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Carry On Essentials

Packing is never fun. I often find myself scrambling to throw things into my carry on at 2 AM the night before a flight, and no matter how many espressos I drink, it is almost guaranteed that I forget some thing or another. At the same time, somehow I always overpack and regret the literal extra baggage the next morning, when I’m wearily trudging through the airport trying to find my gate.

I’ve put together a list of 7 essentials that everyone should definitely keep handy in a carry on to take aboard the plane. Not included in this list is a bottle of water – gotta stay hydrated! – but you’ll have to purchase one after the security checkpoint, because they won’t allow you to bring one in your bag. These items will keep you feeling fresh during any flight, and there honestly isn’t much more that you will actually need during travel time.

1. Disinfecting Wipes
Planes are not as clean as you think. Imagine how many people have sat in the seat before you, rested their head on the tray table, sneezed on the arm rest. How often do you think someone meticulously wipes down every seat in every plane? Not frequently. A lot of people, myself included, get sick after flying. Do yourself a favor and bring a few disinfecting wipes, to clean off your little area before sitting down. You’ll thank yourself later, when you avoid the typical post-plane head cold.

2. Facial Spray
Our skin gets dried out when we’re stuck in a little tube in the sky for hours on end. There are so many types of facial sprays out there, but my favorite of the moment is Reviva’s Linden Flower Facial Spray, with aloe & ginseng & other good stuff packed into it. One mist, and I immediately feel more alert, refreshed, and relaxed. Get a TSA-approved mini spray bottle to bring some with you in a carry on.

3. Coconut Oil
I’m on a coconut oil kick. I use it on my hair, as a makeup remover, and as a moisturizer. My pores are smaller, my skin is smoother, and the lines on my face have pretty much disappeared – but that’s something I’ll save for a future post. I recommend bringing a little TSA-approved size bottle with you on board. Just a tiny drop dabbed around your eyes and combed through your hair during a layover will keep you from looking dull after a long flight. Rub it into your cuticles and hands also. Nature’s best kept secret.

4. Lip Balm
Dry, peeling lips aren’t a good look. You can forgo this ‘essential’ because you’ve already packed the coconut oil, but I like a little extra pick me up in my lip balm. I’m partial to the natural minted rose balm because the mint helps keep you fresh. This is especially important if you’ve got somebody special waiting for you to arrive at your destination.

5. A Good Read
On my most recent flights to and from Washington D.C., I brought the May and June issues of Vanity Fair. I’ve gotta say, both issues were jam packed with fantastic articles. Those hours on the plane & sitting around the airport allowed me to catch up on the latest political happenings and entertainment goings-on. I loved the May issue’s piece on Edward Snowden – I’m a bit behind the times, but I hadn’t heard the full story of his NSA leaks yet; and the June issue had several pages written by Monica Lewinsky, who, at 40, is finally breaking out of hiding to pursue a life that she wants (& she totally deserves it!). Good reads on the plane will give you good insight and conversation well after you land.

6. Listerine Pocketpaks
They’re teeny, easy to pack, and keep your breath fresh after all the airport food. Gum works too, but I love the ease of putting a tiny strip on my tongue & the feeling that follows, like I’ve just had a swish of mouthwash. Fresh breath is a necessity.

7. Vitamins
Tying it all back to the first essential on this list, to avoid getting sick: take your vitamins! My mom has turned me on to Mannatech supplements. Supposedly, they’ve cured cancers. (I still need to research that one, it sounds a little far fetched.) She swears by their “Ambrotose” though, which are taken twice daily for immune support, and tells me to take several of them if I feel the slightest hint of sickness coming on. They’re plant based, and definitely can’t hurt, so I take two capsules before & after flying. I haven’t gotten sick when I’ve taken them, therefore at the risk of sounding exactly like my mother, I’ll recommend them to you too! However, a vitamin C supplement or multi-vitamin would be a nice immune system boost before & after flying as well.

These are the 7 essentials I keep handy in my carry on bag, and I hope the list helps some of you find a bit more ease the next time you’re scrambling to pack last minute, so you can actually get some rest before the big travel day. What essentials do you take on the plane?