The definitive Wallpaper* packing list: our guide to filling up your carry on

From carry-on luggage to wash bag, our comprehensive packing guide for every trip – whether weekends away by train or car, or long-haul flights further afield

Woman in sunglasses and bikini with bag: packing list items
Left, all by Chanel. Right, all by Max Mara. Originally featured in the July 2022 issue of Wallpaper*
(Image credit: Photography by Andreas Klassen)

Our definitive packing list is here to make filling up your carry-on easy – whether preparing for a weekend at home with family or jetting off long-haul. With strategic guides to choosing a cabin bag, refreshing your wash bag and investing in travel tech, follow this guide to stay comfortable, fresh-faced and – most importantly – stress-free on your next journey.

Wallpaper* packing list: the definitive guide

The carry on

Begin with the case: an update to your carry-on luggage will improve travel with immediate effect. An array of cabin-sized options are available – see our guide to the very best carry-on luggage – though you will be hard-pushed to beat Rimowa’s lightweight aluminium original ‘Cabin’ bag, a design classic that has been compared to the Leica camera or Porsche 911. Other options include Away’s ‘The Carry-On Flex, which can be expanded by over two inches in size for last-minute additions (make sure to pack using the brand’s modular ‘packing cubes’ for easy internal organisation), Globetrotter’s timeless ‘Centenary’ carry-on, or for the more adventurous, the North Face ‘Basecamp’ duffle is surprisingly spacious (and easily crammed into an overhead locker). A luggage tag doubles as a stylish adornment: we are particularly keen on Celine’s take, in monogram Triomphe canvas and calfskin, or Bottega Veneta’s hardy rubber version, moulded to evoke the house’s intrecciato leather weave.

Alongside your carry-on, a simple tote provides perhaps the ultimate travel bag – select one with space enough for requisite duty-free purchases and onboard reading material (the latest issue of Wallpaper*, naturally). The roomy Celine Cabas, Loewe’s anagram ‘T Tote Bag’ and the JW Anderson ‘Belt Tote Bag’ in soft felt all make for effort-free travel companions. Inside, a travel wallet or pouch – our preference is the geometric Bao Bao Issey Miyake Prism Pouch Bag, available in an array of colours – helps prevent rummaging for your passport come customs. 

Woman with parasol and Chanel beach bag

All by Chanel. Originally featured in the March 2022 issue of Wallpaper*

(Image credit: Photography by Joanna Wzorek)

On-plane accessories should be kept simple. A large cashmere scarf will account for on-board temperature drops – Extreme Cashmere’s triangular ‘Witch’ scarf comes in an array of vivid colours and handily doubles as both a headscarf and wraparound top (a handy proposition should your hold luggage go missing). An eye mask remains essential for long-haul, or indeed early morning, flights – Prada’s Satin Travel Mask is typically sleek in design, arriving with its own matching black satin pouch for easy packing, while the silk Slip Sleep Mask (the cult brand rose to prominence with silk pillowcases to prevent hair breakage) will no doubt find itself on year-round rotation. Some swear by an extra pair of socks for on-board comfort  – if so, you’ll be hard-pushed to find anything quite as luxurious as Brunello Cucinelli’s ribbed cashmere socks – though our personal essential accessory is the cap, a handy solution for post-flight hair or simply remaining incognito through arrivals.

The wash bag

No getaway bag is complete without a range of beauty and grooming essentials. Costa Brazil’s travel kit is a compact collection of all the skin and body care you need on trips away, including a hydrating face cleanser, face serum, ‘Kaya’ anti-ageing face oil, body cream, and the ’Kaya Jungle’ firming body oil.

When it comes to oral care, remember to pack Marvis’ toothpaste travel set complete with a sleek black toothbrush, mini toothpaste and mouthwash. For hair, the folding comb from Buly 1803 is a sleek way to keep hair tame, while We Are Paradoxx's ‘Detox’ dry shampoo is a simply packaged but highly effective powder dry shampoo to combat greasiness. When you get to your destination, lather up with one of the mini shampoos and conditioners from Davines, the natural Italian hair care company operating out of a sprawling farm complex in Parma.  

To make sure you stay looking fresh throughout your journey, pack Hermès’ refillable lip balm and Horace’s anti-dark circle serum to prevent tired eyes and puffiness. 

Travel grooming case with comb lipstick and nail clippers

Vanity clutch by Salako and Issac Reina. Originally featured in the August 2015 issue of Wallpaper*

(Image credit: Paul Zak)

Those who suffer from travel sickness should try Kloris' 24-hour release CBD patches which bypass your liver and digestive system for maximum effectiveness in combating nausea, relieving travel anxiety and relaxing tight muscles caused by sitting in one place for an extended amount of time. If you're worried about catching a cold, try Santa Maria Novella’s ‘Aceto Aromatico’ (or 'Vinegar of the Seven Thieves’), an ancient Italian remedy originally used during the plague epidemic between 1628 and 1631. Give it a sniff over the course of your travels to keep your sinuses clear and ward off germs. 

Last but not least, ensure you keep smelling fresh with Celine’s travel perfumes in the house’s chic metal spray cases and Fussy natural deodorant, which uses probiotics to effectively kill bacteria. 

The tech case

Finally, don’t forget to pack your tech accessories (and requisite cables and charges). Headphones are a must and, while we’ve covered a range of earbuds, we recommend the ultra-compact Sony ‘LinkBuds S’ for travel, which are billed as the world’s smallest and lightest noise-cancelling headphones. If you prefer over-ear headphones, try Sony’s WH-1000XM5 which uses location-aware adaptive sound control to increase or decrease ambient noise depending on where you are. It also has a ‘speak-to-chat’ function that uses voice recognition to register your voice in conversation mode and stop music playing. 

Nothing can short-circuit your journey quite like your phone dying. Ensure you never run out of battery with the Nomad ‘Base Station Pro’ wireless charger, with a sleek black slab design and the capacity for charging three devices at once. 

Woman in bikini holding Celine handbag

Bag by Celine. Originally featured in the July 2022 issue of Wallpaper*

(Image credit: Photography by Andreas Klassen)

Invest in a luggage tag that is equally chic and convenient with the Hermès and Apple AirTag. The elegant leather tag designed by Hermès contains Apple FindMy technology so that you can locate your luggage on your phone – wherever it ends up in the world. 

And, of course, every travel bag needs an adaptor. We recommend the Pro USB worldwide adaptor from Skross which works in over 195 destinations and can power up to three devices at once. 

Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.