Packing the perfect carry-on bag is a serious skill! You need to prepare for a seamless airport experience – both through security and then onto the plane for maximum comfort in-flight. With limited space and a long list of necessary items to bring along for the ride, we’re sharing the top 12 essentials to pack next time you jet set.
If you like to plan ahead and if Vancouver is on your bucket list, check out our Early Booking Offer at Fairmont Pacific Rim – this special offer is the perfect excuse to pack your bags and explore Canada’s west coast.
Reusable Water Bottle
Staying hydrated during your flight is essential and airlines often don’t give you enough water during their scheduled in-flight services. We highly recommend investing in a reusable bottle that keeps your water cold for the entire duration of your flight. The S’well bottles really live up to their hype and keep H2O cold for up to 24 hours.
When travelling internationally, you’re required to fill out a landing card or customs form and most flights hand them out mid-flight, sans pen. Bring on the scramble! Everyone on the flight looks through their carry-on and without fail, only few remember to pack a pen. Everyone else is left asking their neighbour to borrow a pen, or queue in the extra-long line before clearing customs. We recommend planning ahead to avoid the frantic search and bringing a retractable tip pen.
EYE MASK & EAR PLUGS
If you’re someone who struggles to sleep mid-flight, a sleep mask and ear plugs are imperative to get a good night sleep (or at least catch a few hours of shut eye!). When your brain senses pure darkness, it causes the production of melatonin, the chemical of sleep. To help induce a sleepy state and block out the background noise, you can also use earplugs. When you block out both noise and light, your chances of falling asleep are improved, helping you beat jet lag. We recommend Saje Shut Eye Soothing Herbal Eyeshade, slip for beauty sleep ‘sleepsilk’ and Bucky 40 Blinks sleepmask.
A flight is the perfect opportunity to binge watch movies you’ve been waiting to see, listen to your favourite soundtrack, and block out the noise of those around you on the plane. We recommend never boarding a flight without a great pair of headphones – noise cancelling preferred. Some great options are Beats by Dre and Bose.
E-READER OR IPAD
These days, many airlines require you to use your own device to access their in-flight entertainment systems. Without something to pass the time, long flights can feel like a lifetime. Before you travel, take the time to download some TV shows, movies and books onto an e-reader or iPad so you’re not left twiddling your thumbs 30,000ft in the air.
Let’s face it, planes are known for having germs, and lots of them. Avoid getting sick on the way to your restful vacation or business trip by packing disinfecting wipes. Once you grab your seat, it’s best to give your tray table and seat a quick wipe down to reduce the risk of a cold catching up to you.
If you’re planning on doing any shopping while travelling, you’ll definitely want to have a lightweight, foldable tote on hand to help bring home any souvenirs that can’t squeeze into your suitcase. We’re into the options by Herschel Supply Co., Longchamp and The North Face.
FIRST AID & ESSENTIAL MEDICATION
In case of the dreaded lost luggage situation, it’s best to always carry-on any necessary medication or prescriptions you require. In addition, when it comes to first aid, we recommend bringing some basics such as a pain reliever such as Advil, allergy medicine, motion sickness relief, an antidiarrheal, something for heart burn, and band aids. Make sure these items are packed in a separate pouch for when you pass through security. Shoppers Drug Mart or London Drugs has a great selection of travel ready products. If you have trouble sleeping and prefer to use herbal remedies, check out this Chinese herb formula developed by Dr. Yu.
For flights longer than four hours, pack a neck pillow in case you get a little drowsy. When you fall asleep shortly after take-off and then wake up as the plane is about to land, you quickly realize that they really are worth it! Some pillows that come highly recommended include the Infinity pillow, the Trtl pillow, and the Cabeau Evolution S3 pillow.
When we say pack toiletries, we aren’t saying bring every piece in your daily routine. Pare it down and pack the key products you can’t purchase at your final destination. We always recommend bringing a toothbrush, toothpaste, contact lens case and solution, deodorant, and facial wipes for long haul flights so you can freshen up once you land. If you use a special face wash that has no “mini-me” version, invest in some reusable, appropriately-sized plastic containers that ensure you’re within the regulated 3.4 oz. or less. Make-up wearing ladies, pack light – lip gloss, chapstick, mascara and a bit of bronzer and blush should do the trick until you can run to the store. Again, these need to be in a separate pouch to make security screening a breeze. Some great products that have been designed with the lighter traveller in mind are: Go Toob and the Minimergency kit.
Whether you grab something in the airport before you board the plane, or prefer to bring something from home, we highly suggest packing a snack that will tie you over. Airplane snacks can be unhealthy, unfulfilling, and may not accommodate food allergies into consideration. Some great options are granola bars, trail mix, pretzels, or dried fruit.
A COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT
Last but not least, your passport is, of course, the most important item to remember when travelling. It should be with you at all times, but in case of the off-chance you lose it abroad, we suggest bringing along a colour photocopy of the pages with your information on them.