is why you need face wipes to revitalize and moisturize your skin. It’s a great way to stay refreshed, especially if you are going to spend several hours on a plane with mostly recycled air. 

Comfortable Shoes

Most airlines will require you to take off your shoes during security checks, so it’s always a good idea to have a pair of open shoes, or flip flops tucked away in your carry on. Flip flops will also keep your feet aerated throughout your flight, preventing you from sweating into your shoes and stinking up the whole plane. 

Device Chargers

If you are always on the internet, or you constantly use your phone, laptop or iPad, then always ensure you either have an extra battery or a charger. This is especially crucial if your device is your only source of entertainment. Most chargers are very portable, so you won’t have to worry about them taking up any room. 

man with tablet

You can as well throw in a portable power bank in case you don’t have an extra battery. This can be quite useful when you’re stuck in a place without an operational socket. 


Food is always a sensitive issue where travelling is concerned. You can never be too careful. It is advisable to carry your own food. Make a little something before you travel, it may be a snack or a home-cooked meal. It doesn’t matter. Ensure you make it or buy it yourself. Also, note that purchasing food from the airport may be a bit pricey, so making it yourself isn’t just safer, it’s pocket-friendly as well. 

man packing suitcase on bed

Bottom Line

Your carry-on is equivalent to your wallet. It’s that little backpack that you keep all your essential stuff in, and the one that you always have on you. So always make a list of essentials, keep them to a minimum, and ensure these items are with you.

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