If you had all the money in the world PLUS a job that makes you travel constantly, what would you invest in? Some people choose to spend their millions on cars, clothes, homes, or even private jets. Others are fine flying commercial first class, as long as they have a few key items tucked into their carry-ons. Often, one small thing (or one small yet still very expensive thing) can make a big difference to a frequent traveler’s comfort aboard a plane.
That’s the case for the celebrities on this list, from Reese Witherspoon to Chris Evans to the Kardashian-Jenners and beyond. They basically fly for a living! Jetting from sets to red carpet events to new filming or photoshoot locations to international business meetings is their daily bread and butter. Who better to know what to pack in a carry-on bag?
Some of these celebrities have picked up some pretty strange habits and customs along the way to worldwide fame. Their airplane must-haves range widely from common-sense essentials to truly unique items. If you have a friend who won’t fly without always bringing something strange on the plane, this is the article to pass along to them. Maybe that friend is you. Either way, here’s some reassurance that some packing habits aren’t all that odd when compared to those of these two dozen celebrity travelers.
We’ve ranked them below from least to most unique. Read on for our countdown of airplane essentials that celebrity travelers absolutely won’t travel without.
25 A Creamy Face Serum: Alexa Chung
It’s no secret that flying on a plane can dry your skin out. That’s why so many frequent fliers won’t set foot on a plane without a really good moisturizer in their carry-on bags. Not any moisturizer will do, however. The lower oxygen content on a plane can suck so much moisture out of skin that celebrities like Alexa Chung choose to pack a combination of heavy-duty skincare serums.
“My skin is thirsty,” she explains. “I use anything super thick and creamy, like Decleor's Hydra Floral Multi-Protection or Nude Replenish Daily Moisturiser, and then add a drop of Rodin Oil Lusso face oil.”
24 Travel-Specific Slippers: Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber recently launched his own line of so-called "hotel slippers," and has been selling thousands of them. Although they're being marketed for use in hotels (in other words, when you've reached your vacation destination), he himself has been photographed wearing them during his travels.
Who can blame him? Slippers on a plane are a great idea. They stop the chill off the cabin from reaching your toes, keep your feet comfortable, and stop your bare feet (gross) or socks from ever touching the dubiously clean airplane floor. We wouldn't recommend wearing them while you walk around the airport, but if you've got Bieber-level confidence, you may as well go for it.
23 An Analog Watch: Ryan Gosling
There are a lot of time-sensitive elements to airplane travel. You need to check-in at the right time. You need to allow plenty of time to get yourself through various security and customs checkpoints. You also need to be prepared to board at the right time and to know whether you’re on-track to landing on time when you’re in the air.
Instead of bothering with added electronic devices that most airlines want you to detach from Wi-Fi during flights (or phones that may or may not automatically change time zones) Ryan Gosling chooses to fly with a good old fashioned analog watch. He’s always photographed wearing one when he flies, and we don’t blame him for it.
22 A Script: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
According to BoatInternational.com, The Rock has shared photos of himself on his own social media accounts looking through scripts and storyboards while he flies. Fellow acting icon Sarah Jessica Parker (mentioned above as a book lover in list item number 13) also uses her time in the air to read the occasional script.
It makes sense that celebrities with busy schedules would choose to make the most of their time by multitasking at every opportunity. Instead of other passengers who might use their time on a plane just for relaxing and taking a break, celebs like The Rock pack scripts so they can keep working no matter what.
21 A Multi-Purpose Scarf: Lily Aldridge
Lily Aldridge likes to wear a nice big scarf anytime she has to fly off to a faraway photoshoot or luxury holiday. It's a simple item that can serve a whole lot of purposes and comes in quite handy at all points of your travel journey.
Lily's one scarf, for example, has served this model as a stylish accessory as she walks through the airport, and then as a blanket whenever the cabin of the aircraft gets chilly, and even as a stylish beach sarong when you land in a sunny destination and immediately hit the sand and sea. Brilliant!
