So you’re flying overseas or going away on a quick trip? Flight could be a long flight of 7 hours or more. How exciting is that?
If you are like me you are thinking….
What in the world are you supposed to pack?! What belongs in your carry-on? What should you leave at home?
Grab a pen and paper now! I’ve compiled a list of what every overseas traveler should have when flying. You can customize or downsize as needed.
First of all, you need to decide what to put in your carry-on versus putting it in your check-in luggage. Too many people cram the carry-ons full of stuff, or even bring extra carry-ons on board because they think they need all that stuff. Wrong. Keep in mind that almost everyone will have a carry-on… is it fair for you to take up more than your allotted space? Most airlines flying overseas allow 2 carry-ons. This includes a purse/laptop/diaper bag, etc. well-packed carry-on should have:
A change of clothes: You may spill something on your blouse, or your luggage may get lost. An extra set of clothes will come in handy when you least expect it. Pack something that isn’t bulky, or that won’t take up a lot of room.
Medications: This includes basics like Pepto-Bismol and Excedrin, Midol and airborne which you should start the day before travel. Airline food may not agree with you, or the stuffy cabin may cause your head to ache. Also keep any prescription medicines in your carry-on so that in case your luggage is delayed, you’ll still be able to take your medicine.
Contact lens case/glasses: Flying makes your body dehydrated, which makes your eyes dry. Keep a bottle of rewetting drops with you if you insist on wearing contacts. Also keep a spare case in case it gets really bad and you want to take your lenses out. If you can, wear your glasses — your eyes will be much more comfortable. Don’t forget the solution is a liquid so bring the allotted size and layout in plastic bag for security screening.
A Snack: If you are flying on a flight that you know will be full, pack some nuts or other dry food with you in a small bag. Occasionally, the flight can run out of meals, or you may not enjoy what you’re served. While many airlines do offer snacks between meals, others don’t. At least this way, you won’t starve. I always have a couple snack sized packs of peanuts or 100 calorie snacks in my carry on, just in case.
Reading material: Bring a book or a magazine. It’ll give you something to do during that long flight. If you have a long trip, bring one of each so you can break up the reading monotony.
Toothbrush: Yes, this may sound like a strange thing to have in your carry-on, but it’ll make you feel better. Get a small travel/trial size toothpaste too. You can brush your teeth in the lavatory after waking up from a nap, and you’ll feel more refreshed. You can also bring those new Colgate quick brushes that do not require water. I usually brush my teeth during a stopover and reapply some lipgloss, powder and clear mascara. It makes me feel more awake. If you are fortunate to fly business or first class they provide a small hygiene kit which have all the essentials.
Don’t keep your passport or ticket in your carry-on. Stuff happens, and you never know if someone will accidentally or purposely walk away with your carry-on at the airport when you aren’t looking. Always carry your passport and ticket on your body, or in your purse (which you are holding firmly so no one can snatch it). Also, never keep large amounts of money in your carry-on, or expensive jewelry. If you must keep some of these items, don’t keep them all in one bag. Don’t put aerosol cans like hairspray in your carry-on, as the air pressure could cause the can to explode.
IPOD, MP3, or equivalent with single and double earphone adapter so you can listen to your favorite music and the use your ear phones on the airlines equipment.
Having these items on board with you can make your flight much more comfortable. Just be courteous to your fellow travelers. Nothing thrills me more than someone who brings huge carry-ons, and pushes other peoples’ stuff aside to make room for their own. That’s just rude, but people do it anyways. Also, if you choose to keep your carry-on next to you, push it under the seat. Otherwise, it’ll be in the way of people in your row, and they may trip over it when getting up or sitting down.