The Ultimate Guide to Flying: What to Wear & Pack in your Carry-On

The Formula for the Perfect Travel Outfit

Whenever I spot a woman at the airport dressed to the nines, I don’t know whether to envy her glamorous ways or feel a little sorry for her. Sure, my converses and country road bag certainly don’t compare to D&G Stilettos and a Louis Vuitton Carry On, but I can’t imagine having a particularly fun time shuffling through the airport or sitting on a long-haul flight in such poised attire.  On the flipside, I should probably be banned from leaving the house when sporting my standard travel day look (think untamed, frizzy hair, a bare, pale face and a mishmash of colour-clashing, slouchy clothes).

When it comes to travel outfits, there must be happy-medium between the ‘i-just-got-out-of-bed’ and the ‘i-just-stepped-off-the-runway’ look.  I’m talking travel outfits that are simultaneously casual and effortless chic, clothes that will be comfy in the confines of your airplane seat and still look on-point once you step off your flight.

In my determination to unlock the formula to the perfect travel outfit, I’ve taken it to the professionals. If anyone knows how to bring travel and style together, it’s the hybrid fashion/ travel bloggers of the world. It’s time to get inspired- here are some of my favourite jet-setting females rocking their best travel outfits!


1. Jessica Stein from @TuulaVintage


A photo posted by Jessica Stein (@tuulavintage) on

Jessica is a constant source of inspiration when it comes to combining travel with fashion. Who thought sporting a simple loose blouse, leggings and a pair of patterned flats could look so good? Originally a Sydney girl, she spends half her life on planes and the other half frolicking through beautiful destinations wearing equally beautiful clothing. With that much flight time under her belt, safe to say she’s got this comfy-yet-stylish travel outfit thing down pat.


2. Emma Lucey from @EmmaLucey

A photo posted by Emma Lucey (@emmalucey) on

Emma is forever on top of the latest everyday fashions. Even in transit, she has mastered the balance of looking great and remaining practical in her travel clothing choices. Take a leaf from her book- layers are key! Even if your final destination is a tropical paradise, the inside of an airplane generally doesn’t come with as much humidity. Packing a few extra layers never goes astray, especially when the air conditioning on your flight is set to arctic blizzard mode.


3. Chiara Ferragni from @ChiaraFerragni

Originally from Italy, the center of fashion, Chiara has become nothing short of a fashion icon on a global scale. When she isn’t walking the catwalk in elaborate frocks from Valentino or Louis Vuitton, she’s rocking the sports luxe look like it’s nobody’s business. You can’t get clothes much more comfortable than sneakers and a sweater on a travel day, and what once may have been considered a little daggy is now conveniently #ontrend. Chiara, teach us your awesome ways.


 SEE ALSO: Travel like a pro with these 10 pre-departure tips

4. Nicole Warne from @GaryPepperGirl

  A photo posted by Nicole Warne (@garypeppergirl) on

Nicole takes sophistication to a new level. Her outfits will literally make you swoon, especially when she is prancing around Paris in divine frocks. When you trade the background of the Eiffel Tower for the terminal of an airport, Nicole’s look is a little more pared back- jeans, a basic top, cute pair of flats and a statement scarf. Not only does a scarf add a little flair to any outfit, it’s also a great multi-purpose accessory for a flight (perfect for doubling as a pillow or a blanket if you are flying budget)!


5. Julie Sarinana from @SincerelyJules

Jules absolutely nails a cool, laid-back aesthetic in everything she does- shining through both her fashion sense and her photography. Her travel clothes strike a perfect balance of casual and super cool, and she proves that comfy, stretchy pants that look fashionable exist. Wearing pants made of materials other than restrictive denim are substantially more comfortable for a plane ride (no more excuses to wear jeggings).



Now you can hopefully master the art knowing what to wear on your next flight,  it’s time to figure out what to pack in your carry-on! To help you, below I’ve listed all of the top items that I won’t hop on a plane without:

The Ultimate Carry On Essentials

  1. HEADPHONES– One of the most important elements to surviving a long plane journey is a quality pair of headphones. These headphones not only sound great, they look great too!
  2. CAMERA- You never know what delightful view you could to capture out of the plane window! I always bring this camera with me in my carry-on as it’s a lot more portable than my DSLR yet still produces stunning images.
  3. POWER BANK- Everywhere I go, I bring a power bank with me to charge my electronics on the go. It’s definitely worth getting the 10000mAh version- I normally get 4-5 full charges of my iPhone 7 + off one of these!
  4. EYEMASK- Essential for getting beauty sleep both on and off the flight. If you are sick of itchy, uncomfortable eye masks, this silk number is the softest, comfiest, prettiest one I’ve come across. It’s a bit of an investment, but if it helps you sleep, it should be worth its weight in gold!
  5. TRAVEL RECOVERY DRINK- I never normally buy into these types of products, but I tried this travel recovery drink last time I flew long-haul and found that it actually helped with my jet-lag. You can buy tablets that dissolve in water, and the drink basically contains essential nutrients and natural extracts to hydrate you and help combat travel fatigue/ jet-lag.
  6. NECK PILLOW- Travelling with a neck pillow truly changed my life! I’ve tried many different styles out and have found this neck pillow to be my favourite. It is filled with microbeads as opposed to memory foam, which I personally find a lot more comfortable. It also converts into a square pillow which certainly comes in handy!
  7. WATCH- I never go anywhere without my favourite marble-faced watch on my wrist!
  8. TOTE BAG- Finding the right carry-on bag is vital! I personally adore Kate Spade’s range of handbags, and this one is perfect for travelling as it offers lots of zipped compartments and pockets to keep things organised.
  9. TRAVEL JOURNAL- Particularly essential for flights without entertainment screens, I always carry a pretty travel journal with me for all my mid-flight musings.
  10. REFRESHING MIST- I first discovered this incredible refreshing rosewater mist in an amenities bag that I got given on a Cathay Pacific flight. It smells delightful and keeps you so refreshed when you are onanairplane!
  11. TRAVEL MAKEUP KIT- Benefit has always been my go-to brand when it comes to makeup. This fabulous travel makeup kit is filled with all the essentials in mini sizes, so it’s perfect for pre/ post flight touch-ups.
  12. TRAVEL BOTTLE SET- Ideal for carrying all your liquids onboard, these little travel bottles are TSA and carry-on approved, leak-proof, BPA free and even have little suction cups for sticking to walls.


