My rule in life is simple: if there’s no urgent reason to get up, I’ll sleep in as much as I can. However, when it comes to travel days, I’m up and ready before the crack of dawn. Something about packing my personal bag, grabbing my airport coffee, and strolling down the airport’s moving walkways excites me and gets me out of bed without any complaints.

Fortunately, I’ve traveled extensively this summer, and I’ve streamlined my personal item packing process. Grab your boarding pass and dive into the 10 essential items I always have in my personal bag while traveling.

1. Travel Mug

After passing through security, my first task is to fill up my trusty travel mug with water. The dry airplane atmosphere and disruption in my normal routine often lead me to get dehydrated. The Yeti Rambler Tumbler is my go-to choice due to its ideal size, ability to keep drinks cold or hot for an extended period, and leak-proof lid for mess-free transportation.

2. Headphones

Headphones serve multiple purposes at the airport, from listening to music to creating a “do not disturb” barrier. Even when not actively listening to anything, headphones are a great way to deter unwanted conversations and enjoy some personal time.

3. Travel Document Organizer

As a naturally forgetful person, I rely on systems like a travel document organizer to keep my essential documents like boarding passes, IDs, and passport in one easily accessible place. This saves me from rummaging through my bag multiple times before boarding.

4. TSA-Friendly Travel Capsules

Instead of carrying various travel-sized toiletry products, opt for travel capsules like those from Cadence. These capsules offer a convenient and organized way to carry essentials like hand sanitizer, moisturizer, and toothpaste, ensuring you stay fresh during long flights.

5. Medications

Always keep your essential medications close by in a pill organizer to avoid any issues in case your luggage gets lost. Include items like probiotics, pain relievers, daily medications, and any other necessary prescriptions.

6. Kindle

Say goodbye to carrying multiple books by investing in a Kindle. With the ability to download hundreds of books and the convenience of offline reading, a Kindle is a space-saving and efficient choice for book lovers.

7. Portable Charger

A portable charger is a travel essential to ensure your devices are powered up, especially when USB outlets are scarce. The iWalk portable charger, known for its compact size and cable-free charging, is a reliable choice for keeping your devices running on the go.

8. Tech Organizer

Keep your tech accessories neat and accessible with a tech organizer like the one from Calpak. Featuring elastic loops for cords, multiple pockets, and a handle, this organizer helps you stay organized and tangle-free when charging your gadgets.

9. Lightweight Jacket or Button-Down

Be prepared for varying cabin temperatures by packing a lightweight jacket or button-down shirt that can also double up as a makeshift travel pillow if needed.

10. Sleep Mask

For those who can nap anywhere, a silk sleep mask like the one from Brooklinen is a must-have item to block out light and aid in better sleep during flights. This travel staple ensures you can rest comfortably even with bright cabin lighting.


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