When packing a carry-on for a long haul or short haul flight, there is a fine line between over packing and not having all the essentials. Leave the 3 sweater options at home, but be sure to bring these must-have items.
1 | Large Scarf or Shawl
Scarves are the ultimate travel accessory as they serve a myriad number of purposes. They can double as a blanket, a fashion accessory, a wadded up pillow, and even a buffer layer for electronic items in your bag. The best part is they are just as functional when you arrive at your destination (beach wrap anyone?).
2 | A Pen
Pens are particularly important on international flights as you will likely have to fill out a landing card or other documentation. They also come in handy to pass time on the flight doodling or filling in the Sudokus in the airplane magazine.
3 | Snacks & Water
Airline food is hit or miss, and if you are flying domestically in the US you won't get anything to eat from the airline anyway. Be sure to pack some filling snacks like nuts and granola bars to keep you satiated for the flight. Although you can't bring water through most security check points, you can bring a reusable water bottle to fill up after security or buy one in the airport to keep you hydrated throughout your flight.
4 | Book or E- Reader
Entertainment aboard flight is key, especially for long distances. If the movie selection is not great, you don't have personal tvs, or <gasp> there is no on-board entertainment at all, you need other forms of entertainment to keep you occupied. I typically travel with a kindle preloaded with several unread books (I read quickly, and often one is not enough!). Coloring books are also a good option for passing the time, here are a few of my favorites below.
5 | Compression Socks
This one might not be absolutely essential for everyone, but my feet swell up on long distance flights and compression socks provide a world of comfort.
6 | Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Headphones are likely my #1 carry-on must. I always keep two pairs on hand in case one gets lost or broken. The noise-canceling variety are especially great to block out engine noise, the sound of other passengers, or those crying children that invariably will end up on your flight.
7 | Travel Pillow
Trying to sleep upright in cramped quarters is already a challenge. Do yourself a favor and bring a neck pillow for long flights to add a modicum of comfort.
8 | Portable Charger
The worst thing to happen on a long haul flight is to have your Kindle die on you halfway through. Although many planes now have charging ports built in, I always like to have a back-up with a portable charger (they come in handy at your destination as well).
9 | Lip Balm & Under Eye Cream
Hydration in all forms is paramount when traveling. Airplanes are notorious for being dry, so I always keep these two items to keep my skin/lips happy.
10 | Truffle Accessories
To keep everything organized, I use Truffle Accessories while traveling. They have several TSA approved options for liquid item storage including the Clarity Clutch and the Clarity Pouch. Other useful accessories include Document Holders and Privacy Pouches for other important items.