Me and airplanes know each other very well. I have been traveling since I was little and then by going to college across the country, I started flying even more. Over the years, I have perfected my carry on bag. It contains all the essentials for me to be sterilized and entertained for x amounts of hours. Over the weekend, I flew from Philadelphia to Orlando, Florida for a two week vacation (I will not be going out to restaurants or public spaces currently as I do not feel comfortable, I will be staying at a house the whole trip). I know airline travel is few and far between at the moment, but just in case you are going somewhere, here’s how to create the perfect carryon.
I use a backpack. I find it is the most efficient and easiest carry-on option. I like the fact that it has several pockets, so I can organize my belongings and it zips up! Nothing will fall out. With a purse, I’m always worried that if I put it in the overhead bin that during flight it will tip over and everything inside will be everywhere. Probably unlikely but I’m not willing to take the chance. Also, backpacks tend to have more space so you can bring more things.
- Handheld game devices
Whatever it may be, bring it. For me, I always pack my laptop and kindle in my carryon. I use the kindle (reading on flights is my 2nd favorite spot to read fun fact) but usually never the laptop. I bring it, because I simply don’t trust it going in my suitcase. Maybe silly but I would rather not take the chance. So with any sort of electronic I would say to bring it in the carryon. It also can be a source of entertainment. We don’t like to be bored on flights. It IS NOT FUN.
Headphones, I mention this because it is easily forgotten. It may not seem like it but it is. I have done it multiple times. Those cheap ones you buy from the airport are not it, so pack this item first. I, being the extra human I am, bing my airpods and normal headphones with a cord. My normal headphones have the super old adapter that’s round so I can plug them into my laptop if need be. Then I bring the adapter. The main reason I bring these are for when I’m mid-flight. I use my airpods in the airport and then switch over to the traditional ones. Totally extra and totally don’t need to. I’ve had my airpod fall out while sleeping and another time they disconnected and my phone was playing the music out loud, so after that I stuck to the OG headphones.
For chargers, I only ever bring my phone charger and sometimes a portable charger. The rest get shoved in my checked bag. I need to pack what is essential in my carry on and save space for other items. Chargers can get bulky.
Reminder: all electronics larger than a cell phone must come out of the bag at security.
Before the pandemic, I never really brought anything to sanitize anything with. I always chalked it up to “eh it will build the immune system” but now, I am taking negative 100 chances. I guess I shouldn’t be flying then but I’m visiting my dad ok.
My must-have cleaning item with me now are wipes. When I get on the plane, I wipe down the headrest, the arm rest, the tray table, the window handle and the spot on the plane where my head is going to rest. I’m not really sure if this does anything, but I am much calmer after I do it.
Also would be good to bring some hand sanitizer.
Bring a sweatshirt. Planes can be cold, planes can be hot. You genuinely never know what you might get, although the majority of the time it will be freezing. I always pack a sweatshirt no matter if it’s 97 degrees in July or 20 degrees in January. I do have particular sweatshirts for the season though. I have a cropped hoodie that is very light weight, so I tend to bring that one in the summer and then a full on heavier hoodie for the winter. If you wear a short sleeve shirt, and pack the hoodie, you’ll be prepared for either climate.
Fuzzy socks. This is more of a winter item for me. I tend to wear flip flops to the airport because it’s just so easy and I can squeeze them into my carryon bag at security. But with exposed feet and cold airplane air… my toes become frozen. So in this case, I pack fuzzy socks to put on when I sit in my seat so I’m cozy and warm for the duration of my flight.
I like to bring a change of clothes. Sometimes I’ll change into them when I get to the international airport when we land and other times I bring it in case of emergency. When I’ve gone to Europe, I pack it just in case they lose my luggage, I’ll have a pair of clean clothes to wear while I figure out how to get where I’m going and the closest store. I guess you can do this for every flight, but if I fly domestic it’s usually to family or to school where I would be fine or I know I’ll easily be able to find something since there will be no language barrier. This takes up a little bit of space in a carry on bag but if you have a backpack it’s like a nice little cushion at the bottom for your laptop!
Find one spot in your carry on bag that you can put these in. For me, that’s the front pocket. I toss it all in there along with my charger and headphones and call it good. It is very easy to forget the “daily” items because you’re so focused on all the items specifically for your trip. For me chapstick is huge because my lips get super dry and I can not handle the feeling. I need chapstick on me at all times. On longer flights, I’ll even bring lotion for my hands.
Face wash, toothbrush and toothpaste. Critical items. I will always go into the bathroom at the airport and wash my face and teeth because I feel like I’m starting my day. After a long flight, I also just feel gross and want to freshen up. I’ve been to Europe 3 times and coming from the US, you land in Europe early in the morning. Brushing my teeth and face kind of signals my brain it’s time to start our day even though our bodies feel like it’s the middle of the night.
I hope where ever you are traveling to next, this helps you pack the perfect carry on! Comment down below where you are dreaming of going (or actually going) when quarantine is over!