Whenever I travel, I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest deals on flights as they compare prices across every airline (so you know you are getting the best deal)! You can download the Skyscanner App on iOS or Android, or use the Skyscanner flight search engine below to see it in action.


Whenever I fly, I always make sure I am covered by travel insurance before I start my trip. Some of the most affordable travel insurance I have come across is by SafetyWing, who allows you to pick your start date, and automatically extends until you cancel unless you choose an end date (which makes it perfect for long-term travellers like me)! Worldwide travel medical coverage starts at $37 per 4 weeks, and you can find out more about it here.

If you travel with a lot of tech gear, then you may want to look into World Nomads.



  • Reply
    Adelaide Haynes
    October 19, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Great complitation!
    I love wearing comfy jeans or tights with a loose fitting top.
    Also, the scarf idea is the best travel discovery I ever made!!!! Perfect for when the aircon kicks in a bit too much and you just want some sleep :)

  • Reply
    Velysia Zhang
    October 20, 2015 at 8:48 am

    I adore tuulavintage the most. She always look fabulous and travel alot!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Great post, loved your opening line – “Whenever I spot a woman at the airport dressed to the nines, I don’t know whether to envy her glamorous ways or feel a little sorry for her.” I find there are times when I make an effort for the plane trip (like going home for Christmas), but if it’s me and my trusty backpack then casual and comfy is the way to go :)

  • Reply
    For Your Weekend
    January 2, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    […] Inspiration for the perfect airplane outfits […]

  • Reply
    January 8, 2016 at 7:17 am

    I would gladly wear any of these outfits, though I like the first one the best. Fun post!

  • Reply
    Dee Schweitzer
    January 11, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Great topic that I have experience with as a frequent traveler for business and personal trips. I was also a flight attendant in the days when women dressed up the whole 9 yards with gloves and heels for any airline travel. So this is not about getting on a bus. For getting on a plane, you can travel comfy and still dress business casual or like a jetsetter on the way to the party. Tips: go for layers; yes scarfs and accessories can make it or break it; black and bling bling sparkles under a jacket, or basic Travelsmith wear. Up up and away is the way to go.

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    February 22, 2016 at 8:36 am

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  • Reply
    encircled (@encircled_)
    May 18, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Love these outfits. Agree that they’ve mastered comfort + chic!

  • Reply
    Dee Crabtree
    June 30, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Cute outfits but I noticed a couple of them aren’t wearing socks. Unless you have TSA pre-check and don’t have to take off your shoes, you really want to wear socks. Going through security barefoot? Ewww. That said, they do all look fabulous.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Emma Lucey is one of my faves! I always envy how good her outfits look while she’s traveling!

  • Reply
    March 28, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Would have to go with Julie. Her shoes r the best for walking airports.

  • Reply
    Blu Wyatt
    August 28, 2017 at 7:51 am

    You’re just adorable….keep shining so brilliantly:)

  • Reply
    September 17, 2017 at 4:17 am

    The bloggers you’ve picked are a few of my favourites! They’ve got such great style!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    I just wondered how these travel bloggers have money to travel so much? I would love to do this, how do I go about it?

  • Reply
    kelly Mathew
    April 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    That’s an amazing article Nicola and I find these tips are quite useful for my upcoming trips, as a business traveller, I use to carry a lot. I really like your word on minimalist packing. Thanks for the great share. And I do like your other articles, keep up the good work. Cheers.

  • Reply
    September 22, 2018 at 12:38 am

    My favorite travel attire is yoga style pants a loose comfy shirt and a sweater or light soft jacket. Athletic shoes or very comfortable supportive walking shoes are also a must. You never know how much you need to walk.

    Often I see women walking around in high heeled sandals or pumps in the airport and I’m amazed. There’s no way those are comfortable!

    But I think pajama pants look the worst! Too sloppy!

    Great post

  • Reply
    Sally Norton
    September 24, 2018 at 3:26 am

    I would only add a change of undies to my carry on, just in case my luggage got lost.

  • Reply
    CNC Training
    July 15, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Awesome and helpful post! I will share this article to my social media account. Thanks for sharing this post. – cnc training centre

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