Keep Calm, Carry-on

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.
  • Jewelry.
  • 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!

  1. Sleep masks can really help me and it also makes the quality of my sleep even better. i really love sleep masks. ;.,;;

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