‘ve been racking up the frequent flier miles lately on trips across the ocean.
After packing way too much the first flight, I’ve narrowed down the 5 must haves for an ocean-crossing carry on:
- The right bag: Your carry on becomes your life on an overseas trip — especially if there’s a long layover involved. I’m all about function over fashion in this case and have been opting for the trusty Jansport backpack from my college days. It’s perfectly utilitarian with plenty of pockets and it fits well in the overhead bin above or underneath the seat in front of me. Of course, you’re welcome to find something a bit more stylish if that’s how you roll. Just make sure it has plenty of usable, well-organized space.
- A refillable water bottle: Sure, the drink cart comes often on a long haul flight, but it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r after takeoff. Especially because the hot towels come first. So why not bring a water bottle and avoid being parched? You could buy a disposable before you board or you could be the savvy traveler who shows up like they know what they’re doing. (Just remember to drain it before you go through security.)
- Shout Wipes: There’s no bummer bigger than getting a stain on the shirt you’re about to wear for at least another 11 hours. I actually think of my Shout Wipes stash (at least 3 every flight!) as a lucky charm — I’ve yet to need them myself but I’ve handed plenty out. Most recently to the poor sap in front of me who fell victim to an overly aggressive coffee pour. Murphy says the second I forget to pack them, I’ll be the one smelling like a Kona plantation.
- An electronic goodie bag: If you’re crossing an ocean, chances are high that you’ll need different plugs. I keep mine organized in a bag-within-my-bag so that I know where everything is. 3 plug adapters for my Mac, a couple of spare USB-USBC and USB-microUSB cords, plus a battery pack for my phone in case the in-seat charger is broken. Murphy’ll strike on this one too… don’t leave the battery pack at home or you’ll find yourself with a dead phone and no way to Uber when you land.
- Analog reading/writing materials: Anybody else get the puke-y feels after entirely too much time on a plane? Sometimes it’s nice to totally unplug from even the in-flight entertainment. And, you’ll need something to keep you awake if you’re trying to sync your body up to your landing timezone. Ditch the digital and grab the paper — books, magazines, a journal. Just make sure you don’t pack the entire library. 1 fiction, 1 nonfiction and something to do with pen and paper will keep you plenty busy without weighing you down.
What are YOUR must haves on an ocean-crossing flight?
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