Travel is fun. Well at least experiencing the destination is, road trips are fun. The actual flight is not so much fun. I say that only because I’m about to get on a plane for a total of 14 hours tomorrow on a trip for Japan back to Texas. Preparation is the only thing that makes the flight experience better. The perfect international carry-on is an ever evolving art form based on experience.
Compartmentalization is a must! A tote large enough to carry everything would be too big to easily find things with some smaller pouches available.
I typically have 2-3 small bags inside my tote. Usually 3 on the way to my location, 2 on the way back (mostly because I’m not worried about having some things on my person on the way back). I keep things in my tote because it’ll fit under the seat and I don’t have to get into teh overhead storage.
In the bag you’ll find: My neck pillow, a scarf for when it gets cold, compression socks (because why not prevent DVT as much as possible), hard soled slippers so you can walk to the bathroom easily and it keeps your toes toasty. I keep my eye mask in there as well, so I can sleep while people have their reading lights on. This also keeps people from bothering you while you are trying to sleep. My post prized possession on a plane are my BOSE noise canceling headphones. If you are looking for a great set – I prefer the small earbud-style. They work great and they don’t take up a lot of space or keep me from resting my head against my pillow while I sleep. Last thing you need is a great book. On layovers, you’ll need something since you won’t have the on-demand movies. Or maybe you like to read while you fly – I personally love to read, but I can’t read for 12+ hours straight, if I do, then most likely I’m going to need at least 2 books and that gets heavy. If you are looking for an interesting, morbid and funny book, I recommend Stiffs: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach.
First – how cute is this bag? I received this as a gift from two amazing people for my bday last year. It’s from Bourbon & Boots. Sadly it isn’t offered at this time, however if you check back maybe they will stock it sometime soon. (Plus for all things cute, southern and handcrafted, it’s the best!)
Contents include all the things I need to make the trip a little more comfortable: wet wipes for sanitizing any ickiness, face wipes (because after 12 hours you really just want to wash your face), Excedrin, Aspirin, lavender essential oil (helps to relax & covers up your neighbors bad BO), sleep aid, Klennex, and Wisps. It surprises me how few people know about Wisps! They are awesome. I’m weird in that I don’t really like to brush my teeth in a public restroom. These nifty little things clean off the plaque and use a mint to freshen your breath.
When heading to another country it is a must to have a plug (and possibly voltage) converter, and cords for all your devices. I usually have 3 or 4 usb plugs, a cord for each of my devices – work phone, personal phone, camera, and mophie, and typically one extra mophie. My camera also goes in this tote. This is usually the tote that I tuck away into my checked luggage during my return trip. Takes up some room, and if my bags are delayed a day or two, it won’t affect my ability to keep things charged as I have extra cords at home.
Just because you are flying (even for 12+ hours) doesn’t mean that appearances don’t matter. To help me feel like I am a little more together, I keep all my necessities together in a cute clutch. My favorite because of the size and coloring (it will go with any color outfit!) is the Snakeskin Zipper Pouch from Klutch Handbags. This is where you will want to keep your ID, passport, keys, cash, debit cards, credit cards, and cell phones. Do not forget to put your ID in an easy-access place. You’ll need to show it when you go through customs. Also your keys. I’m totally guilty of shoving them in a bag and then deciding to check it at the last minute – however, this is a bad idea! Sadly a co-worker recently reminded me of this very important lesson. If something happens and your bag is delayed for a day (or two), then you’ll be left without keys to your car or house.
What are your must-have items on a plane? I’m always looking for ways to edit for the better!