Imagine you are finally on your way to this week-long getaway you’ve been planning for ages, you hop off the plane and realise they've lost your luggage...you panic and run to the information desk to report your luggage lost, then 4 days and almost your whole trip later your luggage finally arrives to you. Unfortunately, this isn't that uncommon, luggage gets lost all the time and you’re lucky if you get it back in under a week. Along with the potential of it getting lost, there are a lot of other things that will make your life a lot easier while travelling. After years of travelling and questioning co-workers, we have finally created a foolproof list for you to take with you while you travel. Be sure to round up these essentials before your next flight.
1) Battery Charger
You may be thinking that nowadays every plane and airport has charging stations and outlets, they do, but when travelling during busy times (which seems like all the time) they are most likely going to be taken. Having an extra charging pack on you gives you the freedom to move about and not worry about getting your phone stolen while it's charging. You are probably also thinking there are outlets on planes now, I’ve already lost count on the number of times they have been “out of order.” Play it safe and invest in a good charging pack because there is nothing worse than hopping on your 10-hour flight and not being able to listen to your favourite playlist.
2) Disinfectant Wipes
This may not sound like a backpacker talking but planes can be gross, there always seems to be that one sick person sitting right next to you, sniffling in your ear throughout your flight. If you want to catch a cold then the airport is a good place to go. Tray tables, armrests, and public facilities, in general, can get pretty dirty so it is good to just have some wipes to sanitize everything as you go because the last thing you want is to get sick on the way to your destination.
3) Essential Clothes
It is crucial to keep your carry on bag light but it is always good to keep a change of clothes or even just some socks and underwear to get you by if your luggage gets lost, or if you just feel gross after sitting in a plane for 10 hours.
I don’t care if you didn't actually go to sleep on the plane, you still need to brush your teeth! Being able to freshen up while on the plane or in the airport seriously makes you feel so much better. Some airlines will give you a little necessities pack, but for most backpackers, we’ll be sitting in the economy seats and are lucky if we get a bag of peanuts. Be careful when you arrive in other countries as it might be safer to just brush your teeth with bottled water.
5) Blanket Scarf
This one is my personal favorite. A few years ago my sister bought me a blanket scarf and it changed my travelling life, what is a blanket scarf you ask? Well, it is literally just a large scarf, sort of like a long rectangular blanket that you can wear as a scarf or use as a blanket. Planes are always freezing and you don;t always get a blanket so the blanket scarf can be super handy, especially when you are sleeping in the airport. Once you are done using it, just drape it around yourself like a scarf and no one will ever know.
6) Muesli Bars
There's something about plane food that makes you feel super bloated and off, and they never seem to be serving when you are actually hungry. It is always good to have a few snacks that won’t go bad and will fill you up while travelling.
7) Eye mask and Earplugs
I cannot stress how crucial these two items are for travel, whether in the hostel, on the plane, or waiting in the airport these will save you. Especially if you are sitting in economy, the plane will probably never quiet down enough for you to get a good sleep, some cabins don't even turn the lights off. Getting sleep is crucial to having a good time on your trip and you need to get it when you can so be sure to always have these on hand.
This may seem pretty irrelevant, however, when entering other countries there is always loads of paper work to fill out while you are on the plane and standing in lines. Airlines almost never provide pens for their economy passengers so its always good to have one with you.
This should go without saying but it needs to be listed on here. If you have something really valuable like jewelry, heirlooms… a bag of cash, make sure you never let it leave your side. There is always the potential of your luggage getting lost and never returned, or broken into, so just stay safe and keep the valuables with you… or just don't travel with them.
Try not to overthink when packing, as long as you have the essentials to get by like your phone, money, and a change of clothes, you will be fine. Packing light is always better not only with your carry on, but with your checked luggage as well. Try and stay healthy, get some sleep, and make your carry on fool proof so nothing can dampen your day.
*This article was originally written for Peterpans Adventure Travel, all opinions are my own.