Your carry-on bag is like your life on any flight. Once you’ve checked your bag, all your left with is your carry-on, so you better have the essentials packed in there to make your flight a little easier. Before you leave, make sure you have these things packed and ready to go.
Hand Sanitizer or Wet Wipes
The last thing you want is to turn up at your destination feeling sick. Ward off germs and viruses by always carrying a mini hand sanitizer or a pack of wet wipes in your carry-on. Airport bathrooms sometimes run out of soaps and airplane bathrooms are not always the cleanest. I am 100% that weirdo on flights that wipes EVERYTHING down before I sit down! I use travel Clorox wipes to wipe down the arm rests, seat buckle, and tray table/tv. I’ll even wipe down the head rest of the seat before sitting down.
Change of Clothes
This is important for many reasons, but the most important being that every time you check your bag, you’re putting your faith in a stranger that your luggage will end up where it’s supposed to. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out (knock wood, I’ve never had my luggage go missing). Keeping a clean set of clothes in your carry-on is essential. Also, if you are on a long flight or a red-eye, you’ll just feel more refreshed if you change after your flight.
This carry-on essential is also environmentally-friendly. Keeping a reusable water bottle with you during your travels helps keep you hydrated throughout. More and more airports are installing water fountains or refill stations in departure halls so you can fill your bottle after you pass through security.
A bulky travel pillow may not seem worth the precious space it takes up, but you’ll be grateful once you’re on a long-haul or red-eye flight.
You’ll need a pen to complete a customs form on an international flight or fill out a visa-on-arrival form in your destination. In a world where it seems like everything is digital, you’d actually be surprised how often a pen will come in handy when traveling.
Stay warm in over air-conditioned airplanes, airports, and buses by bringing your own clothing that can double as a blanket. If you’re traveling on the cheap, don’t expect budget airlines to dole out extra perks like pillows and blankets. Save yourself the hassle and bring a wide shawl or wrap to help you cover up, stay warm and sleep comfortably.
Headphones of any kind are an absolute must! Watch a movie or drift off to sleep in peace while listening to your favorite playlist without being disturbed by crying babies or conversations going on around you.
Most flights I go on, have personal tv’s built in, but in the event that they don’t or if your TV doesn’t work, it can be a real bummer. Make sure to stockpile movies/books on your tablet or pre-download your favorite shows from Netflix.
If airplane food doesn’t agree with you, then you’re stuck without anything to eat until you touch down. Instead of holding out for a “decent meal” at your destination, pack some snacks to get you through. Unsalted nuts, dried fruit, or oranges keep your tummy full without the bloat.
A Power Bank
Your phone/ipad/e-reader does you no good if the battery dies. Some airlines offer in-seat USB ports, but not all do. Nothing is worse than a long flight with nothing to do. Make sure you have a slim, light-weight power bank in your carry-on for emergency charging.