As I was packing for our trip to Canada last week, I starting thinking about the different kind of air travelers. There are the people who roll out of bed the morning of a flight, grab a muffin and a magazine on their way to security, and get to their gate right as the plane is boarding. Then, there are the people who pack everything they could possibly need, print off their boarding passes as early as possible and feel the most comfortable sitting at the gate at least an hour before boarding. I suppose there are probably people that fall somewhere in the middle, too.
I’ll give you one guess which one I am.
I’m actually getting much better about my over-preparedness when it comes to traveling. Before vacations, I used to literally memorize the names of hospitals in our insurance network that were close to our vacation destination, so if something happened and I had to tell an ambulance driver where to go, I could. I’m not kidding. Thankfully, I’ve traded in over-preparedness for just plain ole preparedness. Phew. Much less crazypants.
Anywho, I thought it might be fun to show you guys what I lug around with me when we’re flying. It’s actually a pretty small bag (a Timbuk2 extra small messenger) but I manage to pack a lot in there.
- Water Bottle :: When traveling, my CamelBak Groove is pretty much always right by my side. Not only is flying crazy dehydrating, but what is it about airports and yucky water? I’ve never had good water from an airport water fountain. So the filter in the Groove helps make my water tasty!
- Toiletry Bag :: I have a little bag of toiletry things that I carry along with me. This guy actually stays in my purse, so it’s an easy transition into my carry-on bag when I’m flying. More about what’s in here below.
- Kindle :: The Kindle is seriously the best thing to ever happen to airport entertainment. I used to pack a few magazines and at least one heavy book, not any more. It all fits in my tiny, tiny Kindle. Woo!
- Planner and Markers :: Chances are, I won’t need them, but I really don’t go anywhere without them.
- Gum :: I never chew gum, but it’s a must for me when I’m flying. I’ve had a lot of ear problems in the past, and chewing gum helps make it less ouchy.
- Tea :: I’m not a big fan of paying $5 for a cup of hot water and a tea bag, so I bring my own tea. Most airport restaurants will give you a cup of hot water for free and you can always get one during beverage service on the plane.
- Keys :: I recently simplified my keychain (removing old keys, removing store cards) and it is so much nicer! And it fits perfectly onto the key clip in my bag now.
- Passports :: I’m the keeper of the passports. Mostly because there is a perfect little passport pocket on the front of my bag.
- Phone, Charger and Earbuds
- Cash :: I like to bring along a little bit of cash and change just in case I need to tip a driver or buy something at the airport stores.
- Snacks :: I’m gonna go ahead and guess you aren’t surprised that the vast majority of my bag space is reserved for food. I despise buying food at the airport. It’s hard to find healthier options (although getting easier) and always insanely expensive. Beyond these snacks, I also packed a separate lunch in a collapsible cooler for eating during one of our flights. Our travel day was about 14 hours, so I made sure to pack a lot of food. More on the specific snacks below.
- Antibacterial Things :: I’m not a big germaphobe. But airports and airplanes are germy, nasty, yucky places. And when you combine that with the fact that it’s one of the worst flu seasons on record? I Purelled pretty much everything.
- Dramamine :: I’m really, really susceptible to motion sickness. I’ve never had a problem on planes, but I definitely don’t want to be at 30,000 feet and that suddenly change. Dramamine is my friend.
- Pepto Tabs :: These things rock. You’d never think a little chewable tab of Pepto would help your tummy much, but they definitely do. Flying with an upset tummy is never fun. They are also good for settling a rumbling stomach after a night of heavy drinking. Not that I know from experience or anything.
- Excedrin :: Both Craig and I are pretty headache-prone, and Excedrin is the Vitamix of headache medicines.
- Contacts :: I always bring an extra set of contacts with me everywhere I go. My glasses once broke while I was on vacation. I didn’t have any backups or contacts with me. I’d prefer to not relive that blurry day.
- Lotion :: This is particularly important when flying to a colder, drier climate.
- Lip Gloss
- Nail File :: I pretty much always break a nail while hulking around luggage.
- Trail Mix :: I could have probably gone a lot healthier with all the trail mix options in the Whole Foods bulk section. But naturally colored M&Ms are really hard to pass up.
- Papaya Chunks :: I’m not a huge dried fruit fan, but these are where it’s at.
- Coconut Date Logs :: Yummy!
- Clementines :: When I’m traveling domestically, I like to pack a lot more fruits and veggies, but flying internationally means we can’t bring produce across the border. So we made sure we noshed on these two guys before we crossed.
- Turkey Jerky :: Low calories, tons of protein, travels well and is way tasty!
- Yogurt Covered Almonds :: For no other reason than these are insanely delicious.