Summer is a popular time for traveling. Whether visiting family a few states away or traveling outside the country, you want to be prepared. And not just when it comes to your itinerary but also when packing your essentials.
If you’re flying and your trip is a week or longer, you’re probably checking a bag at the airport. Sure, checking a bag helps you avoid lugging a heavy suitcase around the airport. But what if your flight is delayed or your bag gets lost? While no one wants to be without their luggage, it’s always a possibility. To prepare for the unexpected, consider bringing a carry-on bag.
In this article, we share five items you should pack in your carry-on bag:
Avoid keeping your medication in your checked bag, whether you take blood pressure medicine or birth control. Not only is there a risk of your bag getting lost, but what if your flight is delayed? You could be without your bag for hours or even days, and in turn, without your medication.
Your carry-on bag is the perfect place to keep items you’d be lost without, like your medication. Contrary to popular belief, no rule says you have to check medicine. If your prescription is liquid, the bottle has to be around three ounces. But you can carry an unlimited amount of drugs, like a pill, if it’s in solid forms.
While no one wants their flight delayed or canceled, there’s always a chance. That’s why keeping your essentials with you in an emergency is important.
2. Your Identification
To fly within the United States, you must present a form of identification. And while you might think it’s safer to store your license or Passport in a checked bag, it’s riskier.
Even if you don’t need your ID to board the flight, what if your checked bag gets lost? Or, what if someone grabs it by mistake? You won’t have an ID, which can make traveling difficult. This is especially true if you plan on renting a car or checking into a hotel at your destination.
It’s a good idea always to keep a form of identification with you. If you have two forms of ID, you can store one in your checked bag and the other in a carry-on. This ensures all your bases are covered, even if you misplace your carry-on bag.
3. COVID-19 Essentials
Thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine and booster, more and more people feel safe going without a mask. The CDC even removed mask mandates for those traveling via public transportation, like on an airplane.
Even still, the coronavirus hasn’t gone away. In May, there was a spike in COVID-19 cases. Because of this, you should still consider traveling with personal protective equipment like hand sanitizer, a mask, gloves, etc. Make sure you keep these belongings in your carry-on bag for easy access.
While some airlines offer personal protective equipment, not all of them do. It’s better to pack your own, just in case. And remember to wipe down your seat and tray table with disinfectant to avoid contaminating any germs.
4. A Change of Clothes
Bringing a change of clothes in your carry-on is a great idea, especially if you have a long flight or layover. There’s a good chance you don’t want to sit in the same clothes all day and night. So make sure you have a fresh pair of clothes (and don’t forget your undergarments).
A change of clothes also comes in handy if your luggage is lost. With that in mind, consider bringing multiple options if it takes a few days to locate your bag.
You might also bring an extra toothbrush and toothpaste to freshen up between flights. Sure, you could always buy these items at the airport, but why waste money when you own them? Ensure your toothpaste (and any other liquid you bring) doesn’t exceed the three-ounce requirement.
5. Your Electronics
Chances are you plan on storing your phone in your carry-on bag. But what about your other electronics like your computer or your iPad? Even if you don’t plan on using these devices on the plane, make room for them in your carry-on. After all, what if you store your electronics in a checked bag and it goes missing?
Not to mention, your bag goes through a lot when checked. It’s moved from one place to the next and not always handled with care. The best way to keep your electronics safe is to stow them with you rather than in your checked bag.
Don’t forget about your chargers, either. You want to make sure you have everything you need to be able to use your devices. A great tip is to store your chargers in a large Ziploc bag. This way, you’ll know where they are and have easy access.
No one wants their flight to get delayed or their luggage to get lost, but it happens. That’s why it’s important to expect the unexpected when traveling by plane. Packing your essentials in a carry-on bag can give you peace of mind knowing they are always within reach.