What’s in Your Carry-On

At the salon I was chatting with a new mom who is planning for her first trip to Hawaii.  Because they will be taking baby along (only a few months old) we were talking about the amount of stuff they needed to take.  After some questions, I determined some of what they would be taking (diapers) could be purchased when they arrive.  After all, it is Hawaii, not Bangladesh.

What do you pack that you could easily purchase on the other end?  This is particularly relevant with bulky items (diapers) or potentially messy items (formula).  You certainly need SOME for the flight, even a margin of error in case you get stuck at the airport for an extended period due to weather.  Beyond this reasonable amount, plan where to purchase the rest when you arrive.

Route the path from the airport to your hotel on Google Maps or Mapquest.  Then ask for stores along the route.  Shoot for big box retailers such as Target or large drug store chains such as CVS.

Because I know the area well, I was able to point out that there is a Wal-Mart within a couple of miles of the airport on the route she will be taking to her hotel.  Sure, you pay a little more for some things when purchased in Hawaii but we’re talking $5 more – not $100 more.  By purchasing easy – but bulky – items there, they have more room for essentials such as an infant life-jacket.

My second suggestion related to what she puts in her carry-on besides baby essentials.  Whenever you check a bag, you run the risk of it getting lost or misdirected for a time.  This can cause a TON of stress, hassle and inconvenience.

For a long enough trip, even I have to check a bag!  If it’s international and there is a plane change, the risks increase something will go wrong.  With that potential in mind, here’s what you need in your carry-on:

Of course there’s the usual, your documents, prescription medications, reading material, electronics (including the chargers), money, jewelry, wet-ones to clean your area of the plane and ear buds or ear plugs to block out the world.  If you are in coach or trying to control what you eat – bring healthy or low calorie snacks.  Tend to be cold on planes?  A travel blanket is wise.

Beyond that, you need “essentials”.  If your bag were lost – or  a day late – what would you NEED.  For me, that’s a fresh shirt and underwear.  If I don’t need them due to waylaid luggage, this will be my shirt and undies for the trip home.

Also, if I’m taking one, my swimsuit is ALWAYS in my carry-on – not in my checked bag.  On the list of things I wouldn’t want to have to replace under pressure – that’s it!  Besides, if my bag gets lost I’m going to want to go to the pool bar and have a drink!

My travel sized make up kit and bathroom items are also with me.  I may want to freshen up on the plane, but I also want to be comfortable “just in case”.

Tee-shirts and shorts are usually pretty easy to purchase anywhere you go but a swimsuit and bra are not so easy to replace.

Think of your carry-on as your 48 hour vacation survival kit and pack accordingly!


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