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Summer plane packing list: 5 travel essentials a flight attendant always packs in her carry-on travel bag

With everyone off to their favourite summer destinations, here are the essentials you should never forget to pack.

Flight attendant Nicole Noseworthy shares her 5 travel essentials.
Flight attendant Nicole Noseworthy shares tips on the travel essentials you need for summer.

With baggage fees skyrocketing and lost luggage still a fairly common occurrence — many people are opting to travel with only a carry-on bag. However, packing light is easier said than done — especially if you're going on a longer trip. Nicole Noseworthy has been a flight attendant for seven years, flying both commercially and on private jets. Having travelled to 37 countries, it's safe to say she's an expert when it comes to packing. Below, Noseworthy runs down her carry-on must-haves that don't take up space — and will make your life easier while travelling.

Quick overview

- 4.4-star rating from nearly 1,000 reviews
- Two separate zippered compartments
- Water-repellent fabric

“This is a perfect bag to travel with, especially on layovers," says Noseworthy. "There is just enough space to hold essentials – hand sanitizer, portable charger, wallet, sunglasses – without being too large and weighing me down. Plus, I like that there’s no buckle on the strap compared to the belt bag, which is hard to find with smaller-style bags.”

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- Multiple pockets to keep your beauty essentials organized
- Easy-to-carry handle
- Mirror inside in case you're in a pinch while travelling

"I got this as a gift, and it has quickly become a travel must-have for me," says Noseworthy. "I always have it packed with minis and ready to go. I love that it’s clear so I can see the contents on each side, and I can breeze through security."

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- Has the power to charge most smartphones up to 2 full charges
- 84% of reviews are at least 4-star
- Comes with a foldable stand feature – perfect for watching shows and movies on long flights

“These are my favourite portable chargers and work the best for me," Noseworthy said. "It is sleek and simple – it just rests on the back of your phone so it is still easy to use while charging. Because there is no cord involved, I don’t need to be carrying a bunch of cords in my personal, and can pack them safely away.”

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- Lightweight
- 2.1” Round Barrel for a variety of styles
- Helps you straighten and add volume, or create waves and curls depending on your preference.

“Over the past year or so I’ve shifted to bringing a lightweight round brush rather than lugging my Dyson or Revlon. With international plugs, I get nervous about ruining my hot tools, and I have found that every hotel has a blow dryer anyway. This is an easy way to save space!”

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- Patented design for top-level comfort and neck support
- Promises users can “enjoy a real sleeping experience on long flights”
- Easy to carry (fits within your bag) and machine-washable

“The Trtl Pillow is by far the best neck support," the flight attendant says. "And for minimal packers, it is perfect because it is incredibly easy to fold up when packing.”

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Noseworthy also adds that, while food and drinks may take up space in your bag, making room for them is key to an easy flight.

"Pack a mini bag of your favourite chips and some chocolate bars or candy – you can bring this through security, and it'll save you a ton of money instead of buying at the pricey airport shops," she explains. "Once you're through security, I always splurge on a bottle of water to bring on the flight —or bring your own empty bottle as most airports have refill stations."

"Any kind of delay can happen from when you board to when you take off — and you could be stuck for hours before you're in the air and service begins."

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