Categories: Wanderlust

10 Essentials for Your Carry On Bag

When traveling, it is important to make sure you have everything you need packed away in your main luggage, but what about your carry on? Most people decide to skip bringing a carry on to make things easier, or if they do, not much thought is put into its contents. However, a carry on is just as important, if not MORE important, than your main luggage. Here are 10 essentials for your carry on bag.

1. Hand Sanitizer/Sanitizing Wipes

GERMS GERMS GERMS! Airplanes are full of them. On just about every flight you can bet on at least one person sniffling, coughing or sneezing. Have you ever taken your seat to find orange Cheetos fingerprints all over the seat and tray table? Always have hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes with you to disinfect your tray table, seat belt, and arm rests. Also, nobody leaves an airplane feeling clean and refreshed. Bring body wipes for a quick freshen up in the airport bathroom after you land. It will make you feel 100x better!


2. Headphones

Flights now permit the use of small handheld devices throughout the entire flight and you don’t want to get stuck using the free earphones provided, half the time one ear piece doesn’t even work. Bring your own headphones to connect with your own device or with the in-flight entertainment. If you are feeling educational, download podcasts or audio books beforehand. Depending which airline you fly, some planes have T’s at every seat and provide free shows, movies, and music.

3. Empty Water bottle

Don’t want to pay five dollars for a water bottle in the airport? Airports are now installing water bottle filling stations throughout the terminals. Bring an empty water bottle and fill it when you get to your gate. It’s free!

4. A Small Blanket/Sleeping Accessories

Airplanes are notorious for being arctic cold, and nothing is more miserable than being freezing on an already uncomfortably claustrophobic flight. Bring a small travel blanket or jacket to keep you from getting chilled. If you do not end up using it for warmth, fold it up into a makeshift pillow. To try and catch some shut eye while flying, always pack earplugs, an eye mask and a neck pillow.

5. Gum/Mints

The rapid altitude changes during take off and landing causes pressure to build up in your ears; a condition medically termed barotrauma. To avoid this uncomfortable scenario, have gum, mints, or candy on handy which cause you to swallow. This forces the Eustachian tube in your ear to open up and relieve pressure. Yawning also helps alleviate this pain.

6. Snacks

It is near impossible to find something healthy in an airport. Yes, they may have bananas, but a piece of fruit is simply not enough to hold you over for an entire flight. Bring snacks that are high in protein to help keep you satisfied longer and curb cravings. This will help you avoid the temptation of giving into the free cookies and crackers on the plane. Some great traveling snack ideas that easily fit in your bag are: veggie sticks with avocado hummus, brown rice cakes with raw unsalted peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, homemade sweet potato chips and almond butter, and dry roasted edamame/chickpeas.

7. Socks

If flip flops are your shoe of choice for flying, then bringing along a pair of socks is a must. With security checkpoints making it mandatory for you to take your shoes off, it can be pretty nasty to walk through the airport barefoot. Gross… On top of that the floors of airplanes get drafty causing your feet to be more susceptible to getting cold. Not to mention, sitting for a long period prevents blood circulation in your legs, causing them to get swollen, cold and crampy. Compression socks, as well as frequently rolling your ankles in circles, standing up, etc. helps prevent this discomfort.

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8. Lotion and Chapstick

The very low humidity of airplane cabins can leave you feeling like you just walked out of the Sahara dessert. Always have a good moisturizer and Chapstick to avoid dehydrated and cracked skin and lips. Additionally, because you are closer to the sun, UVA rays are just as, if not, even more, damaging to your skin when flying. Always look for these items with SPF included. As an additional tip, try to avoid wearing heavy makeup when flying to let your skin breathe and avoid bacteria build up.

9. Phone Charger

How are you supposed to call an Uber if your phone is dead? Always have a phone charger with you, otherwise, you will end up paying a pretty penny for one in the airport. If you are flying internationally be sure to bring an outlet converter because foreign countries have different sockets than the US.

10. An Extra Outfit

Although it doesn’t happen as frequently, sometimes luggage can get lost in transit. In that case, it’s always important to pack an extra set of clothes in your carry on. Sometimes while traveling we may feel uncomfortable and sweaty, so knowing you have the option to change your shirt can also make travel more comfortable. Even if your luggage arrives promptly and safely, you don’t have to dig into your suitcase to change once you have reached your destination. You’ll be too tired to open your suitcase anyway!

Feature image source: agirlastyle
Emily Sowski

Emily Sowski, originally from Southern California, studies at The Ohio State University where she plans to take the PR/Marketing world by storm. She is a health, fitness, and fashion guru who lives for spontaneous adventures.

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