What to Pack In Your Carry-On Bag for Smooth Summer Travel, According to TikTok

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Everyone can use some good rest and relaxation, and we're more than looking forward to getting away for a stress-free summer vacation this year.

But between airlines losing luggage, long waits for picking up checked bags and general travel woes plaguing our airlines this past year, it might be time to simplify your summer journeys this season by packing all of your belongings in a carry-on. Not sure how you'll fit a week's worth or more of essentials into a TSA-approved 22x14-inch suitcase? TikTok is here to help. 

The video-sharing app is chock full of travel hacks for condensing your clothing and other must-haves into a carry-on. Convenient and affordable products such as packing cubes, refillable toiletry bottles and shoe bags make it easier than ever to pack small. We've also found plenty of little luxuries for making even the longest flights bearable: compact neck pillows, noise-canceling headphones and packable footrests, to name a few. And of course, smooth traveling starts with a great suitcase, so we've included our favorite carry-on bags to shop.

Below, we've rounded up the best products to shop on Amazon and around the web to help you skip the dreaded check-in line, from vacuum-sealed travel bags to the internet's favorite carry-on suitcases. For even more travel hacks, check out the best luggage deals to shop, Amazon luggage sales and our favorite Dagne Dover bags to snag on sale.

Best Packing Essentials for Summer 2023

It's not really about the luggage, it's about how you pack your luggage that makes the difference. We've found all kinds of nifty packing gear that will have you more organized and more streamlined than ever. 

These packing cubes are a best seller on Amazon for keeping all your essentials organized. 


If you're a chronic over-packer or trying to fit a week's worth of clothing into a carry-on, compress your clothes even further with vacuum-sealable bags.


Bring your favorite products on board with you using these carry on-approved silicone bottles.


To save space in your luggage, this travel bag can hold all of your essentials in one place — plus, it's water-resistant and can hang on the wall using the hanging hook for easy access to your toiletries. 


Separate your dirty laundry from your clean clothes with this two-pack of waterproof laundry bags.


On the off chance you become separated from your luggage, keep an AirTag in your carry-on for security.


These zippered bags keep your dirty shoes from touching the rest of your luggage.


Best Travel Accessories for Summer 2023

Now that you're packed, here's everything you'll want nearby to make your day of travel go as smoothly as possible.

Many of us use wireless headphones these days, meaning when you want to watch the in-flight entertainment on the built-in screen, you have no way of plugging in to listen. The AirFly allows you to connect via bluetooth with your preferred wireless headphones, including the popular AirPods, and plugs into the screen so you can listen in seamlessly.


Even if your plane doesn't have outlets, you'll be able to keep your phone charged with this portable power bank.


Get some shut-eye in style with a classic sleeping mask complete with cozy contoured cushions.


Kick your feet up and relax during your flight with this ergonomic memory foam footrest that hangs from your tray table.


Dry skin can happen anywhere, including in the air. Appropriately named Cloud Creme, this hydrating lotion from Jergens is the perfect size for airplane travel.


Stop overpaying for bottled water at the airport and switch to a reusable one instead. This water bottle is smaller than a deck of cards when collapsed for easy storage. Keep it empty while checking in through security, then fill it up before boarding.


Avoid waking up with dreaded neck pain when you use this top-rated travel pillow that's easy to slip in your personal item.


Get a premium listening experience with Pure Adaptive Noise Cancelling to actively block external noise. The stylish Beats Studio 3 have Apple's W1 chip, which makes them pair perfectly with Apple devices. They also have an impressive battery life up to 40 hours in low-power mode.


These foil patches from Wander Beauty give tired eyes a refresh with hydrating ingredients that can help reduce the appearance of dark circles.


Finally, give yourself the opportunity to freshen up during a flight with a travel toothbrush and mini toothpaste — you'll be glad you did.


Sweats with a matching hoodie in case it gets cold on the plane is a trendy and ultra-comfy outfit choice. We love this set from Nike that has 16 different colors you can mix and match.


Air travel is all about feeling cozy while looking fly. This sustainable dress by Everlane, that's also super chic, fits the bill. 


Best Travel Entertainment for Summer 2023

If you're in for a long flight, you'll need some on-board entertainment. Here our are top choices.

Before we suggest awesome shows and films for your trip, we recommend securing this iPad protector on your tablet that will black out your screen to those sitting next to you. 


A fine dining chef (heavy on the fine) played by Jeremy Allen White, who won a Golden Globe for his performance, returns home to run his family's sandwich shop in Chicago in The Bear. Watch as his upscale dining experience shakes up the old restaurant in the first season, exclusively on Hulu. Season 2 premieres June 22.



Mrs. Davis

An all-powerful A.I. named Mrs. Davis is running the world in this absurd show featuring magicians and crime-fighting nuns in the quest for the holy grail.


For a movie the whole family can enjoy, embark on a magical adventure back to the enchanted island of Neverland. Peter Pan & Wendy is now streaming on Disney+.


The classic board game Scrabble has been miniaturized and modified to be the ideal trip companion. All you need is a travel buddy or some kiddos to play along with you. 


Sudoku, crosswords, trivia and more will keep you entertained for hours with this adult activity book. 


Best Carry-On Suitcases for Summer 2023

Now that you have all your other essentials, it's time to get a carry-on suitcase that ideal for your specific needs. Here are some of the best carry-on luggage options from around the web.

The Carry-On
Away Travel

This Away bag boasts flashy features such as a durable polycarbonate hard shell, spinner wheels and a TSA-approved, ejectable USB charger. The classic rolling hardside luggage with retractable handle is designed to fit in most major airlines' overhead compartments, making it a great go-to Carry-On bag for travel, regardless of your destination.


With over 5,000 positive reviews, this lightweight carry-on will ease your overpacking worries.


The viral suitcase features 360-degree rotating wheels, an inner lining pocket and elastic straps for keeping clothes in place.


This Travelpro Maxlite softside luggage has spinner wheels and is lightweight, making it easy to maneuver airport terminals and your flight's overhead storage bins. 


This Rockland Melbourne Spinner Luggage makes traveling easier by being extremely lightweight. While protecting your items, the wheels rotate 360 degrees for a smooth and seamless stride in the airport. Although it is compact, this carry-on luggage has the ability to hold everything you need for a short vacation.



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