Tomorrow is the big day! It will take me about an hour to pack today. I’ve packed so many times before that I’ve got it down to a science. My carry-on luggage is more important. I want to be as comfortable as possible on the long flight.
Most airlines let you to carry on two pieces: a small suitcase and a personal item such as a purse, briefcase, or computer case. In my suitcase, I pack a change of clothes, personal documents, laptop, electronics, and anything else I’d be upset over if it got lost. I lock it up and once it goes into the overhead compartment, I won’t see it again until I arrive at my destination.
For my second piece, I opt for a large handbag, backpack, or computer case. Here’s what I carry.
- My iPad. I like to have it accessible during the layover and long flight. I might write, read, or watch movies.
- Speaking of reading, despite loving the Kindle app, I often read paperbacks. There’s a good chance I’ll pack one or two books.
- My iPhone. Although I no longer have a data plan on it since I won’t be using the iPhone in Australia, I use it for the camera and music player. Plus you never where you might find free wi-fi.
- Earphones. Some people like noise cancelling headsets, but I’m satisfied with Apple’s standard earphones, which take up little space.
- My Aussie phone. Rather than have Theo waiting for hours at the airport now knowing how long it will take me to get through customs, I’ll just ring him when I arrive.
- First aid kit. I always carry this little plastic box in my purse. It contains a mirror, extra hair band, a couple of individually packed alcohol wipes, band aids, a piece of self-stick moleskin, aspirin, ibuprofen, anti-histamine, and anti-diarrhoeal.
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. I carry these in travel sizes.
- Antibacterial wet wipes. I buy a small travel pack, which usually only brings about ten wipes. Not only are they great for my hands, but I use them to wipe down the airplane’s table tray the first time I use it. They also come in handy in public bathrooms.
- Travel-sized tissue.
- Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm.
- Gum. It helps with the ear pressure and stale breath on a long flight.
- Neck pillow. I used to rely on the flat pillows the airlines lend you. One day I saw a cute neck pillow in an airline gift shop and decided to try it out. I’m so glad I did. I don’t sleep much on airplanes, but these make napping much more comfortable.
- Sleep mask and earplugs. These make a big difference in my ability to get a little shut-eye in the air.
- Warm socks. I don’t tend to get cold, but my feet are always freezing on flights. It’s usually because I pick seats near the emergency exits. They have more leg room, but the trade-off is a cold draft.
- A big, thick scarf. Should I get cold or need an extra blanket or pillow, a thick scarf does the trick.
- Water bottle. I love my stainless steel Sigg water bottle. After one trip where I easily spent $20 on bottled water, I wondered why I never brought it before.
- Small notepad, pen, and highlighter.
- Wallet. Don’t forget your currency, both domestic and foreign, as well your ID, and credit cards.
- Passport. Very important. You won’t get very far without it.
I’ll carry all the small items in a clear plastic cosmetic case along with a few cords I might need for my electronics. It may seem like a lot, but most of these items don’t take up much room.
What’s in your carry on?