20 TOMS Slip-On Shoes: Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba is all about stylish and ethical comfort. Whether it comes to her own wellness company or partnerships sustainable/ethically conscious brands, she always has insight on which options are best for the planet (and the best looking). For footwear, she has a favorite option that she wears every time she flies: TOMS brand ballet flats. This is a twist on the classic style of TOMS shoes, and even easier to slip-on.
Alba tells Instyle Magazine these shoes are "not only comfortable for walking long distances, but they are easy to slip on and off at a security checkpoint. Plus, the minimalist shoe is chic with jeans."
19 A Stylish Trenchcoat: Selena Gomez
Selena likes to fly in a classic trench with plenty of pockets, as seen in photos from PopSugar. She frequently wears a trench coat in white, khaki, and black versions whenever she takes to the airport and the skies.
We've told you this kind of coats are perfect for flying before. They are basically a carry-on bag in the form of a layering jacket, two things you want on your flight with you anyway. The dual purposes of warmth and storage are excellent for keeping you covered while keeping your hands free to carry your bags, passport, and more. Just be sure to empty all those pockets when you go through the security checkpoint.
18 A Paparazzi-Blocking Baseball Cap: David Beckham
According to GQ, David Beckham rarely flies without a few essential items. Of course, these items are both practical and luxurious and chosen by Beckham to either help him stay comfortable, stay entertained, or stay hidden from the paps as he navigates the airport.
David Beckham is rarely seen in an airport's arrival or departure areas without a good old baseball cap on. It's a great way for athletes like him to support their team's brand, or as is often his case, their wife's brand. There's almost nothing better than a dark, full-coverage baseball cap to boost a celebrity's anonymity factor as they travel through crowded terminals and sit through hours-long flights. ALMOST nothing better.
17 Large, Round Sunglasses: Bella Hadid
By amount of celebrity wearers alone, large, dark sunglasses are just about the very best thing you can pack in your carry-on bag and wear throughout your airport experience. Celebs from Cate Blanchett to Lupita Nyong’o, Bella Hadid, Reese Witherspoon, and even male celebrities like Orlando Bloom, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Idris Elba are rarely seen flying without sporting a sizable pair of sunglasses.
Some of the most reliable sunglass wearers at the airport are the Hadid sisters; Bella and Gigi. This star-powered duo wears designer sunglasses at every travel opportunity, whether they are flying first class commercially or privately on their own chartered jet (as Bella is seen with above). So chic.
16 Best Friends: Chris Hemsworth and Most Celeb Travelers
What is the point of being able to fly first class if you can't do it with your besties in tow? An entourage of friends is what Chris Hemsworth (and dozens of other celebrities) can't fly without, and would you ever disagree with Thor himself?
We fully support any celebrity who chooses to bring their friends to their international adventures. That's one of the best parts of the travel lifestyle! With enough success and the priorities of these celebrities, you could easily take your friends on your flights when you travel the world. Sowing them your travel pics on Instagram is nice, but as celebs know, having them with you IRL is so much better.
15 Acne Spot Treatment: Zoe Sugg
If you’re one of the rare creatures who get oily instead of dry while you fly, this celebrity travel essential might be just right for you. Zoe Sugg (the millionaire YouTube star and lifestyle blogger often called Zoella) always packs an acne spot treatment in her carry-on when she has to take a long flight.
“This is amazing if you're on a plane that's quite stuffy,” she tells viewers, “I will never go on a long-haul flight or a flight that's slightly longer without it.” She recommends choosing a fast-acting spot treatment, so it gives you a chance to zap that in-flight blemish before you land and your holiday/work trip/other travel opportunity begins.
14 Silk Pillowcases: The Kardashian-Jenners
Oh, airplane skin issues. Will you ever NOT be a problem? Some celebrities go to great lengths to avoid the pimples and dry patches that the rest of us often end up with after a flight. Kim Kardashian’s family-wide travel essential is a surprising skin-related one: a silk pillow.
