Every traveler has to put some kind of consideration into what they pack in their carry-on. We all reach for the basics like painkillers, some entertainment and a snack for the flight, but when you’re of the female persuasion, the line between basics and non-essentials tends to blur a little (make that a lot!). Anyone who’s flown more than once will have recalled a time they wished for an item that wasn’t there. So to live by the Scouts motto: “Always be prepared!” and when you’re traveling, where’s the harm in over-preparing?

Since we’re permitted a generously sized bag for carry-on luggage, we have plenty of room for all the ‘just in case’ items too. Traveling is stressful enough without the sinking “What have I left on the dresser?” feeling. So if we’ve got the space for it, you better believe it’s coming with us. Because of this, you’ll find some pretty random things in a girl’s cabin bag (Hey, we’re just trying to be sensible!).

Among the things no-one should fly without like a sleep mask and earplugs, there are plenty of things in a girl’s carry-on that may never get used like a travel journal or a spa sheet mask. But if it’s there waiting for us, we’re guaranteed to have a calmer flight. Ever curious about what was missing from your carry-on checklist? We’ve got it covered. Here’s a brief guide to 20 random (and perfectly normal) items in a gal’s flight bag.

20 A Sheet Face Mask (Random)

You may run the risk of looking like Hannibal Lecter with one of these on, but honestly, who cares when your skin feels so soft and refreshed afterward? Some female passengers may be content with lathering a bit of face cream to brighten up tired skin on a long flight, but more and more traveling gals are converting to the in-flight face mask – part spa treatment, part Halloween mask.

Planes are notoriously dry and cold places which does your skin no favors, but at least our face doesn’t have to look jet-lagged along with everything else.

Even if it might make us look odd, if we’ve got the time to kill, a soothing face mask is the way to go.

19 An Adult Coloring Book (Random)

It used to be that the only passengers you’d see with a coloring book were the ones having a tantrum a few hours earlier or drinking from a sippy cup. Today though, breaking out the crayons and coloring pages is something you may see fully grown women (and admittedly some men) indulging in on long journeys.

It’s official - adult coloring books are cool and if you spot any passenger staring at you for scribbling and shading until your heart’s content, it’s only because they want to get in on the action too. Color therapy should be every gal’s go-to accessory if they’re a nervous flyer. It’s meditative, satisfying and beats getting square eyes binge-watching a boxset for 5 hours straight!

18 Mini Massager (Random)

Stretching your legs on a long haul flight can be a great way to get the blood flowing and release tension in tired muscles. This is the way most passengers like to relieve aches and pains once the captain turns off the seatbelt sign, but sometimes your muscles need a little extra TLC.

A great gadget to keep with you in your carry-on is a portable massager to really get the knots out. Mini massagers with a hand grip are the ones to look out for since you can target specific aches – great for relieving backache in pregnant flyers. Also, they tend to be super quiet which is a big plus when surrounded by strangers!

17 A Blanket Scarf (Not-So-Random)

Plane cabins can get pretty cold and if you’re stuck wearing shorts and a tank top for 4 hours then expect to have purple hands and feet when you land (not a good look). Layers, layers and more layers are the key to a comfortable flight and a snuggly oversized scarf should be every girl’s carry-on staple.

Chunky knit sweaters and cardigans are great for keeping cozy on a plane, but since a scarf the size of a picnic blanket can be folded down to the size of a sock, we’d go with the latter to deal with a chilly cabin. Also, women feel the cold more than guys, so you best believe that blanket scarf is ours for the journey!

16 Tinted Moisturiser (Random)

Other than making your teeth chatter, a chilly plane cabin can play serious havoc with your skin. So if you’re not a fan of wearing a Silence of the Lambs style sheet mask to get a little extra moisture, packing a tinted moisturizer in your carry-on is the next best thing.

The stress of traveling coupled with the unforgiving aircraft atmosphere can sometimes cause breakouts, so using a moisturizer with the tiniest hint of foundation can be a godsend. Not only will your face get some light coverage, but you’ll also land with a dewy radiant complexion. What jet lag?

15 Nail File (Random)

Break a nail trying to haul your extra heavy luggage onto or off the carousel? Or just biting it in the sheer stress of how the airport makes you feel? It happens, and when you do chip or break a nail, it’s no fun to leave it chipped and jagged when it starts snagging on everything you touch.

