5 things you absolutely need in your carry-on

I’ve given up checking a bag. From the extra fees, to lost luggage, it’s no longer worth it to hand over an extra bag. So I’ve gotten good at packing, and there are some things I’m never without in my carry-on. While I wouldn’t be caught dead without my smartphone or laptop on a flight, and bringing medications and toiletries are other must-haves, these are our picks for other can’t-do-without items.

Carry-on Must Haves:  Scarf/Pashmina

Carry-on Must Haves: packIt gets cold on planes, and bringing a large scarf can keep your neck warm, but it can also double as a blanket when you want to nap.

Carry-on Must Haves:  Extra power cable and Power Bank

You can’t be sure that your flight will have laptop or USB plugins, so bring your own. I’m never without extra juice, because my phone, laptop, camera and wireless headphones all need power and with airline delays, your flight could end up being hours longer than you anticipate.

Carry-on Must Haves:  Good headphones

I’m never without two sets of headphones. They can block out that airplane drone, but also crying babies and loud talking passengers. I always have a compact wired in-ear set and over ear noise cancelling headphones.

Carry-on Must Haves: Snacks & water

Carry-on Must Haves top bestSure, you can purchase stuff on the plane, but I always bring my own healthy snacks. Why? Because inevitably they’re out of what I want by the time my turn comes around. Plus, I like to bring healthier, lighter fare and always have soup sachets like chicken noodle and Miso. Carrot sticks, crackers and nuts are also good healthy choices. Not to harp on the delay thing, but if the flight ends up sitting on the tarmac for a while, the food cart won’t be going anywhere. Pick up a large bottle of water from a store after you pass security so you’re not reliant on airline staff for hydration.

Carry-on Must Haves: Change of clothes, including bathing suit, underwear

If your checked bag is lost, you want to be able to cope without needing to go on a shopping spree first. Keeping a change of clothes including undergarmets in your carry-on ensures you’ll at least be clean and comfortable. Bringing a bathing suit is a no-brainer too since if you’re headed somewhere tropical, it means you can relax by the pool while the airline hunts down your lost bag.

Some other handy items for a carry-on include a travel pillow, small bills and change in the currency of the country where you’re headed, plus a hat or a ball cap to disguise airline seat bedhead, as well as a pair of socks to keep your tootsies warm.