What I Pack In My Carry On Rucksack

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I’m spilling the beans on everything I pack in my carry on rucksack, right here, right now!

So if you want to know what a frequent flyer takes with her on the plane and why… keep reading.  I’ll be throwing in lots of tips and tricks along the way.

Happy reading 🙂

Note:  This is what I pack for a long haul flight.

Tip:  I ALWAYS use a packing list to ensure that I don’t forget anything, that I don’t pack anything unnecessary and to enable me to pack much more quickly and efficiently.  Click here for a free PDF copy of my packing list.

Travel essentials laid out ready to be packed

1. Passport and Travel Documents

Starting with the most important – passport and any travel documents.  

I have a tendency to lose things so I keep mine all together in a holder and I also take screenshots of any electronic confirmations that I have so that I can access them offline as and when necessary.

Don’t forget to check that your passport is in date before travelling – there are many countries that require at least six months on your passport in order for you to enter the country.

Tip:  Get yourself a travel document holder so you can keep all of your important bits together with less chance of them going missing.

Tip:  Screenshot any electronic documents so you can access them anywhere and at anytime.

A passport holder decorated with pineapples

2. iPhone Pre-Loaded With Entertainment

I load my phone with as much entertainment as possible – audio books and podcasts are a great option as they can keep you going for hours.  Music can also kill an hour or two so I make sure I stock up!

3. Laptop or iPad

If you are going on a long haul flight, it is likely that they will have a tv screen and some entertainment for you to watch but trust me, you cannot have too much!

I like to do work on the plane in order to be productive and pass as much time as possible so I take my laptop.

If movies and TV series are more your thing then an iPad is also great.

Tip:  Use Netflix to download shows into the app that you can watch offline.

An Apple laptop and phone

4. Headphones

Headphones are a must in order to watch the plane TV screen (don’t forget to get a plane adapter!) along with the entertainment on your ipad or phone.

Tip:  Get a small, wireless, noise cancelling pair with a wired option and plane adapter so you can also use them with the plane TV screen.

5. Chargers

I take all of the chargers that I need for my various technology – laptop, iPhone, headphones, external hard drive etc.  

I keep them all neat and tidy, wrapped loosely with a hairband or rubber band and kept in a cable bag.

6. Extension Lead Multi Socket and Universal Adapter

In order to keep everything charged I also take an extension lead multi socket with a universal adapter.  

My extension lead has usb ports on it and the universal adapter allows me to plug it in anywhere, so I can get everything charged up.  The plane may have a power socket but if not, you are bound to be able to find one in the airport on a stop over.

A square extension lead
A Vegan Visit

7. Valuables

I keep any items of value (both monetary and sentimental) in my hand luggage where possible so I can keep a close eye on it.  It’d be my worst nightmare to lose an SD card with lots of holiday photos on!

Tip:  Split valuables between you and your travelling companion for added security.

8. Wallet and Keys

I switch to my smallest wallet possible before leaving home and only take the keys that I absolutely need, such as a car and house key for when we arrive back in the UK.

9. Notepad and Pen

One of my favourite leisure activities is to listen to an audio book, often self development or business, and take notes to refer back to.  I always take a small, light notepad and a pen away with me.

I could use my notes on my phone but for somethings, paper and a pen is the way to go!

Tip:  Take a black or blue pen so you can also use it on any visa forms that you need to fill in.

A pink notebook and two pencils
A Vegan Visit

10. Snacks or a Meal

I have been on many a flight where the meal served is not vegan, despite a vegan meal being specified at the time of booking.  Some flights simply cannot cater for it and I am sure that I have read that they are under no obligation to provide you with a specific meal.

Even if the meal served is vegan it is rare that I will want to eat it (it just turns my stomach!) so I always pack a healthy snack or a small meal, depending on the length of the flight.

I usually pack a protein bar as I find these keep me fairly full, along with a healthy salad or wrap of some description – either cooked at home and brought with me in tupperware or purchased at the airport if I know there is going to be something there that I will like.  I also take fresh fruit and nuts.

I would personally rather lug some extra weight around in my bag in the form of food so that I know I will feel as good as possible on the flight, than eat something that is going to make me feel grim.

A plate of green salad
A Vegan Visit

11. Reusable water bottle

Hydration is so important if you are getting on a flight and I also like to avoid using plastic wherever possible therefore a reusable water bottle is a must.  

I have this beauty from Chilly’s which is great.  I fill it up before I leave home and then again from a water fountain after I get through airport security.

A Chilly's pink flamingo reusable bottle
A Vegan Visit

12. Sleep Pack

I am a very light sleeper but I do think its important to try and sleep at the same time as your destination’s night time, in order to avoid jet lag as much as possible. 

I take an eye mask, ear plugs and herbal sleep aid in order to get in as many zzzz’s as possible!

13. Travel Pillow

I have a very strangely shaped travel pillow called the J-Pillow.  The jury is still out on it!

Its very comfortable and the J shape does help to stop your head nodding forward but it is quite cumbersome to carry around, not to mention it’s rather quirky shape…

It’s the best one I’ve found but still not perfect so if you’ve got any other recommendations, please let me know in the comments below!

Tip:  Invest in a good, preferably inflatable, travel pillow.

14. Toiletries Bag

I take a toiletries bag filled with any make up I want to take with me (under 100ml), along with a mini toothbrush, toothpaste, face wipes, deodorant, tissues and hand sanitising gel so I can freshen up along the way.

Tip:  Take a clear plastic bag to put your liquids in or try and get hold of a padded clear bag that can go straight from your backpack through security.

15. Clean Socks and Pants

For comfort, slipper socks are a must!  I also take flight compression socks if its a long haul flight (very important!) and a clean pair of pants.

16. Medication

I pop any specific medications that I might need for the flight in my toiletries bag – such as pain killers and vitamins.

So that’s it!  Rather a lot to go in one bag but this was for a very long haul flight and I do use all of it to help get me through the flight.

I hope you found this blog interesting.  Don’t forget to check out the YouTube video to see the packing in action.

Also – don’t forget to check out my blog and video for my Top 20 Travel Hacks where I am giving away all of the travel hacks, tips and essentials that I use EVERY time I travel.  Click here to go straight over to the blog.


Hi, I’m Tara! I’m taking you on a trip around the world in vegan cuisine and bringing the world’s most delicious dishes to your kitchen.