It’s this time of the year again. People pack their bags and set off on beautiful adventures away from home. Summer… Just saying the word makes me feel the soft breeze of a sea and the warmth of the sun. Who doesn’t like it? Whether you’re going away to splash in the clear blue sea or rocking that staycation, summer is just a beautiful time of the year.
You know the drill – your Uber just pulled in front of your house, you’re rushing checking if everything is locked and packed (WHERE IS MY PHONE CHARGER?) and then you grab your suitcase and you’re out the door. Then you get to the airport/train station/bus station/wherever you’re going and it turns out you forgot a passport (my worst nightmare) or your bloody headphones because you forgot to throw them in your bag last night. And now you’re stuck on the plane/train/bus for who knows how many hours staring out the window and listening to the symphonic concert coming out of that baby’s mouth. Don’t know about you, but I think I’d actually go crazy.
I fly on the plane at least 6 times a year. I live in between my two homes in different countries and I simply cannot live without both. So I try to share my time more or less equally between them. I love it, just when I’m about to get fed up with one setting, I get to set off and live in another one for a while – and there’s always something different about it!
However, it’s not all roses. As much as I adore being in Poland and England I wish I could skip the plane ride part and just teleport there. I always stress about packing (which is why I always leave it to the last day ironically), but what is more stressful for me is being at the airport. It’s because I always feel like I am actually missing something that would be very relevant on my trip. It never happens, my carry on is always fully stocked. So I decided to share some of my top picks that should definitely move in there permanently.
Travel essentials you should always keep in your carry-on:
- Travel documents are definitely the most important thing. What is equally more important is to keep them all together in one place. The last thing you want is to get stuck for 10 minutes because you can’t find your boarding pass. Before my mum came up with a brilliant idea of putting all of the required documents in one cosmetic bag, I was barely handling it. Usually, my boarding pass was so damaged the scanner couldn’t recognise it. She gave me this little red pouch where I put everything in and I always know where it is! I also put my headphones in there now, because they were even more impossible to find in my bag.
- Phone (like you could ever forget about that, right?). Now I usually keep it in my pocket as very often I use the Ryanair app to access my boarding pass and waste less paper on something I’ll use for 2h in my life (I’m lying. I always worry my phone would out of nowhere break and I would end up with no boarding pass. So I print it anyway. Just in case. I also take a screenshot of my pass on my phone – just in case the app breaks. It’s normal to be paranoid about it! Am I still writing in brackets? What was the point of them anyway?)
- Wallet/purse with the currency of the country you are going to. I do not advise you to exchange your money at the airport, but you probably know that. You always end up with less money that you actually should. And be careful with the exchange rate in any place really. Do your research beforehand so you can take full advantage of your holiday with a nice amount of pocket money. It doesn’t hurt to take your debit/credit card with you, but it would surely hurt your bank account if you use it – banks very often have a less favourable exchange rate as well. But it’s always good to have a plan B if you do run out of money.
Now that we got the obvious part behind, we get to the fun part.
- Tablet/iPad – I always take it with me in my carry on, despite the fact that usually I take my laptop bag with me. It is so much easier to take out a tablet and put it on your lap than to drag out a big machine and hit your neighbour as you do. Unless you’re a lucky owner of one of those beautiful sleek and slim laptops/Macbooks that I always throw jealous looks at. Lucky.
Anyway back to the point. I like to download some movies or episodes of my favourite TV shows a couple of days before my travel so I know I have something to watch to pass my time. If I ever feel like I don’t want to watch anything, I simply turn on some games and happily play whilst waiting for the plane to land. Candy Crush addict here, can’t say no to 2,5h of uninterrupted play time.
- See-through cosmetic bag for all the liquids you want to take with you. It is so handy to buy it in any drugstore – they cost so little and can hold so many things! I keep mine with me all the time, not only when I travel. Travelling takes a toll on your body and to look refreshed I need to take care of myself even on the plane. I always have a hand cream and wipes in there, alongside antibacterial gel. Just in case I break a sweat, I find a travel size deodorant quite handy. The air on the plane is really dry, so I also put a couple of lipsticks in there and a lip balm to help my sore dried lips after the flight. Really, you can put anything you want in there as long as it’s travel size and does not exceed the limit!
- I am a sucker for snacks. And I do let myself indulge a little during a flight. I always stock up on chocolate and savoury snacks, because I know I will need it. I eat when I’m bored alright? And it makes me feel like I’m in a cinema when I eat and watch a movie. A very bright, loud and flying cinema but still. To make sure I don’t overdo and end up feeling sick I buy water at the airport. My favourite would have to be the ones with the cap instead of a normal lid. I know for sure the moment I start drinking the plane would suddenly jump and the water would cover the whole of my lap. Better to be safe than sorry.
That would be all I take with me in my carry-on! I don’t normally read in any mode of transport (motion sickness, beautiful thing…) but I always feel nicely stocked up and know that I won’t get bored.
What do you take in your carry-ons? Am I missing something that could benefit my experience?