Essential Gear to Pack in Your Carry-On

Let’s face it, traveling can be an exasperating experience, especially with all the hiccups that can occur during the journey. From preflight anxiety to delays and cancellations, there are a lot of stressful factors that you have little to no control over. The last thing that you want to do is create even more inconveniences for yourself by forgetting important items while packing your carry-on luggage. Thus, it is important to figure out what you should be bringing in your carry-on.

A thoughtfully packed carry-on bag is one of the keys to traveling comfortably, but packing is not a skill that everybody has perfected. There’s no need to worry though because we have compiled a list of essential gear to bring with you while traveling. In addition to important documents like your boarding pass, passport or driver’s license, here are some carry-on essentials that you should pack for a seamless travel experience.

1.   Reusable Water Bottle

Staying hydrated while traveling by plane is an effective way to prevent jet lag. Packing a reusable bottle will ensure that you always have some water nearby. Some reusable bottles are made with stainless steel and are even vacuum-sealed to guarantee that your water will stay cold for hours. On the other hand, a collapsible water bottle may be a better option if you are running low on space and prefer portability.

It is especially important to bring water with you if your flight is overseas and thus, very long. Drinking regularly will help you avoid dehydration and the uncomfortable effects of it.

2.  Good Pair of Headphones (Ideally Noise-Cancelling Ones)

A good pair of headphones can help you block out the noisiness of traveling and make the experience more bearable. Most types of headphones will do the job, but an over-ear pair that is noise-cancelling will be the best choice for plane rides with crying babies or noisy neighbors.

If you use a streaming app for your music, you may want to create a playlist and download it to your phone so you can listen during the flight.

3.   Earplugs

If you aren’t feeling the music or if you are getting ready to sleep, earplugs are a much better option than headphones. Cheap foam earplugs are an easy way to drown out the ambient noises that can disturb your peace during a flight.

4.   Portable Chargers and Charging Cables

Although some airliners have installed USB slots on a number of their planes, it is better to prepare by bringing your own portable charger and charging cables. This way, your cell phone will be full of juice. After all, the last thing you will want to do after a long flight is to sit in Arrivals waiting for your phone to obtain a minimum amount of charge. Depending on the type of phone you have, this can take a while.

5.    Reliable Pen and a Portable Journal

Almost everything you need for traveling, from your boarding pass to your itinerary, can be handled digitally on phones nowadays, but there are still certain situations in which you may need a pen on your journey. For instance, you may need to fill out some customs forms on the plane before landing.

On the other hand, if you bring a notebook along then you will need a pen to do some journaling. A long flight is the perfect time to reflect over your thoughts and feelings and record them on paper. While most notebooks will do the trick, we recommend one that is more portable and not too bulky.

6. First-Aid and Medicine

Keeping a small first-aid kit and some helpful over-the-counter medicine on hand can save you from the headache (quite literally) of finding a pharmacy while traveling. Many people have ear pain due to the pressure of being in the sky, so an over-the-counter decongestant can be a lifesaver. Some other helpful medicines to bring along include:

  • Motion sickness medication.
  • Eye drops.
  • Allergy medicine.
  • Sleep aids (melatonin is great for long flights).
  • Pain relievers.
  • Antidiarrheal medicine.

7.  Sleep Mask

Getting some good sleep while traveling is a challenge, but it is vital to make sure that you are in the best condition possible when you arrive at your destination. By bringing along a smooth, cool sleeping mask, you can ensure that lights won’t disturb you while you try to sleep on your flight.

When you don’t get enough sleep, you will be tired and easily agitated during your trip. Bring a sleep mask to   so that you are ready for adventure.

8.   A Book or an E-Book Reader

Anyone with travel experience knows that delays and layovers are a regular part of flying anywhere. There’s a lot of down time while traveling, so prepare yourself by bringing along a book or an e-book reader that is preloaded with a few titles. Whenever you are sitting around waiting for your flight or if you are tired of the in-flight entertainment, pull out your book or e-book and get some reading done.

9.  Comfortable Travel Pillow

Bringing a neck pillow on your travels is a great way to make yourself comfortable in the most uncomfortable places, including a tight airplane seat. Consider purchasing a memory foam travel pillow so that you can sleep comfortably during your flight. These U-shaped pillows are a traveler’s best friend.

10.  Snacks for the Trip

Traveling can be incredibly taxing and you are sure to  . Unfortunately, you might not have the time to stop and grab a bite to eat before your flight. The in-flight peanuts probably won’t satisfy your hunger either.

Prepare for a situation like this by packing a few of your favorite on-the-go snacks like trail mix, jerky, granola bars and other similar items. After all, when many of us get hungry we also get angry, and nobody likes an angry traveler.

11.  Disinfecting Wipes

Airports across the world host thousands of travelers each day, and unfortunately a lot of bacteria comes along for the ride. Avoid catching some sickness during your flight by bringing along some disinfecting wipes and cleaning your surrounding area whenever possible. Be sure to wipe down your seat, seatbelt, tray table, armrests and anything else you will be touching on the plane to kill as many viruses and bacteria as possible.