Everything You Need In Your Carry-On In Case Your Luggage Is Lost

what to pack in your carry on

Unsplash/Anna Sullivan

We’re sorry to even mutter the cursed words “lost luggage,” but there are a few precautions you should be taking to prevent utter disaster if your bags do go missing. Here’s your carry-on packing list to make sure your necessities are with you and not stored in a temporarily lost suitcase for the first day (or God forbid, more) of your vacation.


Medications — even herbal supplements — should stay close to you at all times when traveling. Don’t stow that stuff below deck in the luggage hold. Anything you need on a regular basis should go in your carry-on, and here’s why. Let’s say you use an inhaler on very rare occasions when you get stressed or are exercising. If that’s lost in your checked bag, what’s going to help you breathe when you’re stressed about the lost baggage?


Your curling iron and hair straightener can go in your checked bag, but make sure your toiletries are in your carry-on. Imagine if you were without your hairbrush… or worse, your toothbrush. Nope. Bring all your self-care items with you on the plane — makeup, toothbrush, deodorant, all of it.

what to pack in your carry on

Unsplash/Annie Spratt


Never ever pack any electronic charger in a checked bag. At best, you’ll wish you had one during your flight. At worst, you won’t have one for days after your luggage is lost. Always put electronics and chargers together in your carry-on.


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Bringing your grandma’s priceless heirloom ring on vacation is risky. But if you do need to pack expensive or irreplaceable valuables, put those in your carry-on where they’ll be safe by your side for the extent of your travels.

what to pack in your carry on

Unsplash/Nick Karvounis

Change Of Clothes (Including Underwear)

If you can’t fit an entire extra outfit into your carry-on, at least bring a spare pair of underwear. Spending more than a day in old panties doesn’t feel great, so you’ll at least be able to freshen up a tad.


Let’s say you get really unlucky and your luggage is lost and the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse. A scarf can be a makeshift wrap for warmth or a temporary rain-blocker. Or maybe you get gorgeous weather and want to have a picnic while you wait for the airline to sort out your baggage. That scarf is now your picnic blanket. Lemons to lemonade, travelers.


6 Healthy Skin Essentials To Pack When You’re On The Road

Only Want To Bring A Carry-On? Here’s Your Long Weekend Packing Guide

Pack Smart: These Airlines Have Tricky Baggage Rules