This week, we asked our expert travel advisors what they “must have” in their carry-on bags when they travel. And trust me, their answers did not disappoint!

So, what is worth packing in your carry-on, and what should you skip and leave behind?


UltraSlim Portable Charger
a white colored charger for mobile phones
The best portable charger with three charger types. I use these all the time and especially traveling - I take two on international trips! - GTN Advisor Julie Ann Hargett

This came as no surprise. There is nothing worse than getting the “20% battery left” notification as you're in the middle of getting the best shot. This portable charger has three built-in cables to charge different devices at the same time. The ultra-thin and lightweight design make this an easy fit in any carry-on bag!

Kindle Paperwhite
black small hand held reading device
My kindle paperwhite is ALWAYS in my carry-on! Reading helps me fall asleep on long flights, and, I can read myself through jetlag without a light waking up my husband. Once I finish a book, I can just download another. No luggage space required. - GTN Advisor Jenny Park

53% of travelers read in the airport or on their flight. Don’t waste extra space by packing two or three books to read during your travels. Instead, invest in one device where you can download multiple books without taking up extra space in your carry-on!

Wireless transmitter
white small handheld adapter with wire
Use your bluetooth earbuds to connect to the plane's entertainment system. The best part? When you get up to go to the bathroom, you are not tethered to the screen in front of you.- GTN Advisor, Kim Este Campbell

Have you tried to watch in-flight entertainment on the plane when you realize you forgot to pack compatible headphones? Well, forget about packing those wired headphones and pack this wireless transmitter instead! Connect your wireless earbuds, Air pods, and more, and watch away.

Bose Sleep buds
small headphones to fit in ear
I go nowhere without my Sleep Buds; I wear them at home and on travel.- GTN Advisor Diana Selman

These are designed for sleep! Unlike headphones, they do not stream music; instead, they deliver noise-masking sounds to block out distractions and keep you calm and relaxed! Making sleeping on long flights easy!

Travel Adapter
a usb adapter
I never travel internationally without this adapter.- Erin Cohen

If you are traveling internationally, this is a must-have! This travel adapter covers over 200 countries and is compatible with most USB devices!

Health & Personal Care:

Inflatable travel pillow
tan colored small inflatable pillow
A waste for me was a bulky neck pillow that was exposed all throughout the airport…opted for this instead.- GTN Advisor, Brittany Robinson

An inflatable travel pillow was a popular “must-have” among our advisors. These inflatable travel pillows are easy to inflate before boarding and only takes 10 seconds to deflate once you have landed.   

Electrolyte packets
green bag of small powder packets
I always feel better when I start and end a flight with a little hydration boost.- GTN Advisor Dianna Hetzel

Traveling can get to the best of us! It is important to remember to prioritize your health even in the busiest of times. These single-serve electrolyte packets may be small, but they are packed with key vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy on the go!

Compression socks
black compression socks on legs
I always have a pair of comfortable shoes and compression socks. It changes drastically my comfort level on flights more than three hours. I can’t do without them! - Karen Aikman

Compression socks are a must-have, especially on a long flight. When you are confined to your seat for an extended period of time, compression socks can increase circulation in your legs and feet and reduce swelling.


Electronic Organizer
black case with cords inside

If you are someone who travels with multiple devices, throwing your charging cords in your bag to sift through later can be hectic. This electronic organizer is the best place to ensure your cords are protected, safe, and easily accessible all in one place!

Compression Packing Cubes
black colored compression bags
I love these compression packing cubes. They really organize everything and make it easier to pack/unpack. - GTN Advisor, Jamie Paul

 Compression packing cubes maximize the space in your carry-on. You will be surprised to see how much more you can fit in your carry-on bag when you use these to pack your clothing.

Hat Clip
hat on bag attached with a black clip
Small, cute, and easy way to bring your favorite hats along with you! - GTN Advisor, Jamey Duffy

 Traveling with a large hat? Instead of cramming this into your bag, use this clip to secure your hat. This will prevent your hat from losing its shape and free up valuable space in your bag!

Mini refillable perfume atomizer
small colored plastic bottles for perfume
These travel refillable perfume atomizers are the perfect size for bringing your perfume and not worrying about glass bottles or size - GTN Advisor, Emer Coughlin.

Don't risk packing your expensive glass perfume bottles. Instead, use these carry-on-approved perfume atomizers! Their compact size makes them perfect fit in your purse or carry-on.

Luggage scale
stainless steal luggage scale
I don’t travel without this. With a family of five, we ALWAYS need it! - GTN Advisor, Patricia Castro

If you are checking a bag, this small luggage scale is a must-have! Skip the baggage counter lines, and avoid overweight fees by weighing your luggage before you arrive! 

An added bonus for our readers traveling with small children:

Smart IQ Travel Games for Children
travel games good for IQ
Since most of my traveling is with my children, I need compact toys that will engage them for longer than 10 seconds. This game challenges the mind and there are a ton of puzzles for them to solve.- GTN Advisor, Jennifer Goff

This IQ game includes 120 challenges, ensured to keep your little ones busy! Its small size and travel case, makes it the perfect addition to any carry-on!