Fun fact: I love to travel. Sad fact: I don’t get to as nearly much as I used to. Here are just a few of the things you’ll find in my carry-on bag that help me stay sane for the pre-board, in flight, and disembark process of air travel. Consider adding a few of these to your travel packing list!
The Carry-On Bag
I am literally obsessed with this Hello Kitty Molded Suitcase I snagged from Target, and I’m not ashamed to say it’s made for kids. Because it’s kid size, it’s the perfect sized bag to fit in shallow overhead bins or even under the seat in front of you. I can fit my MacBook Air, DSLR, cables, jewelry, snacks, makeup, and extra layers in this bag! Made of a thin plastic shell, I don’t think it would survive being checked so this is strictly for carry-on purposes only.
Laptop or Tablet
Wifi or not, airports and airplanes are great places to get some work done. Whether you’re writing or editing a video, putting on your headphones and working through a flight is a good way to kill time. Plus, on the plane there’s free coffee to get those creative juices flowing. I work best on a laptop, so my MacBook Air is the device of choice I bring on travel.
Headphones or Earbuds
I previously raved about my Klipsch s4i earbuds in my work week essentials, and they still are my earbuds of choice. The sound is fantastic and they are incredible for noise cancellation. Quite necessary when there are crying infants aboard a long flight. Earbuds should be the first thing you pack because they’re the most upsetting to forget at home!
This goes without saying most of the time, but planes get chilly. As someone who’s always cold, I never leave home without a scarf. So on a plane, I sometimes even pack an extra if I’m already wearing one. Scarves also help recycle outfits if you’re trying to keep packing to a minimum, so don’t forget a scarf or three!
Like I mentioned in my work week essentials post, I don’t leave home without my external battery. My iPhone is always running on low power and I’ve recently upgraded to this more substatinal battery from New Trent that holds up to 5 full charges on it. Unlike my older New Trent model, this battery has enough juice to charge up a tablet, and it even has two USB ports and one USB 2.0 port so you can charge even more devices at once. This is not only for Apple devices, so this will work with Androids and other smartphones as well.
I ran out of face mist before my South Carolina trip (which I’m currently writing from) and it was a painful flight. Pack a TSA-friendly face mist because it’s an easy pick-me-up that will make you feel like a million bucks, even after a million hour-long flight. My favorite mist is a pure rosewater mist from Heritage Store, but I also love Evian’s Mineral Water Spray.
For flight, I like to triple pack lip balm so I always have something within arms length. I always have Burt’s Bees, plus a super nourishing lip butter and an additional stick lip balm with SPF on hand. Why? Because I want to be prepared for anything.
Planes are nasty, so do yourself a favor and pack hand sanitizer. Sometimes the airport bathroom soaps are super watered down or even empty, so hand sanitizer keeps you covered! PocketBacs from Bath & Body Works are the most readily available and cheapest ones to go with, but I often cycle these out with alcohol- and triclosan-free sanitizers that are made with safer chemicals and ingredients.
Bring a luxurious hand cream when you’re traveling, because your skin, nails, and cuticles deserve it. With all the extra hand sanitizing you’re doing, your hands will drink up all that extra moisture. My current favorite hand and nail cream is by Caudalie and it’s super nourishing, fast absorbing, and paraben-free. The scent is of grapeseed and citrus, so it’s unisex-friendly and you can share with with any travel companion.
I never leave home without sunglasses so this is an obvious one, but sunglasses are a great way to mask hours of travel and lack of shut-eye. When I unboard a plane, I usually look a mess and sunglasses perk me right up. As a contact lens wearer, my eyes can get dry and irritated on a plane so sunglasses help mask chronic red eyes.
If you don’t have time or space to brush, gum is a must! My purse will never be found without a pack of Peppermint Orbit.
Before your trip, spend 5 minutes raiding your pantry for quick and easy snacks. Bonus points if they’re healthy, because you know they’ll be better than anything you find at the airport. I love grabbing unsalted raw nuts, dried unsweetened and unsulfured fruit, and gluten-free granola, but packaged snack bars are my default snacks I stash in a pinch. Packing something also saves you a few extra bucks you might have wasted on mediocre airport food.
What are your must-have items for when you travel? Please leave me a comment so we can help each other travel and pack more efficiently. I love hearing all your travel hacks!