A well equipped carry on bag can make the difference between a great flight and a terrible flight. A well fed, comfortable and entertained passenger is a happy one. Pack items for protection from and treatment of illnesses. Following the carry on security restrictions will ensure trouble-free flying.
Packing Tips for Your Next Flight – Comfort
Flights often don’t include food plans and when they do, they aren’t always tasty or nutritious. Packing a wrap, muffin or dry fruit as well as a refillable water bottle is advisable. Water will have to be acquired after going through security. Chewing gum or candy is a good idea for take off and landing.
Bring your own entertainment. The in-flight movies and head phones can’t always be counted on. A Sudoku book or magazines are good ideas. Kids will appreciate an electronic game or portable DVD player for long flights.
For lengthy flights bring items that make sleeping easier. Head phones, eye covers and a pillow or article of clothing that can be rolled up are useful. In addition to propping up a head, the arm rests are low and arms might be more comfortable with support. Layer clothing so clothes can be added or removed according to the temperature of the plane. A shawl or Pashmina is also great for warmth.
Protection from Viruses, Dry Air and Travel Sickness
Illnesses can ruin a trip, so bring things that will protect against and treat common ailments. Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer in the airport and airplane. A shawl or Pashmina can cover a nose and mouth if a fellow passenger appears ill.
Lip balm, hand cream (in a container of less than 3.4 oz or 100ml), or eye drops can guard against dry air on board. Finally, carry medication to treat illnesses. Anti-nausea medication, acetaminophen, decongestants, wet towelettes and a couple of bandages should be accessible in the carry on bag.
Carry On Restrictions – What Not To Bring
The TSA has a complete list of items banned from carry on luggage but basically, the following items can not be taken on an airplane:
- Knives – except plastic ones with rounded ends
- Pointed scissors
- Spray cans
- Liquids in containers over 3.4 oz or 100 ml
- Sports equipment like golf clubs, ski poles and bats
- Straight razors
Some items must be carried on the plane and not checked. Laptops, cameras and video cameras must be carried on the plane. Be prepared to turn on the equipment at airport security so ensure that the battery is charged.
Items of value, like jewelry, money and important documents should be in the carry on or person at all times since checked bags don’t always arrive at their destination. Never leave the carry on or any luggage unattended.
A comfortable, healthy and safe flight is possible when travelers are prepared. Pack food, entertainment and some sleeping aids for comfort in the plane. Good health is ensured with medicine and sanitizer, but remember to put large bottles of liquids and sharp objects in checked bags.
Organize Your Carry-On
Just as planning a trip on an airliner takes time, so does organizing a carry on bag. The more time spent in preparing a carry on bag, the smoother the flight will be.
Because flying can be stressful, it’s important to make a flight experience as pleasant and relaxing as possible. One way to have a more relaxing flight is to have an organized carry on bag. For example, a few dollar bills for tips should be in easy reach, along with identification items such as a passport or photo ID so you don’t have to search to the bottom of your bag when these items are needed.
The Functional Carry on Bag
Consider size – Although some carry on bags have wheels and are easy to pull through an airport, they usually don’t fit underneath a passenger seat for take off and landing. Larger bags can be placed in an overhead bin, however it’s much easier to just pull out items from underneath a seat than stand up to pull out a bag only to put it back when the plane is ready to land.
Sturdy shoulder bags – Shoulder bags are ideal carry on bags. However, don’t select one that will place too much strain on your arm or shoulder.
Bag lining – Select a carry on bag with a light-colored lining so it’s easier to see what’s inside while on the plane.
What Not to Pack in a Carry on Bag
Check with the TSA website to be sure not to have any items in your carry on bag that aren’t allowed. Also, don’t pack newspapers and magazines you probably won’t even read. Just one newspaper or magazine can be heavy, taking up too much room in a carry on bag. Therefore, it’s a good idea to cut out only those articles you plan to read on the plane.
Packing Food for a Flight
Because most airlines don’t serve meals, other than those flights where passengers are on the plane for more than the normal amount of time such as an overseas or overnight flight, it’s a good idea to carry some food items. Protein bars are excellent choices as they’re small yet provide energy. Carry an empty water bottle. Although passengers aren’t allowed to check in liquids, after going through the security check they can always fill up an empty water bottle with water.
Taking Medicines and Toiletries in a Carry on Bag
Often people who fly are attacked with sinus headaches so it’s wise to pack medications. When on an overnight flight, don’t forget basic items you use upon awakening. For example, pack a small travel toothpaste and toothbrush. Baby wipes are good for refreshing your skin. Women should include a small Ziploc bag of makeup.
Clothing to Pack in a Carry on Bag
Because planes are usually cold, include a pair of socks that are easy to slip on while in flight. A lightweight shirt or blouse helps refresh passengers on overnight flights. Also, sometimes extra tops are essential in the rare occasions when getting sick from eating too late at night.
Taking Crafts on a Flight
Crafts such as needlework and knitting are past times for calming down nerves, but thought should go into how to pack them. For example, take smaller knitting projects such as a small ball of yarn and pattern for knitting socks. Colored pencil artists can even draw on a plane, but need organizers such as a standup easel rather than just dumping all their pencils in a bag.
Finally, don’t wait until the day before the trip to organize your carry on bag. It usually takes a few trial runs and making lists before knowing just what needs to be packed and left behind, as well as how items should be arranged in a bag. The more organized you make your carry on bag the more enjoyable will be your flight.
I hope these packing tips for your next flight are helpful!