If you read my post about TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS you may remember my friend who arrived to resort in Jamaica, only to realize that she has very similar luggage to hers.. but it’s not hers. She took the bag of some German lady and the lady took hers. Well, sh*t happens, especially when traveling, but when it does happen it’s better to be prepared.
You can read about this situation and how to avoid it here. To cut the story short, my friend ended up in her European-autumn cloths in the middle of Caribbean heat. Not fun at all. Since she didn’t pack her carry-on luggage properly she had to spend considerable amount of money in very overpriced hotel boutique to get lighter clothes and some basic cosmetics.
In this post I’ll try to convince you that packing your carry-on luggage wisely can save you a lot of trouble and stress, especially in extraordinary situations.
Experienced travelers know to expect the unexpected and prepare in advance by packing necessary items in a cabin bag. In order to start your travel or vacations fresh and relaxed, learn
WHAT TO PACK IN CARRY-ON LUGGAGE
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Nothing improves my comfort and well-being after a long flight like changing the underwear and brushing my teeth. That’s especially true if you need to continue your journey for few more hours by bus or other means of transportation. Of course nothing compares to a long shower, but that’s the least you can do to improve your mood immediately. Pair of fresh pants and socks do not take much space, but they make big difference in travel comfort.
CLOTHES ADJUSTED TO WEATHER AT DESTINATION
I can’t even remember how many times I arrived at my destination while my checked luggage still continued it’s journey. Usually it was just not loaded on a plane, because of mess on the airport or simply because there was short transfer time between flights. Damn, it even happened once or twice on a direct flight! Luckily for me (knocking on wood) it always happened when I was coming back home, so I didn’t really need the content of my luggage immediately.
Imagine however arriving at tropical destination wearing your jeans and winter booths. Or the other way around – coming back from hot country only to find yourself in shorts and T-shirt in the middle of winter. And your checked luggage somehow doesn’t want to appear on the conveyor belt…
Just in case I prefer to pack something fresh and adjusted to the weather outside in my carry-on luggage.
SCARF / SHAWL
It always gets cold on a plane no matter where you’re flying from and what is your destination. Even if I fly from a tropical island I make sure to have a scarf or a shawl with me. Not only can I wrap it around myself to feel warmer and more cozy, but if I forget my plane pillow I use it as a head rest.
Scarf can serve one more secret purpose. If you choose this one or this one you will have a stylish outfit with hidden pocket to hide your valuables or smartphone. Ha, traveling like a special agent J
As much as I love reading paper books, I cannot imagine carrying couple of them while traveling. When on a way I can easily finish a book every 2-3 days. With e-reader I have hundreds of them with me. Is it normal that sometimes I read two at the same time?
I just love flying with airlines like Emirates, where you get a warm refreshing towel as a welcome and additionally before each meal. It’s a great feeling to wipe the dust from a stuffy plane with soft and fragrant towel. Let’s face it, the majority of the airlines we fly with do not offer such pleasant gestures.
That’s why I always make sure to have sanitary wipes with me. I even use them after coming back from a bathroom. You know, just in case. And definitely before eating. They also come in handy to wipe makeup that tends to be all over my face after I had a nap.
FACE CREAM / HAND CREAM
I don’t know if it’s just me, but after a flight my skin changes into a lizard scales. Especially my hands and face become extremely dry. What I learned to do is to pour some of my bigger size cosmetics into cabin-size containers and have them always by my side.
Just please try to remember to choose the containers that you can use more than once. This cute set has three sizes of containers and it’s cheap, this one comes with a bag and has a great system to mark what’s inside. Let’s be ECO and don’t buy single-use plastics.
Obviously your regular medications (if you have any) that you need to take while traveling you should pack in your carry-on, but that’s not all.
Here’s the list of what can come in handy against any malady on the way:
- pain killers
- something for stomach problems or diarrhea (airplane food – thank you very much!)
- motion sickness pills or patch
- nasal spray (anyone with dust allergy, like myself, knows how it is to have constantly blocked nose on a plane – not funny with constant pressure changes)
- something against allergy
Here you can find a very useful guide to travel medications if you want to explore the subject further.
TANGLE TEEZER HAIRBRUSH
Ok, one thing that’s in worse state after a flight than my skin is my hair. After few hours in dusty and dry airplane cabin they are tangled and pick up static. After trying many types of hairbrush I finally got Tangle Teezer and stopped looking further.
What I like about it? It’s compact, it has protecting cover and it really detangles my hair easily and without damage. I have this model, which I bought ages ago (it is very durable), but now there are many shapes and colors available.
Why should you bring your own snacks with so many restaurants on the airport and some food options on the plane?
First of all, try to get something healthy and filling in both those places (no, apple for 3$ a piece doesn’t count). Seriously, why the only available meals on the airports are junk food? Don’t even get me started on the options if you have special dietary needs. Gluten free? Vegan? – forget it! Vegetarian? Maybe.
Secondly – the price vs. what you get.. no-comment
Lastly – I don’t even remember how many times I had stomach problems after airplane food. Even if it was special pre-ordered meal and even in good airlines. Plane food is usually greasy, unappetizing, not to mention either cold or overheated.
Lately I just pick from the tray whatever looks safe – a bun, fruit or juice and leave the rest. I’d rather be hungry than sick.
That’s why taking your own snack is a good idea and there’s variety of things you can take on board.
I usually pack a bun, pretzel, protein bar, dried fruit or fresh fruit. Try to stay away from salty things like chips or crackers.
From a Travel Safely Post you know already that I’m obsessed with locking and protecting my luggage, including the carry-on. Why would you want to do that if you have it by your side all the time?
Hmm, are you sure?
How many times did your backpack end up somewhere few rows behind you, because there was no place just above your head? When the cabin lights go down and you nod off someone can easily peek inside it and sneak your valuables. Before you realize something is missing you will probably be far away from the airport. Am I paranoid? Maybe, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. Your camera probably costs way more than a small lock you can put on a backpack or bag.
OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD PACK IN YOUR CARRY-ON INSTEAD OF CHECKED LUGGAGE:
TOOTHBRUSH and TOOTHPASTE
KEYS TO YOUR CAR AND HOME !
CHARGERS YOU MAY NEED ON THE WAY (phone, e-reader)
I hope I helped you a bit to pack for your next travel. What are your cabin must-take items? Are there some essentials you can’t live without on a plane? I’d love to hear from you so please make sure to share your experience what to pack in carry-on luggage in comments below.
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