Unless you’re flying first class, long haul flights leave something to be desired in terms of comfort, so in order to arrive at your destination feeling somewhat refreshed, there are some specific carry on essentials that I highly recommend.
These items are all vegan and cruelty free to our knowledge in order to further and ethical and sustainable world! If something has changed and these products are not vegan or cruelty free, please let us know so that we can find alternative carry on items! We’re all here to help each other and vegan shaming for mistakes is no way to help the world.
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1. Collapsible Water Bottle
If you’ve read any of our other Gear Guides, you’ve heard me rave about these. I literally never leave home without a water bottle and when Jack and I travel, I always opt for a collapsible water bottle. Planes are always so dry and in order to be energetic and excited for your destination, it’s vital to stay hydrated. This is absolutely a must-have sustainable carry on essential if you want to stay hydrated!
A given right? If you’re anything like me, you never leave a room without making sure your chapstick is on you, let alone the country. Most chapstick has beeswax in it which means it’s not vegan. There are several different options out there but here are our top three:
3. Travel Size Lotion
Perhaps this is another given carry on essential, but let me tell you that there are a few times that I haven’t flown with lotion and I’ve regretted it. It also doubles as a good backup if you’ve lost or forgotten your chapstick. Make sure you order the travel size!
4. Reusable Tissues
Gross, I know, but hear me out. LastObject has actually managed to make handkerchiefs that aren’t repulsive. These small handkerchiefs come in a silicon container that’s about 3-4 inches long (see the pack on my 16inch computer). Simply pull one out of the bottom and put it back in the top when finished and on the go. There’s a small divider so you can easily tell when it’s time to wash them. To wash, just toss them in the laundry machine (it’s best if they’re in a small laundry bag so as not to get lost) and drier.
Travel tissue packs are full of plastic and are single-use. According to LastObject, their reusable tissue pack saves the planet from more than 3000 single-use tissues. This is a top travel essential not just because you never know when you might need a tissue, but because it’s better for the planet too!
5. Travel Neck Pillow
You know that feeling when you’re just about to nod off but suddenly your head falls and you jerk awake? Did you just cringe and sigh. Ya, me too. Neck pillows are a game-changer if you ever want to sleep in a moving vehicle. They can be a pain to carry, but for over night flights, car rides, bus journeys, or trains, it’s definitely worth bringing along.
This one is a given, but if you’re new to traveling, know that you absolutely must have a regular (non Bluetooth pair) in case your wireless ones die, or simply to plug in and watch airplane TV. Let’s be real – I always tell myself that I will do work but instead I just watch 8 hours of movies. Sigh. Either way, invest in a pair of regular headphones, and Bluetooth. I love these because they are slightly noise blocking and about $30. If you can swing it, these Bose headphones are amaaaazing at noise canceling and so comfy! You can even get official refurbished Bose products which are better for the planet!
7. Mouth Freshener
I personally hate having to pull out a toothbrush and toothpaste on a plane (much to my dentist’s horror) so I’m a big fan of traveling with gum or mouthwash tablets. The mouthwash tablets are particularly nice because there’s no plastic involved! You can also opt for some vegan gum.
8. Socks, Scarves, and a Sweatshirt
I don’t know about you, but I am constantly chilly on planes. I also think bare feet on a plane is absolutely disgusting, but that’s a rant for a different day. Please, at the very least, wear socks. If you are over the age of 6 there are very few excuses to not be wearing socks on a plane. You likely already have socks, but here are some that are optimized for travel and are definitely a carry on essential! A scarf also doubles as a light and sound blocker and of course a sweatshirt to be warm and comfy and is without a doubt a must-have travel essential for women.
Read More about Sustainable and Eco Travel
There’s so much to learn about sustainable travel, so check out the posts below to keep reading!