Travel can be stressful, but with the right preparation, you can get through it with minimal fuss. Here’s a guide to 10 essential items that all savvy travelers need, whether they fly long haul or catch an inter-state train.
A travel pillow makes any mode of transport more comfortable. Instead of bunching up a jacket to use as a pillow, or worse, falling asleep on the passenger in the next seat (embarrassing!), you can support your weary head on a soft travel pillow. Wrap it around your neck, recline your seat, and drift off into the Land of Nod.
It’s really hard to sleep when there are bright lights blazing overhead or the sun is hitting you squarely in the eye. A good sleep mask takes care of this for you. Pick up a washable sleep mask and pop it on whenever you need to take a nap. It will block out the light and turn day into night.
Noise Canceling Headphones
Noise levels on planes, trains, and most other modes of transport are often high. The roar of an engine might be classified as ‘white noise’, but if you have to listen to your travel partner’s constant gab, someone else’s rap music, or a crying baby, sleep will remain elusive. Noise canceling headphones don’t block out all sounds, but they minimize them and make it easier to sleep. Plug in some relaxing music and you should fall asleep in no time.
It is a good idea to stay hydrated while you travel. This is especially important when you fly, as pressurized cabins are very dehydrating. Instead of buying expensive bottled water, take your own water bottle and fill it up at every opportunity. You can sip water whenever you feel thirsty. It’s much cheaper and more convenient.
Smart Phone or Tablet
Travel can be super boring unless you are lucky enough to fly business class on a first-rate airline, in which case you have a wealth of entertainment options at your disposal. Otherwise, take a smart phone or tablet and load it up with apps, movies, and music. As long as you are able to recharge your device, you won’t be bored. Make sure you have a GPS map app on it too, so you can use it to navigate if you get lost.
A Good Book
Sometimes, nothing beats a good book. Staring at a screen for hours is hard on the eyes, so turn your gadgets off and read a book instead. Pick a chick-lit novel or expand your knowledge with a non-fiction bestseller.
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
It should go without saying that it is a great idea to pack your toothbrush in your carry-on bag. For starters, you want to have fresh breath when you arrive at your destination, and for another, it’s always better to carry one on you in case your luggage gets delayed or lost.
The worst part of traveling is how grubby we feel after several hours on the road. Pack some wet wipes and you can freshen up at any time. Use hand sanitizer wipes to keep germs at bay on public transport. Be sure to clean those airline tray tables with sanitizing wipes as well.
Greasy, lank hair goes hand in hand with long-haul travel. Yes, it is pretty gross, but a quick spritz from a can of dry shampoo can work wonders. Not only does dry shampoo soak up the excess oil, but it also makes greasy hair smell more fragrant.
Change of Clothes
Never leave home without a change of underwear. Imagine how horrific it would be if you arrived after a 28-hour flight, only to discover that your luggage had gone AWOL? It’s always better to be prepared than be put in a bad situation!
Other notable carry-on items:
- prescription medications
- charging cables for smart phones, tablets, and laptops
- a few snacks
- a portable charger to recharge electronics
Do you have any more recommendations? Let us know in the comments!