11 Things I Cannot Travel Without [Airplane Essentials]

The contents of my handbag can make or break my journey to a new place. Let’s be honest. Airplanes are fast but they do not make for a very comfortable trip. That’s why I like to be extra prepared with things that might make the experience a little easier. Here’s a list of items I like to keep in my bag:

1. In-Plane Pouch (AKA My Trusty Sidekick)
I always put a little bag of ultra essentials in my handbag. My Trusty Sidekick (MTS) is basically my bathroom buddy. Once I’m settled into my seat, I place her in the pocket with in-flight magazines. You can get your own MTS from H&M or Forever21 for less than $10. In it, I keep the following items:

  • Toothbrush, travel-size toothpaste and dental floss (mints or gum will do for shorter flights) – oral hygiene is important folks
  • Multipurpose lotion for hands and face (buy or make) and lip balm – because cabin air is drying
  • Makeup items, like eyeliner and lipstick – for touch up before I land
  • Face & hand wipes, and deodorant wipes – well, you can’t shower so wipes will have to do
  • Dry shampoo, hairbrush, and hair ties – if airplane atmosphere flattens your hair too, you’ll need these
  • Women essentials even when it’s not the time (you never know when you’ll run into a fellow woman in need – yes, I’ve donated a few times) #WomenSupportingWomen

2. Magazines, (Audio) Books, TV Shows
I’m the kind of person that loves to have things to do when I’m on the plane. Just to clarify, whether I actually do any of those things is a whole different story. Often times, I’ll take a nap or ten, or look out the window and admire the clouds (what? it’s a beautiful sight!) Still, it’s nice to have a backup. I always carry some form of entertainment with me when traveling. Load your tablet or phone with TV shows, movies, book or audio books, or go old school with an actual hard copy book or magazine. You do not want to run out of things to do on a plane.

3. Notebook + Pen
Always, always, always have a pen and notebook handy. Why? Because you never know when divine brilliance will hit you with a great business idea. Or, you could doodle to pass the time! You’ll probably need the pen for customs forms and what not when you land. So just keep it handy, will ya!

4. Snacks + Water Bottle
I hate waiting for food to arrive on the plane. Especially when I forget to do the online check-in thing in time and end up at the very back of the plane. If you keep healthy snacks handy, you’ll never go hungry again! Plus, food is way cheaper on the ground than buying at 39,000 feet.

Also, my man calls me a fish (because I drink a lot… of WATER!! Yes, I know what you were thinking.) For someone like me, having to wait for the flight attendants to offer me water every few hours is absolute agony. So I always have to fill up my water bottle at the airport (after going through security).

5. Oversized Scarf
Are you always cold? Well, I am. I like to wear an oversized scarf which can double as a shawl or blanket! Way better (and cleaner) than the airplane ones, eh? That is if they even have any left for you. I used to think that all flights provided blankets (I was a spoiled child) until that one treacherous journey where the attendant responded to my request for a blanket with “Sorry, we don’t have those on this flight.” WHAAAAAAAA?! Never again, people. Never. Again.

6. Charging Cords
When I flew as a child, I remember seeing charging stations at some airports with a variety of cords for Nokia, Motorola, and so forth. But I believe they’re instinct or well on their way. I mean, if you really really needed a charger and forgot yours at home, I’m sure you could buy a cheap charger at the airport, but why waste money? Just pack your charging cord and a backup cord in case one breaks.

7. Portable Charger
Speaking of charging your electronic BFFs, most planes have in-flight USB chargers. But what if there’s a technical issue and yours doesn’t work? Steal your boyfriend’s spot, sure. But what if his doesn’t work either?! It’s just good sense to keep a juiced up portable charger with you for emergencies when you’re traveling.

8. Comfort Wear…
I love sleeping on the plane. No, scratch that. I love sleeping, period. I don’t mind sleeping on the plane. Although, the seat is never quite comfortable enough and my sleep is always choppy. Enter… comfort items! I like to keep an eye mask, earplugs or noise-canceling headphones, and socks with me to get a slightly better sleep. The man let me use his Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones last month on the plane and people, it’s a whole a new world! If you can afford them, do invest.

9. Advil
… because you never know when that pesky headache will show its face. Keep an Advil handy, just in case you need to use it. It’s better to have it with you for emergencies than asking fellow passengers and flight attendants (which can be embarrassing). You can also make your own blend of essential oils for headaches.

10. Hand Sanitizer
Now I know some airlines provide hand wipes with or after your meal. But what if you touched the carpet while reaching your bag? If you’re in the window seat, you’ll probably not want to disturb your fellow passengers and avoid going to the washroom. But, trust me, those floors are gross. You’ll want to sanitize after that. So, always keep hand sanitizer with you! Even when you’re on the ground, actually. I recommend Dr. Bronner’s Organic Hand Sanitizer because it’s Fair Trade and free of GMO-alcohol and petrochemical thickener.

11. Essential Oils
Cabin air is gross too. (But you knew that already. Not helpful, Sonia!) But did you know that essential oils can save you from inhaling those bad odors? Carry a small bottle of Eucalyptus, Lavender, or Lemon Grass, or better yet, make your own unique mix for aromatherapy! Kill two birds with one stone with blends for inducing sleep or fighting anxiety or fatigue.

So that’s my list. What are some of the items on your list? Let me know in the comments below!

Photo credits: rawpixel.com | Eli DeFaria | Giulia Bertelli | ika dam |  Mike Tinnion | Ehimetalor Unuabona | Christin Hume | Omar Prestwich | Cel Lisboa

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