Spring Break is here (for me, at least), and as someone who absolutely loves to travel, I’ve learned what is and what isn’t a necessity to have with you on the plane. I also have a tendency to overpack, so it’s been difficult to learn which things I absolutely need. So, besides the obvious things to pack (like a laptop and phone), here are some of the things I’ve learned are important when thinking on what to pack in a carry-on!
1. A change of clothes
I can’t tell you how good it feels to put on a fresh tee-shirt or underwear when you’ve been traveling for over a day. It’s also a good idea for the clumsy moments that hit us all, with coffee spills when we’re running to catch planes or the stain that we have no idea where it came from. There’s also nothing like changing into clothes that haven’t been smeared with everyone else germs, and that feel so fresh and smell like home.
2. A book
There’s no better time to get to the book that you’ve been wanting to read for months than while you’re sitting on a plane for 5 hours. Plus, laptop and phone batteries can run-out, and there isn’t always a place to plug them in. Although it can be heavy and cumbersome, and kindle and iBook are great apps, having a physical book is a great time-waster.
3. A portable charger
If you run into the problem stated above (where there isn’t a place to charge your phone or laptop), it’s vital that you have a portable charger of some sort. There are some really great ones that aren’t too expensive, and can hold just enough battery for your device until you’re able to fully charge it again. It’s definitely worth it, and it can save you from boredom; especially if you’re not a reader and don’t want to carry around a book.
4. Hand sanitizer
There are thousands of people who travel in airports every day, and with them comes billions of germs. Hand sanitizer is a good way to keep yourself safe from illnesses that you could catch while at the airport, and it can save you especially if the tiny bathrooms in the planes run out of soap (sadly, that happens sometimes). I’ve found the tiny pocket ones from Bath & Body Works to be the best size, and the Black Cherry Merlot is definitely the best scent!
Especially since you’ll be wanting to wash your hands so often, and being in a plane is dehydrating anyways, lotion can be a lifesaver. One of the things I hate the most is chapped hands, so lotioning-up goes a long way in making me more comfortable during long plane rides!
6. A small notebook
Not only is having a small notebook useful for traveling in regards to noting important information (like a hotel address or a phone number), but it also is a great idea to keep a travel journal! With all the pictures everyone takes on their phones everyday, it’s kinda nice to be able to take the pictures, print them, and have somewhere to put them besides your wall. It’s fun to look back at what you did everyday and see the pictures in a cute little notebook. That way, you can remember the memories that much easier!
7. A pen
Having a pen or something else to write with is important; especially if you’re going out of the country, or if you decide that you want to keep a travel journal in your notebook. With how many forms and other things you have to sign, it’s nice to know that you have one on you and you don’t have to go searching for one or buy one.
8. A fuzzy pair of socks
Although you can include it with your change of clothes, I love having a pair of separate comfy socks while travelling. It can be annoying to keep your shoes on (especially when you’re travelling on a long flight), and having a pair of clean, fuzzy socks to put on your sore and dirty feet is a dream.
9. A blanket scarf
Again, although this can be included with your change of clothes, a blanket scarf is a great idea to pack, because as the name suggests, it can be used as a blanket! Airports and airplanes have a tendency to vary greatly in temperature, so it’s nice to just be able to wrap something around you’re neck instead of having to carry 10 coats and sweaters with you through the terminals.
10. A water bottle
Even though it will have to be emptied before you go through security, having a water bottle is a great idea for longer flights and lots of road travel. Paper cups or plastic water bottles aren’t eco-friendly. Plus, you’re probably more likely to spill you drink on yourself when it’s in a paper cup, and it’s easier to stow away when you’re not drinking from it. Generally, it’s better to have a reusable water bottle on you at all times, anyways. You never know when it could really come in handy!
11. An eye-mask
When travelling on long flights, sometimes it can be hard to sleep with all the lights and sounds around you. Having a sleep mask can block some of that out, and help you get better sleep. But, remember to wash it if you’re using it a lot! It’s similar to a pillowcase, which should be washed at least every few days to a week.
Crying babies, snoring people and slamming bathroom doors. Enough said.
The is probably pretty obvious, but those peanuts that they serve on flights aren’t enough to fill your grumbling stomach for that 3 hours flight. Plus, when flying internationally, in-flight food is sometimes not included in the price, and the meals can be very pricy. It’s best to grab something cheaper when you can (even though nothing is usually cheap about airports).
This is an optional item. Even though most phone cameras now can take pretty awesome photos, I prefer to always have my DSLR or some other type of camera with me. Even though having it in my carry-on could become a pain (because it’s big), I would never put it in a checked bag, because those bag handlers are not at alp careful with bags! They just toss them on conveyer belts without any thought as to what is in them. That’s why it’s always better to keep things that are valuable and breakable (like jewelry or other electronics) with you!
Hope that this helps for any last-minute packing. Safe travels!