Top 5 Carry-On Essentials for Traveling in 2019

Imagine you’re heading from New York to Rome, a cool eight-and-a-half-hour flight. 

You’re just settling in when all of a sudden you realize that you left a must-have item in your checked bag—or, worse yet, at home. Panic starts to set in as you realize you’ve got a lot of time to kill and sitting still for that long without every item you planned on having at your fingertips is not an easy picnic.

At Dollar Flight Club—you might have guessed it—we love flying all over the world to explore every place under the sun. We’ve flown so many miles that we’ve learned a thing or two about the essentials you need to bring with you to enjoy an entertaining and comfortable flight.

Without further ado, here are five must-have carry-on essentials travelers need at the ready in 2019 and beyond.


1. Atoms Shoes

Wherever your travels take you, one thing you’ll always need is a comfortable pair of shoes. We recommend Atoms shoes for their combination of style and comfort. The Atoms Model 000 is the world’s first shoe to come in quarter sizes and are designed to be the ideal everyday shoe. You’ll look great wearing them whether you’re dressed up or down.

To help you find the perfect fit, Atoms allows you to select a different size for your left and right feet. When you order shoes, you’ll get three pairs in quarter-size increments (9.75, 10, and 10.25, for example). Once you figure out which two shoes fit best, simply send back the remaining shoes in the same box they arrived in (don’t sweat it, shipping and returns are free).

Atoms feature Stretch Laces, which allows the shoes to be slipped on and off easily (going through airport security will never be the same). The antimicrobial copper lining prevents odor to keep your feet fresh no matter how many hours of exploring you do at your next destination.


2. Aesop Travel Kits

The team over at Aesop has completely reinvented the toiletry carry-on case. Aesop’s premium travel kits were designed for frequent travelers to use both during their journeys and upon arrival at their destinations. 

For example, Aesop’s Departure Kit contains everything you might need for a long plane ride, including facial moisturizer and toothpaste. Then, once you arrive at your destination, their Arrival Kit has you covered with shampoo, conditioner, and more so you can quickly feel refreshed after a long journey.

Thanks to Aesop, gone are the days of making a last-minute run to the pharmacy to snag some low-quality, mass-produced travel-size toiletries.


3. Rimowa

For over 120 years, Rimowa has been crafting high-end luggage for sophisticated travelers such as yourself. Each piece of luggage they sell is backed by a five-year guarantee.

We highly recommend their stunning yet simplistic Classic Cabin piece, which is carry-on approved by most major airlines. The suitcase is made from high-end anodized aluminum alloy designed to withstand wear and tear, and it features corners that are reinforced with riveted high-gloss aluminum. To round it all out, handmade leather handles give the piece an over-the-top quality feel. 

There’s more: TSA-approved locks keep your belongings secure without disrupting your flow through airport security. And thanks to Rimowa’s patented multi-wheel system, stable and effortless steering is guaranteed. 


4. New Yorker Magazine

Long flights provide the perfect opportunity to detach from the digital world and unwind with your favorite magazine in hand. For in-depth stories on everything from politics to culture to science—plus hilarious comics——we highly recommend the New Yorker.

Founded in 1925, the New Yorker started off as a 15-cent comic paper. Fast-forward to today, and the magazine is widely considered to be one of the most influential in the world. 

Can’t unplug for a few hours? We get it. The New Yorker is also available on your favorite device (e.g., Kindle, Nook, and Audible). The magazine has an app, too, which is available in the App Store and on Google Play


5. S’well Bottle

Air travel dehydrates all of us. Sure, you could always snag a bottle of water at the airport when you’re thirsty, but that could set you back as much as $5.

Enter S’well and its reusable stainless steel water bottle: the S’well Onyx. Whether you’re checking into a flight at LAX or CDG, the S’well Onyx features a triple-insulated design that keeps your beverage cold for up to 24 hours or hot for up to 12 hours. 

The Onyx is available in 9-ounce, 17-ounce, and 24-ounce sizes—all of which are carry-on approved, provided that you empty the contents prior to airport security. Once you get through security, fill up the bottle at the water fountain and you’re all set.

As an added bonus, you’re also helping the environment by avoiding the consumption of single-use plastic water bottles. Look at you!  


What carry-on essentials do you recommend?

The above list is by no means exhaustive. You might need a music player, a neck pillow, and an eye mask to optimize your airborne experience, for example. 

Still, a comfortable pair of shoes, a high-quality travel kit, durable luggage, the right magazine, and the perfect water bottle can go a long way toward making or breaking your trip. 

Take your time when you’re packing to make sure you don’t forget a critical item. The last thing you want is to spoil the beginning of your trip by leaving something you need behind.


Happy travels!

  • Kyle Maltz, COO & Partner

    Kyle’s an adventure loving Seattleite who’s busy skiing or traveling the world when he’s not helping DFC move mountains. His favorite trips have been to Thailand, Turks and Caicos, and Costa Rica. Kyle stays busy connecting us with some of the best brands in the world and working on new ways for DFC to be the best in the business for helping travelers explore more and pay less. Kyle oversees daily operations and growth strategy for Dollar Flight Club, including the Flight Alerts product as well as the media publishing side of the business.

No more travel fomo!