The 20 Travel Essentials Instagram Influencers Always Pack in Their Carry-ons
While the destination is always worth the trip (even if you have to travel hours to get there), long-haul travel can make even the most seasoned travelers go stir crazy. The easiest way to ensure transcontinental flights go by in a snap? Fill your carry-on with the right travel essentials. When packing, it's smart to include items that will not only help you stay organized but also help you get through airport security with ease.
You want to pack anything in your carry-on bag that you can’t live without for more than a day, just in case your checked luggage gets delayed — think: medications, chargers, and your toothbrush. The rest of your space should be used for items that will help make long flights both a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
Of course, every traveler has different preferences. Some like to travel with noise-cancelling earplugs and silky eye masks to catch some Z’s, while others try to stay as healthy as possible by packing hand sanitizer sprays and disinfectant wipes to clean their seats and tray tables. To help you figure out what items would be most helpful for you, we asked five Instagram influencers — who have racked up hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles between them — to share what they always have packed to survive long flights.
From moisturizing lip balms to organic healthy snacks to wireless headphones, keep reading to shop the 20 travel essentials these influencers say help make even the longest flights feel like a breeze. Consider it your definitive shopping list of the items you need to make sure your next flight is a pleasant one.
Arielle Charnas of Something Navy
With over a million followers on Instagram, Arielle Charnas is one of the most influential bloggers around. Not only does she run her successful website Something Navy, but she also has her own clothing line with Nordstrom that constantly sells out. The mother of two is often traveling for both work and play, and she shared with us the items she always has packed in her luggage.
Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Charnas applies this oil-free sunscreen before every flight because “the UV rays through a plane window are apparently equivalent to being in a tanning bed!”
To buy: sephora.com, $32
Lanolips 101 Ointment Multi-balm Coconutter
“I love traveling with this balm for moisture,” she says. We can see why she loves it — the moisturizing balm is made from all-natural ingredients like coconut oil and vitamin E.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $14
Wet Ones Wipes
“The seats on airplanes are so dirty! I always wipe down the seat, the screens, the seatbelts, and everything else I touch!” Charnas tells Travel + Leisure. We recommend buying these travel-size, antibacterial wet wipe packets in bulk.
To buy: amazon.com, $14
Kiersten Rich of The Blonde Abroad
Kiersten Rich of The Blonde Abroad has flown over 845,000 miles since starting her successful travel blog — so if anyone knows how to make long flights more enjoyable, it’s her. She often shares her destination guides, travel hacks, and photography tips with her 547,000 Instagram followers, and now she’s sharing her ultimate travel essentials with us.
EO Organic Lavender Hand Sanitizer Spray
“It’s not news that airplanes are blanketed in bacteria so I do my best to keep clear of germs and do my part not to spread them,” Rich explains. “Once I learned that the most bacteria on a plane is where you sit (think the tray table, seat pocket, seat belt, and armrest — ahh!), I started traveling with EO's plant-based sanitizer spray (amazing smells!) and disinfectant hand wipes. I spray and wipe to my heart's content before every flight.”
To buy: amazon.com, $10
Unimi Upgraded Contoured Comfortable Sleeping Mask
“The most important features in a good eye mask are that it blocks out all light and isn’t too tight around your head. This 3D Eye Mask is countered for comfort and creates a complete seal around your eyes to block out the light,” she says. Her memory foam-cushioned pick is also a beloved choice on Amazon — over 1,000 reviewers give Unimi’s sleep mask a perfect rating.
To buy: amazon.com, $10
Hearos Extreme Protection Earplugs
“Never underestimate the joy of having a good set of earplugs,” Rich tells T+L. “They will not only make your flight more enjoyable but could save your sanity along with your travels.”
To buy: amazon.com, $16
Alaska Bear Silk Pillowcase
“I never leave without my travel pillowcase! Not only is a silk pillowcase a luxurious slice of heaven, but it also offers some great health and beauty benefits as well,” she says. “Silk fiber is produced with little-to-no chemical exposure and is also naturally hypoallergenic (resistant to dust mites, fungus, in addition to many other allergens).”