If you thought regular airline pillows were good enough for Kim K’s cheeks, you were wrong. She always carries a silk pillowcase to use while in-flight and claims that it helps to stop oil from building up on her face while she catches some zzz’s. Have you tried this tip? Let us know if it worked for your skin, too.
13 A Furry Friend: Ellie Goulding
When pop star Ellie Goulding flies, she reportedly brings her beloved dog, George. Who could leave that face at home?
A lot of flights are cracking down on their service and emotional support animal policies lately, so if you want to bring your own pet onboard a plane, it's likely that you'll need to jump through some serious logistical hoops to get them there. This is for any flight on a commercial plane, of course. Sensational superstars like Ellie Goulding don't need to worry about these kinds of things when they are wealthy enough to just charter their own private planes. Goals!
12 A Tube of Chapstick: Chris Evans
A classic. Skin isn’t the only thing to get dry on a flight. Chris Evans uses this standalone product to protect his lips from drying and cracking during his flights. Among the other, very perfect parts of Chris Evans is his mouth, which might captivate some audience members of his action films more than the chase sequences or fight scenes.
If your lips are a favorite part of your own face, protect them from the elements of an airplane! To learn more about what cabin air does to baby-soft body parts, check out this article and prepare to pack your Chapstick.
11 Face Masks and Pore Strips: Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen isn't known for being shy on social media, and her travel posts are specifically candid and cute. They reveal what she does every time she flies, which is often, considering she is an international celebrity and public figure.
Between pictures of her adorable kids and handsome husband enjoying the luxuries of private air travel are shots of her using her time in the skies to improve her complexion. She dons everything from disposable moisturizing facial masks to pore clearing strips and beyond. Why not squeeze a little pamper time into your day while you're confined to a plane cabin? Your skin might thank you for it.
10 A Homemade Salad: Jennifer Aniston
This might sound weird at first, but we’ve told you before: smart travelers pack their own food! Airplane food is notoriously iffy, and packing a lunch of your own can save you from having to taste things you don’t like or spend money you don’t have. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t add any extra expenses to your time in the terminal, and to maintain control over your air travel experience.
That’s what Jennifer Aniston chooses to do by preparing her own flight food. She always prepares her own fresh salad to eat onboard any flight. But be warned: this might not be allowed on international flights, as bringing fresh produce across borders is generally a no-no.
9 A Colorful Duffel Bag: Zac Efron
Whether he's jogging across a beach or relaxing in a romantic European city, Zac Efron is often seen traveling the world for work and play. According to GQ, Zac Efron rarely travels without one essential item: his neon orange duffel-style carry-on bag.
This duffel bag is smaller than a typical athlete's duffel, the perfect size to tuck under the seat of the person in front of you on a plane (not under your own seat, flying newbies!). It's also so brightly colored that it's easy to keep track of throughout your trip. This can be a big asset for celebs with expensive possessions in tow. Smart packing, Zac!
8 A Disney Movie: Jennifer Lawrence
Most airline’s in-flight entertainment options are just getting better and better. Have you swiped through the selection displayed in front of your seat recently? It’s like Netflix in the sky! For some celebrities, however, this selection just doesn’t do it.
Jennifer Lawrence, to distract from the stresses of flying thousands upon thousands of feet above ground, always has to watch some classic Disney movies while she flies. She says she is always sure to have a few animated Disney movies downloaded in preparation for any flight. Who knew J-Law was relaxing with Simba and Snow White whenever she flies? So sweet.
7 A Paperback Novel: Sarah Jessica Parker
Like many savvy travelers, Sarah Jessica Parker never takes a plane without a trusty paperback book in her carry-on bag. Would you expect anything different from the actress most famous for the role of Carrie Bradshaw, Manhattan-based writer and reader of all things fashionable? SJP stays up-to-date on all the latest novels whenever she travels abroad.
