5 Carry-on Bag Essentials

Great news for frequent flyers: The rate of lost luggage has reached an all time low. As of 2015, an average of only 3.24 bags are misplaced per every thousand.

Although the numbers are on our side, many travelers would agree that a tiny fear of losing luggage persists. That’s why every time I go to pack my carry-on before a big trip, I keep one thing in the back of my mind: if my bags get lost, this is all I’ll have with me.

Even if you aren’t quite as anxious as I am, having a well-packed carry-on can still make your trip a lot smoother. After all, it’s the only bag you’ll have access to during the flight and most of the time spent at the airport. To ensure a healthy and stress-free trip, don’t forget to pack these five essentials in your carry-on.

Medications 

If you take any medications regularly, you should always keep them in your carry-on bag or personal item. This way, you can easily access them at any time and there is little risk of losing them.

To avoid issues at security, make sure that all medications are in their original and labeled bottles. Also, while liquid and gel medications over three ounces are allowed on the plane, remember to declare them first. Once you’re through security, I suggest purchasing a water bottle to keep with you for when it’s time to take your medications. 

Toothbrush/Toothpaste

Packing a toothbrush and mini (TSA approved, of course) toothpaste can be a lifesaver, especially for long flights. No one wants to arrive at their destination with stale breath from the airplane food and inflight nap. After landing, take a minute and head to the nearest bathroom to brush your teeth and freshen up. Your teeth (and those you talk to in close proximity) will thank you.

Healthy Snacks

Before you settle for the not-so-healthy airport food or inflight meal, remember that you can bring your own snacks through security and on to the plane. Pack a baggie of high-protein snacks to give you a boost of energy and satisfy cravings and hunger. You’ll feel good throughout the journey and save some money, too. My personal favorites? Pre-made salads, dried fruits and nuts, and protein bars.

A Change of Underwear

While this one certainly comes in handy if your luggage is lost or delayed, it’s also just a smart idea in general. If you have a long flight or multiple layovers, take a minute to change. It will keep you feeling fresh and minimize the risk of infections or other health problems.

Hand Sanitizer/Disinfectant Wipes

We know that planes are certainly not the cleanest. Having hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in your carry-on bag is a great idea, especially if you are easily prone to infection, or you’re traveling with children.

When you board, take a minute to wipe down the area around you, including the food tray, arm rests, and window if you like to rest your head there. Doing so, in addition to applying hand sanitizer regularly, can drastically decrease your risk of catching something that could ruin the rest of your trip.

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About The Author

A lover of travel, Caroline Housel has spent a lot of time studying and working abroad. Her favorite destinations include London, Amsterdam, and anywhere in France.

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