As a sports and travel writer for The Blonde Side and other outlets, I am constantly traveling for games and other sporting events and throughout the years I’ve learned a few tricks (some the hard way, others just common sense). Here are a few of my favorite tips for which essentials to pack while traveling, particularly in your carry-on.
- lululemon Vinyasa Scarf – Who doesn’t get cold on planes? This Vinyasa scarf is perfect because it doesn’t take up a ton of room in your carry-on and can be worn 10 different ways, depending your style or what level warmth you might need. (Pro Tip: If you’re traveling to a warm place and want to wear flip-flops or sandals so you’re ready to go once you land, just stuff a pair of ankle socks into your carry-on and wear those on the plane!) Any large scarves can become a makeshift pillow, a blanket, something to throw over your head to block out light, and probably even some other functionality. $58 (Note – hard to find online, but almost always available in-store with many different color/pattern options)
- FULLY charged electronics (and bring the cords in your carry-on) – You never know what kind of delays you’ll experience once you get on the plane (or car), so it’s always a smart idea to be fully charged (why do you think the airport outlets are more coveted than a limited edition Louis Vuitton?) Plus, if you change your mind and decide you want to jump on your laptop and get some work done, you’ll need it fully charged, or if you want to listen to that new Beyonce track you downloaded on your iPhone. Pro Tip – invest in some noise cancelling headphones (like Bose) – they are a lifesaver. Another Pro Tip – bring some sort of non-electronic entertainment like a few magazines or a good book.
- Water and Snacks – Having suffered a few setbacks during quite a few travels, I pride myself (at least now) on always being prepared. I either carry a reusable and easy to fill water bottle (obviously needs to be empty when arriving at the airport) and then filling it at a water fountain post-security. Especially during the summer months, a delay on the tarmac can be crucial and the pressurized cabins cause skin to dry out/hangovers to last longer/etc. so having water readily available is key. For snacks, I’m a big fan of Think Thin Protein Bars (Creamy Peanut Butter is my favorite), KIND Snack Bars (these are less likely to melt as opposed to the Think Thin ones), dried edamame, nuts and trail mix and other easily packaged items. Not only is it good to be prepared, but it will help you stay on track and not splurge on airport food, which is also quite expensive and usually not very good. Plus, it keeps you from getting hangry!
- Toiletries and Essential Medicines – I always pack some kind of sanitizer – usually the wipes as liquids over 3oz aren’t allowed in your carry-on, as well as allergy medicine, aspirin, sleep aids and whatever else I may need. Just in case your luggage gets lost, these are vital to have on hand, including vitamins. I’m a big fan of taking Vitamin C while traveling (something like Emergen-C which pack 1,000 mg of Vitamin C) to help fight off all the yucky germs. Moisturizer is also a key on-board (again, under 3oz). And don’t forget the Chapstick/lip balm (Burt’s Bees is my favorite). Oh and if I didn’t mention hand-sanitzer already, BRING IT. Literally the last four flights I’ve been on (I’m looking at you United) either didn’t have a working toilet or running water, so come prepared.
- Business Cards – It may seem obvious since most of my travel revolves around business, but you never know who you’re going to meet on an airplane (or in the grocery store for that matter). My business cards have saved me in the past by: allowing a quick/easy and semi-professional way to give a cute guy my contact info, a potential contact for this particular trip or something in the future, or think of the six-degrees of separation. Imagine if the person sitting next to me on the plane was the cousin of Peyton Manning or another notable athlete and all the while I’m trying to act and sound professional and then I have to scribble my email address/blog onto the back of an airplane puke bag. Odds are that card would never make it to Peyton or his manager.
Oh…and my favorite carry-on brand? Probably these FEED bags.