Everyone has their own list of must-have items in their carry-on bag, whether it's your noise-canceling headphones, your favorite pair of sunglasses, or your smartphone. Yet what are some of the items that are most often overlooked or forgotten when packing your carry-on?
Here's a list of must-have items that you should consider packing in your carry-on the next time you travel!
Lip Balm and Lotion
With the dry skin conditions on airplanes, there’s a sense of comfort when you don’t feel like you’re turning into a prune. Avoid chapped lips and dry, flaky skin when you are on the plane by packing with you some lip balm and lotion to keep lathered up and smooth while on the road.
Empty Water Bottle
You’re not allowed to bring full water bottles through security, but if you bring an empty one, you won’t be tempted to purchase water from the convenience stores in the airport. Use the drinking fountains that are posted usually next to the restrooms and save yourself a few dollars in the process!
USB Plug & Cable
If you have multiple electronic devices that use USB cables, you only really need to bring one USB plug – that way you can minimize the amount of chargers you bring by only bringing the cables and one interchangeable USB plug to charge your devices.
A Pair of Socks
You’re going to be sitting for a long time. If you’re the type of person who wears sandals or flip flops on the plane for ease of removal, you want to make sure you bring a comfortable pair of socks as the temperature of the plane might change and you don’t want to kick off your shoes and walk around the plane in bare feet.
Toothbrush and Toothpaste (or alternately, chewing gum or mints)
Let’s face it – you’re spending more than a few hours in a confined space, in close quarters to other people, and you’re drinking and eating whatever snacks the flight attendant is sending your way. On long-haul flights, you are also subject to multiple meals. Keep your mouth minty fresh and feeling clean by having a toothbrush and toothpaste with you to freshen up your mouth. This will make sure you keep to your regular dental hygiene even when your schedule is thrown off by plane travel.
A clean pair of clothes & underwear
Unless you have mastered the art of efficiently packing a carry-on suitcase with two weeks’ worth of clothes, you’ll likely check your bag in and bring a small carry-on with you. Though it won’t happen often, should the airline ever misplace your suitcase or you’re stranded without luggage in your new destination for a few days, having an extra pair of clean clothes on hand will help you get through another day.
While international flights will serve you meals, you’ll never know when hunger will strike and you’ll want to be prepared with snacks of your own so you’re not stuck buying an overpriced bag of peanuts at the airport lounge. It will also appease your appetite when you’re hungry and you have a tight layover during your travels and don’t have time to eat a meal.
Comfy pajamas (for long haul flights)
If you’re traveling for business, you don’t always want to show up to the airport wearing your pajamas or a pair of sweatpants. Yet on a long-haul flight, it might be to your benefit to have a pair of comfortable pajamas to change into once you’ve established your space on the airplane. Some people need comfort to fall asleep on airplanes and keeping the ritual of changing into a different pair of clothes will keep you from feeling icky after sitting in the same clothes for more than 12 hours.
Lots of Pens
You’d be surprised how many people do not bring a pen with them on an international flight, especially when they are required to fill out customs declaration forms or just to write something down. Have a pen on hand for these instances (or to complete the crossword in the back of the in-flight magazine.) Also hand out the pens to the flight attendants to keep – they always appreciate it because it’s likely they don’t have enough pens for all the passengers either!
If you don’t want to pop up from your seat to run to the restroom and wash your hands, wet wipes are a great item to have in your carry-on. They can clean up spills and refresh your face and hands when you’re feeling a little dry (see lip balm and lotion above!).