I spend some time traveling around the US and the world and have collected a few of tips when packing a personal carry on bag. Everyone has different tastes in bags so I'm not going to recommend a bag per se but will suggest cleaning out your bag before you depart and intentionally pack things you need just for this trip's travel. So take out your library card, the keys to your office and the padlock for your bike! Happy Wandering!
- Munchies - I kinda feel like calories shouldn’t count while 30,000 feet above the planet but best we can tell, sadly, they still do! With that said, we do prefer to bring healthy whole food kinds of snacks. Some of our staff favorites include Kind Bars, Lara Bars, Justin’s Almond Butter travel packets, bags of raw almonds, and a not so healthy favorite: Starburst.
Travel Pillow. People are picky about the kinds of pillows they like to travel with but you’ll need to consider whether your pllow will double in the program while you're in your final destination as the only comfort for your noggin. Memory foam neck pillows are pretty great, but a few of us are pretty partial to the Thermarest Compressable travel pillow, and might even admit that they have cuddled with it every night for the last ten years since they took this job. (It’s washable.)
Oversized Scarf - this can save the day on so many occasions. It keeps you warm if you get cold air blasted on you in-flight. It can cover your head or arms if entering into a holy site. It adds some flair to an outfit in a pinch, and some even make it work as a very hip head scarf so as to avoid post flight hair drama.
O Passport Where Art Thou? How many times do you have a mini panic attack wondering where in the world you put your passport? Our insider’s tip: Always keep your passport in the same spot so you never forget where it is. You’ll need to pull it out about 67 times in a day so keep it in a place where you can easily grab it and don’t have to drop your bag on the floor and dump everything out to find it!
Ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones. A must both for flights and for your local accommodations so when the carnival comes to town and sets up outside your window you can still get some shut-eye. Thank you very much, little village in Cebu, Philippines!
Change of clothes. It's best to always be prepared in case luggage is temporarily misplaced by the airlines.
Toothbrush and travel sized toothpaste. Keep your traveling companions happy and brush those tusks after long flights!
Personal medicine. It’s important to keep health related medications with you as you travel and not in your checked baggage.
Water Bottle - Oh how we love our S'well, Nalgene and Hydroflask water bottles! Bonus tip: ask your flight attendant to fill up your water bottle and/or, if you're lucky, depending on the airline, there are might be self-serve water stations and even some good snacks during longer flights!
Fidget Spinner, deck of cards, Travel Boggle, Book of Questions, paperback novel, journal. You've gotta have some fun and brain stimulation during the ‘hurry up and wait’ times of traveling! And never rely only on in-flight entertainment; it’s happened on more than one occasion where the seat back screen hasn’t worked and my friend was forced to stare ahead into nothingness a la David Puddy in this classic Seinfeld episode (you’re welcome!)
Photo credit: Kaja Pomorska