Monday, November 7, 2011

Don’t leave home without them! Travel essentials for your carry on.

The things we take on a trip with us can vary tremendously depending if it is a business trip, trip to a sun destination or an outdoor adventure. But when it comes to the things you take with you in your carry-on or what you wear while travelling there are some essentials I don’t leave home without, especially when travelling by air!

Here is my list:

1. Wear comfortable, versatile clothes while on the plane. It’s a good idea to wear layers that are not bulky. I like to wear a nice pair of yoga pants with a nice comfortable top and a light jacket or sweater. I especially like the yoga pants because of the forgiving stretch in the waist. There is nothing worse than being in a middle seat between two strangers and all you can think is I wish I could undo the top button and maybe unzip the zipper a little because your stomach has decided to bloat during the flight.

2. Wear comfortable shoes that have a little give in them, just in case your feet swell and comfort comes in handy if you have to run to catch your connecting flight. Warm socks are good too if you are on a long overnight flight and you want to get a little shut eye. I personally find it hard to sleep with shoes on, it just doesn’t seem natural?

3. A pashmina or a sarong is a handy thing to have in your bag just in case you get cold and there are no blankets left.  A sarong is also a good idea if you are going to a sun destination in conjunction with putting your bathing suit in your carry-on too. This is great if you arrive at the hotel early and you can’t check in yet. Why delay the vacation, get them to store your bags until your room is ready and go to the beach or pool!

4. On long flights overseas I carry a tooth brush, one of those travel ones and a tiny travel size of tooth paste, an extra pair of undies and clean top This especially great when eating in a confined sometimes turbulent space.  I always manage to get a spot or two on my top!  That way you can freshen up before you arrive. Other great things you can carry is a small travel size deodorant and some unscented moisturizing cream – that can be used for face and hands. Skin can become very dry and dehydrated during flight.

5. I know you can’t carry a water bottle through security but it is a good idea to buy one once through. It is important to say hydrated while onboard especially on long haul flights. Getting a drink of water on board is dependent on when they decide to come around for meal or snack service and those little cups they give you is never enough water.

6. If you are on any medication always take it with you in your carry on, never pack it in your checked baggage especially if you need to take it on a regular basis, just in case your suitcase doesn’t arrive with you at destination.  And make sure it is the original bottles with your prescription details and Doctors’ name is on it. You don’t want anyone at security interrogating you over those mysterious pink and blue pills in the zip lock bag in your purse!

7. Always take any valuables like jewelry, or your camera etc. on board the aircraft. And make sure all electronics are charged or have fresh batteries as they may ask you to turn them on while going through security.  

8. Take all your travel documents, travel insurance policy and any contact names, numbers or addresses you may need while on the trip. Don’t pack it in your checked baggage!  You don’t want to arrive with no bags or your hotel reservation and get into a cab and tell the driver take me to the Marriott and he asks “which one?” And then he informs you there are 3 Marriott hotels in the area and you don’t know the street address of the one you are booked at.

9. And probably the most obvious is your passport or appropriate identification. I always suggest that you also carry a photocopy of your passport and credit cards just in case you lose them in a separate bag , separate part of your bag or in your checked bags. It is also a good idea to leave a copy with family at home.

10. After ensuring you have your passport and travel documents, because all that other stuff you can get by without if you had to.  I think the most import things to take is your sense of humour , an open heart and a sense of adventure, because these are the things that you can’t buy and after all it’s only the journey that matters!

Denise Gushue - CTC
Travel Advisor