Packing a nail file to smooth out your talons will make you feel so much more together and polished. It might be a cliché to be seen filing your nails while stuck waiting in the terminal or on a plane journey, but having lots of time to kill can be your best excuse for a bit of pampering – so go ahead with that mile-high manicure!

14 Some Floss (Random)

Okay, so you may find the idea of flossing next to total strangers a little gross on a flight, but hear us out. Unless you’re on a super quick flight, you’re probably going to be indulging in an in-flight meal or homemade snack of some kind and when it comes to certain foods, popping a mint and a quick swish of water is not always going to do the trick.

A stubborn bit of muesli between your teeth is probably not going to shift itself (also, what’s alternative here, using your fingers?). A thousand times no. If the bathroom is occupied, don’t be afraid to floss in your seat – it sure saves you the embarrassment of landing with lunch leftovers for a smile.

13 Spare Pair Of Flats (Not-So-Random)

If we want to rock up to the airport in a pair of heels that makes us feel like a million bucks, that’s our prerogative (to girls who can stand to dash through the airport in heels, I applaud you!).

Your feet will thank you later if you pack a spare pair of flats in your carry-on. Forget what you heard - a foldable pair of ballet flats are a girl’s best friend, not diamonds. For the sake of looking good while traveling, you could be faced with painful corns and blisters for the rest of your trip. Not cool.

12 Travel Journal (Random)

In between catching up on sleep and vegging out in front of our tablet or similar device to pass the time, most of us may never think to reach for pen and paper during a flight. Going with the traditional notebook may not be so appealing to every traveler and yet, a travel journal or scrapbook can be one of the best things you ever take in your carry-on.

When you’ve got a long journey ahead of you but you’re still abuzz with the thrill of your vacay, the people you met and the amazing things you saw, recording it all while it’s still fresh in your mind can be the best antidote to those end-of-holiday blues. Ditch the notes app and your phone to journal like an adventurer!

11 White Eyeliner (Random)

Are you ready for the best-kept beauty secret of flying? There are a lot of ways to de-puff tired eyes after a long day of traveling, but if you’re in need of a quick fix to make you look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when you land, consider packing some white eyeliner with your regular carry-on cosmetics.

Applying the thinnest line of the stuff to your lower lids will make sleepy eyes seem noticeably wider and make you look a lot more well rested in turn. This may not be every gal’s priority stepping off a plane, but if you’re headed to an important interview or to meet a loved one, it won’t hurt to look more 'with it'.

10 Ear Plugs (Not-So-Random)

You can buy the snuggliest travel pillow in the world, but at the end of the day, the only way you’re getting any decent shut-eye on an average flight is with some top quality ear plugs. Snorers, teething babies and a hundred plus passengers all chatting at once? Leave earplugs behind and you may as well leave your sanity there too.

At the very least, you should always have a set of noise-canceling earbuds in your carry-on. Plug in, find a relaxing playlist and tune the world out. If not, the bags under your eyes will be so heavy you’ll get charged for them at check in!

9 Beanie Hat (Random)

As we’ve already gathered, plane cabins can get uncomfortably cold, so short of covering yourself from head to toe in your blanket scarf, a great way of keeping the heat in your body is not to let it escape your head - with a cozy beanie hat.

Just like oversized scarves, slouchy beanie hats are easily folded and stored away in your carry-on until you need them. So what if you’re the only one wearing a winter hat on the flight to Bermuda? If you’re cold, you’re cold! Also great for a makeshift neck pillow, depending on how slouchy and thick the beanie is.

8 Some Eyedrops (Random)

Traveling by plane can make your peepers feel like they’re in the Sahara desert (and not because of the sandy grit collecting in the corners). Aircraft cabins dry out everything from our taste buds to our eyes and nobody wants to put up with that scratchy irritating feeling when we blink for 5 hours straight.

Do yourself a favor and try to always bring some eye drops along for the ride. This is especially good advice for those who wear contacts. Ever been in a room so dry the lenses just popped right out? Who’s to say it won’t happen on the flight (and if you wear permanent ones, you won’t want to put them back in your eyes).

