So now that you have your plane attire taken care of, it’s time to think about what to pack in your carry-on bag. Most of the time, the articles I would write for AAA Traveler Magazine would include a basic checklist of essentials.
Generally, that list would include:
- Medications – this is by far the MOST important carry-on item.
- Passport – a given.
- Another form of ID (Driver’s license).
- Money/Credit Cards.
- Electronics – Cell phone, iPod, headphones, camera, laptop, etc. and their chargers.
After you’ve packed your essentials, however, there should still be room in your carry-on bag for items that will make your flight more enjoyable.
For me, those items include:
- Neck Pillow – Airplane pillows are rarely comfortable.
- Sleep Mask – I personally need it to be dark to fall asleep. If ambient light doesn’t bother you, by all means skip this one.
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste – On a long flight you’ll be eating at least one meal and perhaps waking up with “morning breath”.
- At least 1 magazine & a book – A travel guide of the area you are visiting is a good idea.
- Water mist spray – I like this one from Evian because it gives a continuous spray and will keep your skin feeling fresh.
- A sheet mask – These hydrating and soothing facial masks are fairly new to the U.S. (they’re very popular in Asia) and you may think you look a little scary when you put one on, but the benefits are worth a few awkward stares. They’re super easy to use and there’s no rinsing required – perfect for a long flight (I recommend only using one on flights 8 hours or longer).
- Moisturizer – For your face and hands. For the lucky people who do not have dry skin like me, you may think I’m going a bit overboard with my on-board skin essentials, but trust me, I learned the hard way that hydration is key.
- Lipbalm – Same reason – hydration!
- earPlanes – I won’t go on a flight without these. If you have ever experienced ear pain as the air pressure drops when you are landing, these are a lifesaver!
- Chewing Gum – In between brushing your teeth, it will freshen your breath (make sure it’s sugar-free). I bring it along because it also helps to reduce ear popping and pain.
- Contacts, Eye Glasses & Sunglasses – I like to wear my glasses on the plane because I can easily remove them when I want to sleep. When I arrive at my destination, I like to put in my contacts and throw on some sunglasses (and, if your luggage is lost, you’ll have a backup of each).
- Instant oatmeal – If you’re not a fan of airplane food (is anyone?) or get hungry in between meals, a packet of instant oatmeal can be a lifesaver. Just ask for hot water when the beverage cart comes around, mix, and you have breakfast!
With your carry-on stocked with these essentials, you can sit back, relax and enjoy your flight!