Whether you’re flying for a short business trip or a long vacation, having all the right items in your carry-on can greatly impact how pleasurable your next flight is. Crying baby? You’ve got earplugs for that. Neighbor won’t close the window? You’ve got an eye mask for that. Phone’s dying? You’ve got a charger—and a backup battery pack—for that!
Use this pre-flight checklist the next time you’re flying and you’ll always have what you need on hand. Your destination awaits!
Nothing is worse than being wide-awake on a particularly long flight. Make sure to pack an eye mask to block out the light so you can try and get some rest.
There is bound to be a crying baby or loud, seemingly never-ending conversation on your flight. Don’t forget to bring a set or two of earplugs to drown out the noise.
You’ll need headphones to enjoy any of the in-flight movies or music available—and the ones the airline provides are never that comfortable. They’re also great to help block some of the noisiness.
The altitude changes and dry airplane air can make anyone thirsty, and so can sprinting through an airport to catch a flight. Bring an empty bottle, and refill it after going through security to keep you hydrated.
Planes aren’t the cleanest places in the world. To kill germs on armrests and tray tables, be sure to pack some hand sanitizer or sanitizer wipes.
This one is obvious. You’re going to get hungry. When hunger strikes—and free pretzels aren’t enough—at least you’ll have a few option of your own to mull over.
A little mid-flight refresh can feel great during a long flight. Pack your favorites, but be courteous to your neighbor and keep the really fragrant lotions in your bag until you’re off the flight.
Rehydrate your eyes from the dry cabin air by packing your favorite eye drops. These will also come in handy in the hotel, where the air can also be dry.
Your favorite book or magazine can be a much-needed escape to help pass the time. Better yet, download them onto your tablet for convenience.
Just something handy you should always have, a notebook and pencil is perfect for in-flight notes, the crossword, customs forms, and more.
Aren’t airports and planes the coldest places? Keep warm by packing a light travel blanket—even a lightweight shawl or oversized scarf will do.
Trying to catch some sleep on a plane is hard enough. Make it easier to rest comfortably during the entire flight by packing a travel pillow.
You’ll need these for your electronics. Consider portable power sources as well, since most planes don’t have power outlets.
Whether you’re looking to prevent swelling or to keep your feet warm and comfy all flight, packing a pair of socks is always a good idea.
In case of a headache, you’ll be grateful to have these!
Change of clothes.
When the dreaded happens and your luggage is lost, be prepared with a change of clothes in your carry-on bag.
Photocopy of passport.
This is another “you’ll thank yourself later” item. If your passport is lost or stolen, you’ll have better chances of getting a replacement at the local consulate if you have a color copy of the first two pages.
What happens if your luggage decides to spring a leak mid-trip? Be sure you’ve got a luggage strap handy to get you out of this tough situation.
Coloring isn’t just for adults. Packing a few coloring pages can be a great way to relax during a particularly bumpy flight.
Note: Per the TSA liquid rule, each must be 3.4 ounces or less and all must fit into a quart-size resealable bag.
Do you always tend to forget that one essential item every time you fly? Print out this checklist, and check-off each item as you pack, to ensure your next flight is stress-free!