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The Essential Carry-on Bag Packing List

SmarterTravel

Need a little help packing light? With SmarterTravel’s new carry-on bag packing list, you can stick to what’s essential for your trip, no matter where you’re headed.

Don’t need an umbrella since you’re headed to Palm Springs? Not bringing contact solution because your vision is 20/20? Customize the list by crossing off items you don’t need and adding any additional items in the “more items” boxes.

You can download the carry-on bag packing list here or click on the image below.

carry on packing list graphic

Clothes and Shoes

  • Underwear
  • Socks/stockings
  • Undershirts/bras
  • Sleepwear
  • T-shirts
  • Dress shirt
  • Casual shirts
  • Jeans
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Dresses
  • Skirt
  • Sweaters/sweatshirts
  • Suit
  • Swimsuits/cover-ups
  • Coats/jackets/rainwear
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Leisure shoes
  • Hiking/athletic shoes
  • Snow/rain boots (wear your bulkiest pair on the plane)
  • Dress shoes
  • Sandals/flip-flops
  • Belts
  • Ties
  • Jewelry
  • Small purse
  • Collapsible tote

Toiletries

Liquids should be in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces and fit into a clear, quart-size, zip-top plastic bag. To learn more about TSA rules, see Airport Security Frequently Asked Questions.

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Brush/comb
  • Hairstyling appliances
  • Facial cleanser
  • Face lotion/gel/etc.
  • Sunscreen
  • Moisturizer
  • Contact lenses/solution
  • Shaving supplies
  • Makeup
  • Makeup remover
  • Feminine-hygiene products
  • Birth control
  • Nail file/clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bandages
  • First-aid ointment
  • Insect repellent
  • Medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Vitamins

Carry-on Essentials

  • Passport/visa
  • Guidebook
  • Copies of important documents
  • Identification
  • Maps/directions
  • Cell phone
  • Boarding pass/tickets
  • Medical insurance card
  • Electronics chargers
  • Itinerary
  • Travel insurance card
  • Voltage adapter
  • Wallet
  • List of medications
  • Camera
  • Cash
  • Emergency contact
  • Film/memory card
  • Credit/ATM cards
  • Credit card company contact information
  • Umbrella

Don’t Forget

  • Chewing gum
  • Ear plugs
  • Food/snacks
  • Reading materials
  • Eye mask
  • Headphones
  • Stain remover
  • Umbrella
  • Lint roller
  • Lip balm

More from SmarterTravel:

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2010. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

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