Items to NEVER Board a Plane Without
Boarding a plane can surface feelings of vulnerability. Think about it…you’re bringing yourself and only a few items onto a small aircraft, thousands of miles in the sky, for hours on end. Now, if you’re like most normal people, you’re probably stuck in economy class next to an unfamiliar face. If you have even the slightest fear of flying, that doesn’t help the situation. Personally, there isn’t a more uncomfortable situation I can think of. This is why I have perfected my routine of carry-on packing. There are certain items I NEVER board a plane without and I always put them in my personal bag for easy access. It just makes the experience more comfortable and sometimes, actually enjoyable. Only, when there’s no turbulence 😉
If I had to choose the most important item I bring on a flight, it would be headphones. I think the free airline ones are the worst, most uncomfortable headphones. After about 30 minutes, my ears are killing me. I make sure to bring two pairs, my Apple compatible ones and regular ones with an auxiliary connection. (Apple really screwed us when they changed the headphone input!) Gregg and I also enjoy watching movies together, so we bring a dual connector as well. Not only are the headphones ideal for music and movies, but to block out sounds. You never know when a crying baby will in to the row next to you. Investing in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones is money well spent for frequent flyers.
The second best purchase I made were sleeping masks! Sleeping on a plane has never been the same. It’s amazing what a little bit of darkness can do. You’re body naturally produces melatonin in response to removal of light exposure. By wearing a mask, you block almost all of the light coming from the cabin. This allows you to drift off to sleep easier and is especially important for long flights across multiple time zones.
Change of Clothes
I like to dress somewhat nicely for a flight (you never know when that free upgrade will come!), but have the option of changing into comfy clothes. No one wants to sit in business casual clothes for an entire flight. Let alone sit on a long international flight in the same under garments. It’s nice to change into fresh clothes either on the plane or as soon as you land. This way you don’t have to rummage through your perfectly packed suitcase. Also, a pair of comfy shoes or slippers that are easy to take off and put back on when roaming the plane are nice to have.
Toiletries & Medications
I always carry any toiletries I may need to freshen up on a flight, as well as prescription medications or OTC just-in-case meds. Below is a list of items I carry in my personal bag. Be sure to keep the liquids consolidated and easily accessible to make TSA security checks smoother. You can find cheap toiletry bags here.
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Dental Floss
- Facial Cleanser
- Face & Body Moisturizer
- Lip Balm/Chapstick
- Baby wipes
- Essential oils (for nerves)
- Pain relievers
- Baby Aspirin (to prevent blood clots)
- Prescription meds
Items to keep busy
Lastly, I bring anything to keep me entertained. A book, my iPad, and extra chargers. I store my iPad with downloaded Netflix shows or movies just in case the plane doesn’t have a tv or the connection is temporarily disabled. This way, during takeoff I can still watch a show to distract myself. Also, any last minute planning items for your trip. A travel journal is always nice for the flight home. Often, I will edit photos or videos from the trip to keep busy. Basically take anything you need to pass the time.