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10 Carry-On Must Haves

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Gone are the days when air-travel was an elegant experience, when people got dolled up to the nines to take a flight.  Our current reality of cramped leg-room, seats that requires dexterous climbing skills to crawl to the bathroom mid-flight, and the need for patience of mythical proportions to wait for everyone to board/deplane, is a far cry from those golden days. 

But still we travel.  And, if you’re anything like us, you tend to over pack when it comes to the necessities that are stuffed into your carry-on.  Fed up with sore arms and backs from lugging the kitchen sink with us onto the airplane, we’ve come up with our 10 must have items in our under-seat carry-on (not including wallet, phone, and keys).

What do you think? Is there something we’ve left off this list that you can’t live without (or something on here that you think is superfluous?)?  We’re always looking for tips and tricks to make life easier, effortless, and that elevate the everyday hassles. 

Next up: we’ll be tackling our overhead carry-on luggage necessities.  

 Our 10 Carry-On Essential Must Haves

1. Socks

Perhaps this is a little “granny” of us, but we can’t fly without a pair of socks.  The artic temperatures of flights turns the act of putting on a pair of heavy duty socks a moment of pure bliss.  Who doesn’t like toasty piggy toes?!

2. Water

We know that free drinks are a given on flights (at least for the time being), but let’s be honest: those tiny cups are never enough.  Do yourself a favor and give yourself a fighting chance against the dry air: make sure you grab a bottle of water before you board. Your seatmates will be jealous.

3. Headphones

We were late to joining the noise-cancelling headphone train, but now that we have, we simply can’t imagine a life without them.  Between the free movies or just savoring the opportunity to listen to our favorite playlist uninterrupted, these are life-savers.

4. Book/E-reader

There isn’t much to beat having an opportunity to catch up on reading (magazines and trashy romance/thriller/mystery are always welcome).  Being stuck in that seat harkens back to days where the majority of travel was armchair travel.  It’s fun to be mentally whisked away to another world while you’re literally being whisked away to another place.

5. Wrap Scarf

Sorry, but we just don’t trust airline blankets (if you can even get your hands on one).  So we’ve taken to bringing a massive wrap scarf with us on all our trips (road trips too).  Whether we use it as a snugly blanket or as a makeshift pillow, we always put it to good use.

6. Gum

We’ve been known to gobble our free peanuts/pretzels/cookies like the best of them.  And we always end up with that horrible taste in our mouth afterwards because there isn’t enough water or free soda to wash them down.  So, spare yourself that feeling of gross, and make sure to pack some minty fresh gum.

7. Notebook and Pen

We know that most flights have Wi-Fi and you could easily pull out your computer/tablet/phone to clock in some work.  But we’ve started pretending we don’t have access to the internet and have started pulling out our old fashion notebook and trusy pen to allow our mind to wander without the distractions of online shopping.

8. Catch All Zip Pouch

We all love a little bling, but getting through security with jewelry is a pain and we’re always terrified we’re going to misplace something.  So to keep our neurosis at a low, we’ve started toting around a little pouch to act as a catch-all for our baubles. 

9. Lip Balm

We’re used to harsh winter air, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the creepy paper dry skin that descends upon you while flying.  Give yourself a spa moment and bust out that lip balm (brownie points if it does double duty as a hand balm).

10. Charger

Even on airplane mode, our phone drains of battery during a flight.  Having that charger is imperative so you can slip away into the universe of your favorite playlist (or add to your to-do list).