To buy: amazon.com, $36
“I try to avoid super salty snacks on the plane, so I love Perfect Bars for flights. They’re organic, filling and packed with delicious and healthy ingredients so you’ll feel good about what you’re eating and it feels like you're eating dessert!” Rich tells us.
To buy: amazon.com, $24
Marianna Hewitt of Life With Me
Marianna Hewitt is on the go so often she even developed a face mask to help her skin fight jet lag. She brings her Life With Me readers and 868,000 Instagram followers along on her travels, showing them everything from packing hacks to travel outfit ideas. Here, she shares her top five carry-on must-haves.
Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask
“This mask was made for my busy travel lifestyle. I am always on the plane, where my skin [feels] so dehydrated and tired. It is TSA-friendly, ultra moisturizing, and helps me not look so jet-lagged,” Hewitt tells T+L. And she isn’t the only one who swears by this travel-ready face mask — Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian have publicly shown their love for it.
To buy: sephora.com, $48
Olly Sleep Vitamins
“Whenever I am traveling internationally, I try and get myself on the schedule of where I am going when I am in transit,” Hewitt recommends. “I'll look at my world clock and whenever it's almost night time in the destination I'll be arriving at — I'll eat one to two sleep vitamins which help me just relax and fall asleep so that when I arrive I don't feel so jet-lagged.”
To buy: amazon.com, $13
Slip Silk Eye Mask
Bulletproof Instamix Packet
MacBook Pro 13 Inches
“I just got the new MacBook Pro 13-inch, and it's even smaller than a MacBook Air — it's like an iPad but as a computer,” Hewitt tells us. “It’s amazing for travel, I call the plane my mobile office.”
To buy: apple.com, $1,299
With over 250,000 Instagram followers, Nicole Isaacs is a leading travel influencer. On her eponymous blog, she gives her readers tips on where to travel as well as what to do and see while you’re there. She’s recently explored Barcelona, Tunisia, and Tulum, and made sure to pack these four items with her when she did.
Skinceuticals Daily Pore Minimizing Moisturizer
“The most important thing when you fly is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Flights are so dehydrating and can dry everything out, including your skin,” Issacs tells T+L. “In addition to drinking lots of water, I always bring a hydrating face mask (amazon.com, $29), hand cream (sephora.com, $12), and moisturizing lip balm (nordstrom.com, $24). I fly so often so this is a key step to taking care of my skin in the long run and keeping it refreshed when I get off the plane.”
To buy: dermstore.com, $62
Popcorners Kettle Popped Snacks
“I am the snack queen — there is never a shortage of snacks with me,” she confesses. “I usually always make a stop at the airport to stock up on snacks before my flight. Always have to have salty and sweet snacks too. Some of my faves are a yummy nut and dried fruit mix, Cheez-Its (walmart.com, $5) or Popcorners, and sour candy.”
To buy: amazon.com, $34
A Good Book
“I find one of the best times to disconnect is on a flight. If I am not in work mode (which is rare) and don’t buy WiFi on the flight, I like to get lost in a great read. It also makes me sleepy and helps me fall asleep if it’s a long flight!” she says. We recommend investing in a tablet or e-book reader, like the Kindle Paperwhite, so you can read multiple books on your trip without the bulk.
To buy: amazon.com, $130
Canon EOS R Camera
“If I am in work mode, I like to always carry my laptop and camera with me to get work done on the plane,” Issacs tells us. “I can be most productive when I have no choice but to sit there and there aren’t any distractions. I answer emails, write blog posts, edit pictures and videos, etc.”
To buy: amazon.com, $2,299
Christine Tran of Tour de Lust
Christine Tran’s bio on her popular website Tour de Lust reads “a girl touring the world and lusting after her next adventure,” and her curated blog reflects just that. She often shares hotel reviews and travel itineraries with her 288,000 Instagram followers, and now she is giving us the scoop on her packing essentials.
Sephora Face Masks
Rosebud Perfume Co. Strawberry Lip Balm
“I cannot live without this lip balm. It keeps my lips soft and hydrated throughout drying flights,” she says. And Amazon customers are fans of the moisturizing lip balm, too! It has a 4.2-star rating and dozens of glowing reviews on the website.
To buy: amazon.com, $8