Flights and subway rides are always "page-turning opportunities," she tells Financial Times. Other celebs who always fly with easy reading material include Rosie Huntington-Whitely, according to Who What Wear magazine. Join their ranks by packing your own paperback, or investing in an in-flight read the next time you pass through the booksellers in the airport.
6 Rosehip Oil: David Gandy
David Gandy is one of the most highly sought-after male supermodels in the game. Look at that face and you know it's got to be true. His high-flying career often involves international appearances, so it's no surprise that he's developed his own in-flight routine and list of carry-on essentials over the years.
One thing his life in the air can't go without rosehip oil. "I take 90-odd flights a year so my skin is constantly dehydrated," he tells The Daily Mail. "An Australian make-up artist gave me her rosehip oil and it just seemed to do wonders." Good to know.
5 A Mini Flat Iron: Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore has a secret tool in her carry-on bag that keeps her looking fresh every time she lands. If you've ever seen pictures of this celebrity leaving an airport, you'll know that her glam game is always on point. Maybe that's how she keeps getting cast in lead roles! She's very aware of keeping her iconic red hair in good condition, even when she flies.
"I have very wavy hair. I always travel with a tiny hair iron for emergencies," she tells Fashion magazine. "It's just really good for taking any kinks out, especially if you've been on a long flight."
4 Noise-canceling Headphones: Karlie Kloss
Anyone who’s flown on a plane in the past 30 years knows it’s basically unmanageable without headphones. During takeoff and landing, the cabin can be so loud even without the noise from other passengers. It sometimes seems like airplane travel is what noise-canceling headphones were made for.
Karlie Kloss knows this and NEVER travels without her handy noise-canceling headphones in tow. She has a stylishly studded rose gold pair, as seen in her Instagram posts from her time in the air. They even fold into their own pocket-sized pouch for easy carrying, and we all know how valuable the space inside a little carry-on bag can be. Her choice in headphones is practical, adorable, and completely essential.
3 A Trusty Phone Charger: Jeff Goldblum
Nobody is naive enough to put their phone charger in their checked luggage instead of in their carry-on these days. Unless you have a major forgetful moment, we're fairly certain that a cellphone charger is one of the top packing priorities you have. It keeps you connected to the rest of the world if your phone battery is running low while you're commuting, and everyone knows it. Even Jeff Goldblum always packs it.
"I sure like to bring my Apple charger on the plane and be able to charge my phone," he tells GQ Magazine. "I feel quite anxious these days if it gets too low—how I used to feel when my gas got too low in the car."
2 A Cozy Sweater: Maisie Williams, Gigi Hadid, Rooney Mara
According to Glamour magazine, celebrities like Maisie Williams, Gigi Hadid, Rooney Mara, the Fanning sisters (Dakota and Elle), and more A-listers are usually seen wearing or carrying a cozy sweater anytime they're taking a flight.
From hoodies to cardigans to pull-overs, sweaters of all kinds are seen on jet-setting celebrities these days. We bet this is because layering such items is a clever way to prepare yourself for temperatures in your departure location, in the air, and at your destination. Too cold? Pop it on. Too hot? Take it off. The sweater-toting passenger is prepared for it all.
1 The Latest Magazine: Kim Kardashian West
Imagine walking into your terminal with some time to spare. You’ve already made it through security and rolled your little suitcase all the way to your gate. What do you do to kill time before boarding? You might look at your phone, but airport Wi-Fi might not always be reliable, and data in foreign places can be expensive. Good thing there’s usually a magazine kiosk close at hand to provide a much-needed distraction.
Kim Kardashian is not only a fan of being on magazine covers, but she’s also a fan of reading the material that’s between them – especially while traveling. According to her Instagram account, she reads magazines like Cosmopolitan whenever she takes to the skies.
References: Self.com, People.com, PopSugar.com, Elle.com, Journiest.com, BRAVOtv.com, BeautyCrew.com, FT.com, WhoWhatWear.co.uk, Allure.com, InStyle.com, BoatInternational.com, Glamour.co.uk