This year is a big(ish) one for travel. In March I went to Chicago for work, then a few weeks later to California to visit family. M and I just got back from our honeymoon where we went to Costa Rica and DC for two weeks (!!!), and tomorrow I’m going to New York for work. We’re also probably going to California again for Thanksgiving. I’ve also traveled a fair amount in the past, and being the world-wise, savvy traveler (ha) that I am, I’ve been able to streamline my carry-on packing list to what I consider the essentials only:

Travel Essentials

  1. Moisturizers. I get really dry up there and my skin gets parched. My favorites are Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Neutrogena Norwegian Formula. A tiny dab will do for fly-aways caused by static-y hair, too. I also always make sure to have some heavy-duty chapstick with me, like Carmex, as my already chap-prone lips have an especially hard time at 35,000 feet.
  2. Entertainment. This usually means whatever book I’m reading at the moment, a few magazines in case I need a break from my book, and my iPhone for listening to music.
  3. Earplugs. If I’m not into listening to music (like if I’m reading), I’ll put in my earplugs to keep out the cries of babies or annoying co-passengers.
  4. Light cardigan or scarf. I love me a cardigan or scarf anyway, but these babies come in handy if you get chilly on the flight (I don’t trust airline blankets – who knows how many couples have joined the mile high club under those bad boys). They also serve well for pillows if you wad them up real nice.
  5. Gum. I typically hate gum (For reasons mentioned in my first post, but also because it loses its flavor too quickly and starts to hurt my jaw.) I always get some for flight take-offs and landings, though, because I hate it when my ears get plugged (though the ear popping is an incredible feeling!).
  6. Medication. For obvious reasons, if you take an OTC medication, it’s wise to have it in your carry-on in case your checked baggage gets lost or delayed.
  7. An extra pair of underwear. See above. Nothing is worse than being bumped from your flight, having to spend the night in an airport hotel in Denver, getting up at 3 AM to make your new flight, and discovering the only underwear you have (because your checked baggage didn’t make it to Denver with you) is the underwear to wore yesterday.
  8. Reusable water bottle. Bring your empty water bottle with you (I like BPA-free ones) and fill it up from the drinking fountain or with bottled water when you get past security. Again, it gets super dry up there in the sky and it’s important to keep hydrated (though this means having to get up to pee more)!
  9. Hand sanitizer. Planes and airports are filthy.
  10. A great big handbag. Since we’re allowed one personal item in addition to our carry-on, I typically find a bag that’s even bigger than my regular purse to put my purse in and any of the above things that won’t fit in my carry-on.

Happy trails!