Between flying back and forth for college, zipping across Europe during my semester abroad, and my travels to (and now with) Lisa, I’ve flown a lot. I can probably recite and perform the aircraft safety guidelines by heart!
The more I travel, the more packing has become a routine—like a pristine, lean well-oiled machine, you know what I mean? So when I’m getting ready to leave for the airport, these are the ten carry-on basics I never leave the house without:
1. Compression Socks
I was recently turned on to these because as one half of an international couple I will be traveling by air for . . . well . . . the rest of my life. Excessive air travel puts passengers at risk at getting deep vein thrombosis (read: blood clots from sitting for too long) and otherwise swollen and achy lags after a long flight. Switching out your slipper socks for compression socks is an easy preventative measure. You can get affordable pairs from Amazon or—if you’re fancy—get one of those pretty pairs from a shop like Comrad socks. As one of my friends says, “no one is too cool for compression socks.”
2. Moisturizers and Chapstick
Planes dry. you. out. So I never board without chapstick, some hand cream, and some face moisturizer.
#LitTripTip🔥: I collect those free samples of face creams and masks to try out on the plane. They’re the perfect size for travel and give you the opportunity to take a relaxing spa moment. (You’ll look like a goon on the plane, but hey, you’re worth it).
3. Water Bottle
If you aren’t bringing a refillable water bottle along when you travel, what are you? A rookie? It’s not only a nice thing for Mama Earth, but a great thing for your body (complimentary drinks are never enough hydration) and good for your wallet too since in-flight or in-airport water bottles are $$$.
4. My Kindle
(This is Booked Club after all). My Kindle has saved me from stuffing my low-cost airline carry-on with books because I can pack hundreds of books on one tablet that fits in my pocket.
Any other motion sickness babes out there? 👋 I never fly without some dramamine and some ibuprofen (because there is nothing worse than a headache with three hours to your destination, let me tell you). Other helpful wellness items I grab: vitamins to ward off the other passenger germs, a sleeping aid like melatonin, and some essential oils.
#LitTripTip🔥: Take along aTiger Balm for any shoulder/neck pain, congestion, or headaches that might arise. (If you haven’t used it before, it’s like a tiny tub of icy hot). (I highly recommend it).
6. Hand Sanitizer
A lot of “Carry-On MUST HAVES” lists will tell you to bring Lysol Wipes on the plane, but honey—you and I both know that you will forget you ever packed it until you get back home, or will use one sheet and then have to lug the pack around the rest of the trip. If it’s your thing, go for it! I usually grab one of those small hand sanitizers for my trips. With a tissue I can sanitize my seat table on the plane and then I have the sanitizer the rest of my travels.
7. External Battery
Although more and more planes are equipped with USB charging ports, you should never rely on them working. Take a travel-sized power bank for the peace of mind and the endless entertainment your phone can provide when you find yourself not wanting to actually read that book you packed. (Does this thought sound familiar? “This is a great time to reorganize all my apps by color!”)
8. Pen & Notebook
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve opened the in-flight magazine to do the crossword and realized I forgot to pack a pen, I would have more than five dollars. It’s one of those things you always have on hand in your usual bag, purse, murse, office coffee mug, etc. that you might forget to pack when you’re on the go. I’ve started carrying a pocket notebook and pen on all my travels to jot down blog post ideas, take notes about the destination, and make to-do lists to come home to ( . . . she’s a workaholic y’all).
9. Headphones and Downloaded Entertainment
Don’t let airplane mode get you down. Almost every app out there from Spotify to Netflix lets you download content to enjoy offline. I usually spend time the night before downloading any podcasts I’m interested in or albums I can dive into in-depth. One time I downloaded the entire third season of Jane the Virgin for my flight back to Europe. (It was an excellent idea).
Traveling with kids? Or just forget about ear popping until it happens? This #LitTripTip🔥 comes from my mother: The only thing I remember from my first flight ever was my mom instructing all of us to continually chew gum during take off and landing. The constant swallowing helps pop your ears without the pain, and minty freshness is just a good act of kindness towards your surrounding travelers on this journey called life.
What do you never fly without? Leave a comment to let me know!