Can’t Forgets and Gotta Haves: My Airplane Survival Kit

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Whenever I travel, the last thing I pack, yet one of the most important things I pack, is packing my carry-on. I have read a lot about what to pack in the “perfect” carry-on and how it is sort of like an emergency Oh-My-Gosh-I-Wish-I-Had-A….kit. I always pack my carry on so I am able to get through a week or two just in case my luggage is lost. So, I present, My Airplane Survival Kit:

blog 1Taking into consideration comfort for a long flight, technology to keep me entertained, essentials for bathroom touch ups, as well as necessary items like my passport and ID, I have managed to pack everything I ever thought I would need into a backpack to take on this trip.

First, the necessities:

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I have made sure to include my wallet which will hold my ID, credit cards, and money. I always make sure to have some of the local currency on me before I leave the U.S. just in case I get hungry in the airport or need to catch a cab before I am able to find an ATM. I have also packed my passport and Eurail train pass and train maps in the purse for easy accessibility. Other items I am putting in the purse include some hair ties and bobby pins as well as a money belt to wear under my clothes if I am in a high-risk pick pocket area like some parts of Barcelona or Italy.

For a quick airport touch-up:

Especially after long trans-Atlantic flights, I am always in need of a touch up as soon as I step off the plane. No need scaring the locals…


I am a minimalist when it comes to makeup  so I do not feel the need to pack all that much. The items that get the most usage in my cosmetics bag are my mascara, blush, and a bit of cover up. What I forgot to include are a few lip pencils and glosses to make sure I don’t look too washed out.

Regarding Cleanliness:

blog 4In order to make space in my luggage and save some weight, I always buy shampoo and conditioner at my destination, along with whatever else I run out of (deodorant, toothpaste, etc). Drugstores are everywhere or at least the hotel has some products to keep me going. And what better way is there to immerse yourself than to try some of their beauty products? (Although if it is written in a language you do not understand, maybe ask someone because otherwise you might end up washing your body with conditioner.) But, in order to be prepared before I go to the store, I have packed carry-on friendly bottles of shampoo and conditioner as well as my face washes that I chose to bring (I have brought larger bottles of those as well in my checked luggage because they are specific to my needs). That way, if anything happens to my luggage, I will be prepared with shower items to get through a week or more.

As airplanes can be very drying, I have made sure to include hand lotion and chap stick.

Floss, toothpaste, mouth wash, a toothbrush, and toothbrush case are also smart if my luggage is lost.

Regarding Healthiness:

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Airplanes are famous for spreading germs, and I am famous for being known as the always prepared “Mama Claire”. I have made it my mission to stay prepared to combat sickness–especially if I have a long trip ahead of me. I have read up on how to do just that, and most websites suggest pouring EmergenC or Airborne into a water bottle and drinking it before take off. I have also heard to make sure to bring medicines like DayQuil and NyQuil as they do not have the best replicas of them outside of the U.S. Make sure to always bring prescriptions or enough over-the-counter medicines that you know work for you, specifically allergy pills. To prepare for food that doesn’t agree with me, I have Tumz, as well as Advil for headaches. I have also made sure to pack Wet Ones and hand sanitizer for questionable surfaces. Not pictured: my Brita filtered water bottle to make me feel better about drinking from a foreign water fountain.

*Ladies* if you are traveling long enough and know that you will be getting your period, make sure to pack plenty of feminine products. I was surprised to learn that not all super markets where I’ve traveled sold tampons so I was very glad to have packed plenty of my own.

Personal and Comfort:

blog 6 In order to stay entertained on a long flight, I have packed the trifecta: laptop, iPad Mini, and Nook to fulfill my movie, internet, and reading needs. I make sure always to pack my valuables in my carry on. Sometimes I am a little wary of the stories I have heard about workers going through luggage…I also brought a few journals: one to document my travels, and one to write down blogging ideas. In order to make sure I am warm on the plane, I packed a chunky knit infinity scarf and fuzzy socks to act as slippers. Not pictured is my sleeping mask to block out the light on the plane and in hostels when we travel. My phone, I plan to bring but keep on airplane mode the entire trip to not be charged roaming costs. I also packed my sunglasses to make sure they don’t break in a checked bag, and my daily glasses as they are more comfortable than contacts for long days. Finally, not pictured is my travel pillow–perfect to twist and wrap around my neck for support.

What else do you like to take with you on flights? Please comment below, I am always looking to improve my packing list!

If you like this post, please check out my other Packing Posts: Packing Up , My Perfect Travel Look , Quick European Getaway: What to Pack

10 Replies to “Can’t Forgets and Gotta Haves: My Airplane Survival Kit”

  1. I always take a few snacks on the plane with me. Most foreign airlines give you plenty to eat but American airlines never do. A couple of healthy granola bars. Some nuts and dried fruit or peanut butter crackers help when the growling starts. I rest better in flight if I am not hungry. Just a thought.

  2. Pack knee highs and pantyhose. in ziplock bags with the top or product id. Keep bandaids. and. cottonballs and q-tips in ziplock sandwich or snack bags. I also put shampoo n conditioner. and other products in ziplocks. I also use these products when traveling by car.

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