7 Fluffy Warm Socks (Random)

Sure, flip flops sound like a good idea when you leave the house. They’re even kinda comfortable for walking around the airport. But once you’re sat in your plane seat, you find the AC is turned from pleasant breeze to arctic. Women feel the cold a lot more, so those flip flops or open-toe sandals quickly start to feel like a bad choice.

Any smart travel gal will be packing heat in their carry-on (literally) in the form of some fluffy and fleecy socks. When you’re traveling long haul, keeping your feet warm can make all the difference to your comfort. Plus, an extra chunky pair is great for hiding those less-than-attractive compression socks.

6 Q-Tips (Random)

We know what you’re thinking – who’s in the mood to clean out their ear canals at 35,000 ft while surrounded by strangers? Not many (although you’d be surprised by the other disgusting habits seen by fellow plane passengers). The fact is, there are many other uses for Q-Tips besides ear cleansing, so it’s always good to have a few spare with you.

If you decide your lipstick needs a touch-up or get bored and start filling in your brows, Q-tips can give you the clean, precise line you’re after. Maybe you want to remove your eye-makeup for an overnight flight? These come in handy for wiping every last speck of it off your face too.

5 An Eye Mask (Not-So-Random)

Unless you’re the kind of flyer that can simply lie back and shut their eyes, eye masks are a definite necessity for most travelers. As well as blocking out the light, they signal that you don't want to be disturbed, so if you’re feeling too tired to chat to your neighbor and just want to be home, an eye mask is your closest thing to a “leave me alone” neon sign.

Top tip: If you want to keep your eye make up intact while snoozing, you might want to consider a molded eye mask design. These are contoured to give your lashes room to breathe and are less likely to smudge your eyeshadow after napping for a few hours.

4 Spare Hair Ties (Random)

If it weren't suspicious to walk through security with a giant ball of elastic bands, we’d probably be tempted to pack one. We’re not sure how or why, but every girl knows the struggle of losing hair ties. No matter how many hundreds we buy, these pesky accessories tend to have a mind of their own, because they’re never around when we need ‘em.

So if you overpack one thing in your carry-on, we’d recommend taking a dozen hair bands (preferably clipped or tied together so there’s no chance of escape). When you need to get the heat off your neck or tie your tresses back on blustery days, you shouldn’t really travel without a truckload of these.

3 Oil Blotting Sheets (Random)

We’ve all been there – spending hours on our make-up and headed out the door feeling great, only to have it start melting a few hours down the line. Not a great look.

Bustling through the airport and traveling, in general, is usually bound to have our Instagram-worthy foundation and contouring looking a little oily midway through the day, which is why oil absorbing sheets are such a great travel accessory for any makeup loving girl to have. Using blotting sheets to take off some of the excess is miles better than re-applying. Take these in carry-on bag and you won’t regret it.

2 Mini Travel Perfume (Random)

Although some sample bottles of perfume are TSA approved for air travel, many of our favorite scents come in quite chunky bottles that don’t comply with the 100ml allowance. (and don’t even think about packing your fav perfume in your hold luggage). If the perfume bottle gets damaged and cracks open in your suitcase, you might have gorgeous smelling clothes, but wasting $60 worth of fragrance is not so fun.

Take a travel sized spray atomizer with you instead. They’re roughly the size of a tube of lipstick and hold all the scent you’ll need for a week-long vacation. You could even fill one with water for a quick refreshing spritz on the flight – just don’t mix the two up!

1 A Stick Of Roll-on Deodorant (Not-So-Random)

It should be fairly obvious why this is a no-brainer in your carry-on. Short or long haul flight, it’s always a comfort to know you have a way to freshen up before you can truly freshen up. 24-hour flights might require body wipes and extra measures to stay fresh, but for a flight of any length, a mini deodorant stick is your best friend.

You can usually find your favorite deodorant brand in a mini TSA-approved stick, so you don't have to settle for the bland, unscented kind if that isn’t your style. Carrying a roll-on deodorant with you is also common courtesy for your fellow passengers. You may not think you broke a sweat dashing through the airport, but a cramped aircraft cabin may say different.

References: theblondeabroad.comtravelfashiongirl.comtravelandleisure.com