Being an organized traveler means not only packing efficiently with your checked luggage, but also making sure you’ve got all your inflight, carry-on essentials along for the journey.
Referencing my packing checklist always helps ensure that I’ve got everything I need in my carry-on tote bag. I generally tend to keep this bag under the seat in front of me because it contains the items that I’ll need access to throughout the flight. This tote bag in particular is great because it has plenty of room inside with lots of pockets, an exterior pocket which holds my convertible clutch and it zips closed (critical feature since it’s going be laying on its side!).
With my current trip being an international flight to Italy, I’m really making sure that I have all the inflight essentials along with to make me comfortable and entertained for 9+ hours. Let’s start though with the crucial items that you CANNOT forget. I always triple check that inside my wallet is my drivers license, passport and cash. Try to travel with a decent amount of cash to start your trip so you aren’t ever empty handed when it comes to tipping someone, grabbing transportation or even a quick bite at the airport. For our trip to Italy, we ordered a small amount of Euros ahead of time through AAA to have on hand once we land.
Let’s not forget the importance of your travel documents. When flying domestic, I try to utilize the digital version via my phone as often as possible, but I won’t be taking any chances when it comes to flying overseas. A paper copy is a must!
Speaking of anything paper, I use this large envelope folder I grabbed from the Sugar Paper x Target collection last year and store all of my boarding passes, parking information and hotel confirmations in here. I also include any magazines that I’ll be bringing along in the folder as it helps keep them undamaged and secure from the depths of my tote bag where they’d usually end up.
Next up are those inflight essentials that just make you more comfortable. The first thing I always, always, always do when I sit down in my seat is pull out my sanitizing wipes and disinfect EVERYTHING around me. You might get a few odd glances, but more often than not, they’re jealous that they didn’t think about it and you might want to be generous and offer them a wipe as well (they usually take it!). I usually always purchase a bottle of water before boarding the plane and have an array of snacks to help get me through the flight since I can rarely eat anything offered (they need to provide more gluten free or vegan options!). My go-to snacks are something gummy, a KIND bar and a bag of popcorn. It’s like I’m going to the movies!
Earlier this year I bought this Seat Pak Organizer because it has lots of little compartments and it’s designed to hang from the tray table latch in front of you. I tell you what, I’ve taken 2-3 flights since I’ve purchased this little travel organizer and it is so handy for keeping together all those little things you need to have quick access to. I throw in my Kindle, a lip balm, hand sanitize wipes, vitamins, gummies and earbuds.
I’ve always got to have plenty of reading options along with, so between my Kindle and any magazines I bring I’m usually good for quite a few hours on any flight. Most often reading puts me to sleep, so if I’m feeling restless I’ll usually watch a movie if provided by the airline on my Macbook Air laptop with my Bose headphones. When I’m really feeling energetic, I use my laptop to get work done. It’s amazing how much stuff I can complete when confined in an airplane! Though I know I’ll sleep a good chunk of my flight to Italy, if I’m smart I’ll also do a fair share of work so I’m not having to do much once I’m there.
Beyond that I always have my eyeglasses, a lightweight scarf that can act as a blanket and some hand lotion on hand. I really try to keep what’s in my tote bag to the inflight essentials and leave all the extra, bulky items in a carry-on duffel bag that I’ll put overhead.
That’s it, stick to the items on the packing checklist and you’ll always have what you need on hand for a short or a long, international flight. Happy Travels!