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Top 10 Essentials for a Carry-On Bag

Heightened airport security often makes it a guessing game as to what you can pack in your carry-on bag.  The best advice is to keep it simple but be prepared for anything.  We’ve all experienced anything from lengthy flight delays to lost luggage.  So, here are my top essentials for any girl’s carry-on bag:

1.  Mascara, Lipstick and a Toothbrush – In these days of “instant” everything, you can actually skip the toothbrush  and get Wisps. They are hermetically-sealed disposable toothbrushes, complete with tooth gel.  As to the mascara and lipstick – well, don’t we need these everywhere?

2.  Panties in a Pouch – Okay, so the pouch can be a sandwich-sized baggie but seal ’em up and pack ’em discreetly in the bottom of your bag.  Just know that your carry-on may be searched by hand and you don’t want your knickers being tossed about by airport security.

3.  T-Shirt – Just in case the luggage is lost or you have to spend the night sleeping on an airport floor.  A fresh shirt will make you feel better even without a shower.

4.  Pillow and a Pashmina – Forgo those blow-up travel pillows which always seem to spring a leak and go for the squooshy micro bead or gel variety.  As for the pashmina, you can use it in place of those airline blankets which are dragged all over the aisles and never washed.  The pashmina then serves as a back-up shawl for those chilly travel nights.

5.  Meds – Take enough pills and/or vitamins to get you through a few days.  In case your luggage is lost, you don’t want to be without medicine in a foreign country.  Good luck trying to find a pharmacist who understands English and will give you the exact medicine that you need.  I remember being in Tuscany trying to explain “band-aids” in one farmacia!  Mamma mia!

Air travel carry on6.  Non-perishable snacks – many airlines have severely cut back on board amenities, including food (who would’ve thought that was a luxury item?).  Anyway, skip carrying the provolone and bring packs of nuts or apples with you.  They will get you through a long night or airport stay.  As for drinks, buy a bottle of water or juice after you clear security and then you will be able to take that bottle on board.

7.  Slippers or Socks – carry a pair of foldable travel slippers or extra heavy sweat-socks which can be used as slippers.   If the slippers or socks are cheap, you can just toss them or leave them on the seat when you deplane.  Trust me, you don’t want to use the restroom in your stocking feet.  Ewww!

 8.  Book – whether it’s an old-fashioned magazine, book or an E-book for your Kindle.  Bring something to do if you don’t have  a laptop or tablet.  Airports can be extremely boring when stranded for any period of time…especially if your tablet’s power dies!

9.  Cell phone or prepaid card – in case of an emergency, you will want to use the phone and so will everyone else in the airport, so be prepared.  Don’t count on the diminishing supply of pay-phones or few charging stations because you might find yourself without a way to call for help.

10. Dry shampoo – it now comes in fruity scents and we are no longer forced to use baby powder to freshen up our grungy hair.  These products add volume and make your bed head from the plane look great……..okay, maybe not great but at least better!

Now go forth and escape.  You are prepared with an essential carry-on chick’s go-kit!