While we have no real anxiety when we travel (partly because we always make sure we have full travel insurance) there is sometimes some low-level anxiety when it comes to packing. If we have a long flight, we do like to have everything we need with us. It is SO frustrating to realize that something you need for the flight is actually in your checked in bag and you can’t get at it!
The best way to mitigate this stress is having a list and ideally a printed out checklist and check things off as you are packing. Having a second copy printed out and taking it with you is also good to make sure you have a properly packed carry on bag when you come home too!
So, let’s share what we think is the ULTIMATE bag for carry-on for a long haul flight. Make sure you get the PDF print out. Cross out what you don’t need and there are spaces for things that are specific for you.
- Travel insurance documents – Travel insurance is so important and you should have the policy and the emergency contact details with you at all times. Share these with everyone traveling with you and the tour leader if you are on a tour.
- Lounge Cards – If you are lucky enough to have these you will want to make sure you have these. Lounges are so much nicer than the common areas.
- Transportation and hotel confirmations – for your arrival in case your data on your phone doesn’t work
- Driver’s licence – If you are hiring a car in the destination or are considering it.
- Emergency contact details – Share this with your travel companions.
- Boarding passes – If you checked in online.
Toiletries and medications
Moisturizer – Skin gets so dry in the air of the cabin.
Hairbrush, toothpaste, toothbrush and deodorant – If you need to hug people who are meeting you at the airport with confidence, you’ll want these items.
Painkillers – In case a headache or toothache hits you on board you will be so thankful you have some Panadol.
Feminine hygiene products – Just in case.
Herbal Sleeping tablets – If these help you, then pack these.
Dry flannel in a waterproof bag – In case you need a ‘shower’ before touching down and they are more eco friendly than wet wipes. This will come in handy many times during your trip.
Ear plugs – While noise reduction headphones and white noise can substitute for ear plugs, these can be so helpful for the loud hum of the plane.
Spare set of clothes – If you have to get off the plane and it will take a few hours before you can get to a shower, then this will make you feel a lot better. Check the weather at your destination to make a smart choice.
Warm socks – They say cold feet means warm heart! If that’s you, then you will want socks. It is very hard to sleep when your tootsies are cold.
Headphones – Noise reduction ones are best to filter out background noise.
Pen – to fill out that arrival form.
Snacks – have some snacks on hand just in case. Here are some recipe ideas for sweet and savory snacks if you want. While I have never needed it, we like to carry a little ‘just-add-hot-water’ packaged foods. We especially like the Dr McDougall soups. We hope you never need them and that your on board vegan meal is delicious, balanced and plentiful, but if you are really worried these are a super standby. Most flight attendants will add some boiling water for you and voila! You have a meal!