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11 Essentials to Put in Your Carry-On

Woman and her son pack her luggage

These eleven items can mean the difference between arriving at your destination refreshed or exhausted:

1. Ear plugs or noise-cancelling headphones
If the noise inside an airplane cabin makes you anxious or unable to sleep, it’s unlikely that you’ll arrive at your destination refreshed. A pair of earplugs can make a world of difference for those times you need rest (and protect your hearing). If you want to stay alert for the flight and listen to music or watch a movie to unwind, noise-cancelling headphones can be just the ticket!

2. Items to help you get good sleep
Sometimes an eye mask, travel pillow, socks, or other item can make good sleep easier to get.

3. Something warm.
Depending on how long your flight is and if you tend to chill easily, dress in layers and make sure that you have one warm item. Even if you are just flying to a tropical place, such as Hawaii, when the airplane is at 36,000 ft. with the air conditioning running, the dry air can get cold. The last time I went to Hawaii I was grateful for my sweatshirt on the flight.

4. Change of clothes—including underwear
In the unlikely event that your checked luggage doesn’t show up at your destination, you’ll be grateful to have a change of clothes.

5. Snacks
In the middle of a long-haul flight you need to listen to your body. An empty stomach does not make for a restful flight. Be sure to purchase dry snacks or make your own snacks, such as nuts or other healthy snacks or protein, ahead of boarding. Avoid too much sugar because in large amounts it can act like a depressant. After going through the airport security screening, refill your empty water bottle or purchase one or two water bottles to avoid dehydration.

6. Something to do​
Nothing makes time pass faster than doing something you enjoy! Use the TSA app to make sure that what you want to take with you complies with the USA security screening.

7. Moisturizer and lip balm​
Keep a small amount of moisturizer to alleviate dry skin and apply lip balm.

8. Medications and medical devices​
Feel your best when you arrive by taking your prescription medicine with you and taking it as directed. Take your glasses, hearing aids, cane or walker with you even if you do not plan to use them during the flight. You might need them as soon as you arrive at your destination.

9. Paperwork and a pen—tickets, passports and information​
Make sure you have all of your travel paperwork with you at all times. Your information can include your travel insurance contacts, family contacts, and hotel and reservation information. The pen comes in handy when filling out your immigration form.

10. Valuables—money​
Make sure you have enough local currency and credit on your credit card so you don’t have to worry.

11. Paper or digital copies of your travel documents and address list
For immigration paperwork you have to list the contact information of the hotels and family members who will host your stay. You also might want to carry a paper copy of addresses of friends and family that you want to keep in contact with while you are away.

Have we forgotten anything that you consider essential as a carry-on item? Let us know on the TripCompanion Facebook page.

Fly Confident!