Our Company, Travel

Keep Calm and Carry-On: 12 Travel Essentials for a Feel-Good Flight

’Tis the season to travel (we hope to someplace warm and sunny)! ☀️⛱️ But whether you’re headed to the Bahamas or Buffalo, a long, turbulent flight can make your wanderlust fizzle. The key is to pack the right goodies in your carry-on, so you can maintain your smile in Buddha-mode, even if you’re stuck in the middle seat. 😌 



We tapped our Cocofloss staff and Instagram community for must-haves that’ll keep you calm while cruising at 36,000 feet. ✈️ (Your Cocofloss is a given, natch.)


Our Top 12 Carry-On Essentials



12. Bamboo Cutlery

Be part of the BYO cutlery movement and keep single-use plastic knives and forks from polluting our precious planet — just one of many ways to go green when you travel. 🌎 Smart thinking, @rose_apothecary! A bamboo set is super light to carry and comes with a little pouch. 


11. Water Bottle

“When flying, I always bring a water bottle!” says Cocofloss co-founder Chrystle Cu. “Bottled water at the airport is expensive and isn’t usually any better than the filtered tap available in the terminal.” 


Plus, it’s another way to greenify your travel. Wirecutter recommends the totally leak-proof Hydro Flask (currently $36 at REI), which can keep water cool for 17 hours (BTW, that’s the length of a direct flight from Dallas, Texas, to Sydney, Australia). 



10. Lightweight Scarf

Want to snooze in supermodel style till touchdown? 😴 Try this tip from Tyra Banks and bring along a lightweight, gauzy scarf. 

Ms. Banks told our own Melissa Cheng (Head of Product, Merchandising, and Operations) that she throws one over her entire head before take-off to ensure she’s not photographed sleeping with her mouth open and drool dribbling down her face. 😂 “It’s not a cute look,” she said.

“So now I always throw a scarf over my head during long flights,” says Melissa. “It’s a breathable barrier against the dehydrating recycled air and circulating airborne germs.” 



9. Essential Oils

As @dr_carly and @michelleandbrookeshop know, just a dab of lavender, bergamot, ylang ylang, or any of the many essential oils that lower anxiety can make TSA-induced stress float away like a fluffy cloud. ☁️💆 In a pinch, the scintillating scents of our Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, and Pure Peppermint Cocofloss can work wonders too.  

8. Neck Pillow and Throw Blanket

A cuddly blanket and cute pillow can make it possible to doze from take-off to landing, especially if you’ve read up on how to sleep on a plane. 😴 “I almost always have my @pusheen pillow,” says @missjenbeck

Pro tip: Toss in a sleep mask to maximize your zzz’s say @michellejailine and @silvertapestry.



7. Gum 

@claire.handke brings gum “so my ears ‘pop’ as the altitude changes.” That clever strategy can save you the pain of unequalized ear pressure, called barotrauma.” 

Better yet, chewing sugar-free gum after eating can help neutralize and wash away cavity-causing acids on your choppers. For extra kudos at your next dental exam, look for gum sweetened with xylitol, which prevents tooth decay.   


6. Healthy Snacks

Sometimes a handful of pretzels or cookies 🍪 just won’t cut it, especially if your flight has been delayed yet another hour. “Bring extra snacks in your carry-on in case you are stuck on the tarmac forever!” says @laurenmanaker_rdn

And since your taste buds are 30 percent less sensitive to sweet and salty foods at 30,000 feet, choose healthy, flavorful treats that won’t give you a Doritos hangover. Dried tart cherries 🍒 may help you get some shut-eye, thanks to their high levels of melatonin, while magnesium-rich almonds may also act as a kind of nutty chill pill. 

Travel + Leisure has a few other yummy suggestions. (Just head to the loo afterward for a quick brush and floss before you nap.)   


5. Book

Whether it’s a paperback bestseller, a hardcover classic, or the Crossfire Saga on your Kindle, a book offers a much-needed escape from your cramped seat and also tells the chatty Cathy next to you that you’re ready for a break. As @delanorp says, “The back-of-the-seat crossword puzzle can only last so long.” 


You might try one of the good reads recommended by Cocofloss. 



4. Headphones

Ear plugs can also block out the crying of that poor baby 👶 behind you, but unlike headphones, they can’t transport you with tranquil tunes, an addictive audiobook, or an engaging podcast

Even a cheap pair of earbuds will almost do the trick, but noise-canceling headphones are worth the splurge. 🎧 Thanks for the excellent idea, @malemmo, @ladydi_3, @kels_johnson, @aberte1, and @tropiglow!

3. Sanitizing Wipes

Does the thought of germs on your tray table make you want to swim in disinfectant? 😱 You’re not alone. Even super-celebs Naomi Campbell and Nicole Richie recently made headlines for their extreme sanitizing routines on airplanes. @kitdy808 uses them on the “speakers, lights, armrests, tray tables, screen, seat pocket, button for seat back, call button, air vent, etc.” 

We love the aromatherapeutic EO lavender wipes recommended by @skim_butternut, which can help counter travel anxieties with their relaxing scent. 

2. Toothbrush

Of course you’ve got your favorite Cocofloss stashed away, but what about your faithful toothbrush? “I NEED to have my electric toothbrush with me,” says Elisabeth Brittain, a registered dental hygienist and Cocofloss’s Dental Marketing Manager. 

“I usually drink something in the air that is sugary or could stain my teeth,” she says. “So I usually want to follow that with a quick brush-and-floss session to keep my teeth and gums clean and breath fresh!” 

@jennyjammer sums it up: “Always have to pack one so my teeth don’t get fuzzy.” Gold stars ⭐⭐⭐ to everyone who mentioned the trusty toothbrush as a carry-on must-have, including @rockingrobinw, @isabellaavedentistry, @life.in.gineral, @kassypay, @sah233327, @sandylaoart, and @toothfairyjen! (Remember, Cocofloss was co-founded by a dentist! 😉)  



1. Lip balm

“Must. Have. Lip balm!!!!” says @chinnychinwynns. That says it all. The number one item the Cocofloss community can’t live without on a long flight keeps lips feeling comfy and soft, even if the recirculated plane air feels like the Sahara Desert. 🐪 “Pretty lips, pretty teeth!” says @stephrtsang. 👄😁  


Stash all your easy-to-lose essentials — from your passport to your favorite lip balm — in a tropical carry-all that benefits the planet. $5 from every purchase of our Hibiscus Pouch helps Wildlife Conservation Network fund reforestation efforts in Brazil’s Atlantic forest. 🌳🇧🇷🐒



On your next trip, let Cocofloss be your mouth’s favorite flight attendant, keeping turbulent bacteria at bay, your teeth white as a cottony cloud, and your smile soaring through sunny skies.  

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