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What Do Smart Senior Travelers Put in Their Carry-On Luggage?


Smart seniors travel as light as possible, and they plan ahead for safety and unforeseen events, such as delays due to bad weather. They use carry-on luggage that is easily stowed in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of them and that they can manage on their own.

Well before you get to the airport and even before you pack, check your local airport security screening requirements. In the USA you can download the TSA app.

Nothing puts a damper on a trip than having to throw away some of your items before you even get on the airplane.

In a clear plastic one-quart bag, pack these items:

  • Prescription medicine
    • If you are going on a long trip, make sure that you have enough medicine to cover the entire trip. When possible, keep the medicine in the bottle that has the prescription label on it.
    • In the unlikely event that someone searches your carry-on luggage and says that your medicine is “candy” and must be thrown away, calmly ask for a supervisor and explain what the medicine is for.
  • Travel toiletries in small amounts, such as hand lotion, mouthwash, and lip balm to use during the flight.

Smart travelers remember to pack these items:

  • Tickets, passport, and itinerary for the trip and any other tickets for activities, such as plays or passes for museums, hotel reservations.
  • Contact information for the people you’ll be staying with (needed for immigration form).
  • Tissue or handkerchief
    • If your flight experiences turbulence, you or someone nearby could spill something. During an episode of turbulence, the pilots turn on the fasten seat belt signs and ask the flight attendants to return to their seats, too. So if you or someone near you is wet, they might have to be that way for a while.
    • Also, the air in the cabin is very dry, and sometimes you might need to wipe your eyes or blow your nose.
  • Pen to fill out immigration or agriculture import forms.
  • Dry snacks in packaging:
    • Dried fruit
    • Protein bars
    • Nuts, such as almonds
    • Hard candy
  • Credit cards and money (keep on your body or in a small carry-on that is kept on the floor with your leg through both of the handles).
  • Travel pillow.
  • Ear plugs to block noise.
  • Chewing gum to help relieve pressure changes in their ears when descending.
  • Empty reusable water bottle.
  • Cell phone (set to flight mode or turned off).
  • Electronics, such as a tablet or laptop computer, or valuables, such as jewelry.
  • Change of clothes and undergarments in case the checked baggage is delayed or lost.
  • Something to do, such as a book to read or a game.
  • Medical devices, such as their cane, extra pair of glasses or contact lenses and storage solution.