Essential Travel Packing List

Whether you're heading out for some fun in the sun or on a business trip packing too much or not packing well enough can put a huge dumper on your travel experience. As a Caribbean girl who’s now living in the U.S, I’m definitely no stranger to international and cross-country flights and the key airplane travel essentials that can help ensure a smooth trip. Here are some airplane travel essentials you won’t want to be caught without. Let's get started...


This may seem as a no brainier but I've seen people get all the way to the airport and realize that they forgot their passport at home on the table. I always ensure that I have all of my documents placed safely in my purse and not on the table to be picked up on the way out. Save yourself the hassle and just put it in your bag. I.D (check), Passport (check), Tickets (check), Credit/Debit cards (check), Travel Insurance (check)


Yes, it’s expensive to purchase a bottle of water at the airport once you've already passed through the security line, but even so, this is by far one of my most important airplane travel essentials. Along with keeping you hydrated both prior to and during your flight, carrying on a water bottle means you won’t be left at the mercy of tiny plastic cups that hardly hold more than a gulp or two. Snacks are another key item you won’t want to forget, since you never know how long an unexpected delay could leave you stuck on the tarmac or whether the oftentimes overpriced meal and snack options sold on board will be to your liking.


Whether you've booked an overnight flight or just want to avoid arriving at your destination with a sore neck, you definitely can’t go wrong by packing a compact travel pillow. My favorite, Total Pillow, doesn't take up much space and can also be twisted and turned every which way to help support your neck or back. Throw one into your carry-on for sweet dreams even in a tight, cramped seat.


There’s nothing like a little recycled plane air to dry out your skin and leave it looking and feeling parched upon arrival. For this reason, I never fly without a travel-sized container of my favorite moisturizer, currently Mary Kay’s Time Wise Day Solution, which comes in a 1-oz. bottle and never leaves me feeling greasy. Two other things you’ll always find in my bag? Hand cream and lip balm.


Since airplane temperatures can be incredibly unpredictable, I always dress in layers when I fly. One thing I’m never without? A cozy cotton cardigan that isn't the least bit bulky and can also double as a small blanket.


I always have a pair of socks in my carry on. I'm a tropical girl so I tend to feel cold really easily. I love to wear sandals but some times my feet feels cold in the airplane so I always use cute little fold-able flats or cozy socks to keep my toes warm and comfortable.


Just like good music, a good book can be a great escape and form of entertainment. I especially love reading books on my Kindle but you can also download the kindle app. Paperback is my top choice but when I travel I prefer to have my Kindle which has 100's of books at my disposal. Whether on the beach, on a plane, or at night to help me rest, a good book can relax you and help pass the time.


If you have really short hair, this might not apply to you, but if your hair is long enough to pull in a ponytail, be sure to bring plenty of hairbands. This one needs no explanation, girls! A hairband is simply essential and you never know when you might need one. Hot weather, bad hair day, or pool time, just bring a hairband; you’ll be glad you did.


Extra undies are definitely must-haves on your trip. Don’t try to pack so light you end up shorting yourself out of the most important wardrobe essential of all. I like to bring around 3-4 extra pairs, because you just never know how many wardrobe changes you’ll have, showers you’ll have to take, or you might not be able to wash clothes or not want to wash clothes once you get to your destination.


This is a must have. Your monthly friend isn't always convenient or on time. In fact, it tends to come at the worst times. Be prepared for the worst. Trust me you'll be better safe than sorry. My very first introduction to Aunt Flo happened while I was in JFK airport while heading back to the Caribbean. Needless to say I always have feminine products at hand every where I go.


If you love music as much as I do, then you know without it you'd go mad especially when on a long trip. Many airlines now charge for headphones, as if that isn't bad enough the quality of those headphones are horribly low. Don't be suckered into paying for those sub par airline headphones, pack it in your carry on. Heck, pack two just in case.


Fresh breath? Yes, please! Dump a pack of gum or mints into your everyday bag so you won't be stuck with bad breath all day long.


No one likes the stench of body odor. Shove a mini deodorant into your bag in case you're in a rush in the morning and forget to apply deodorant or need to freshen up after a few hours at the gym.


Stains are inevitable. Be prepared. Enough said.


You never know when you’ll get hit with a bloody or runny nose. Although, you don’t need to shove a full sized tissue box into your purse; a travel sized pack will do.


Hand sanitizers come in so much handy (especially in those winter months when the flu is going around.). I love the Bath and Body Works Pocket Bac ones. They have the most refreshing scents.


Similar to hand sanitizers, Bath and Body Works also makes travel sized hand lotions, which are perfect for your bag. Whip one out when you're waiting on a train or sitting in class; it's an easy way to keep your hands hydrated.


I always carry emergency cash on me. My mother always insisted that I carry at least $20 with me since I was in high school. Let's face it; things happen. Having some cash on you is key since some business don't accept credit or debit cards. Keeping a few dollars in case you get towed or you need to call a cab. Emergency cash can be used in so many other ways to get you out of sticky situations -- the possibilities are endless.


Stock up on band-aids. You never know when you'll get an unexpected cut.  As a student and accountant I do a lot of  paperwork and end up with small paper cuts all over my fingers. =( The band-aids definitely come in handy.


Different places have different air qualities and your hair may dry out if you’re in a place with particularly dry air. Down south tends to be hot and humid while cities up north may also dry out your hair, so bring extra conditioner, even if you don’t use it daily. Buy a little 3oz bottle and fill up on your favorite conditioner. It could at least serve as a multipurpose shaving cream if you don’t use it on your hair.


You hope it won’t happen, but in the event that your checked luggage is lost, you certainly won’t want to be left without the essential medications and toiletries that are vital to your own personal health and comfort. For this reason, I never check any medications and always include travel-sized toiletry items in my carry-on bags. You'll appreciate having chap stick, a hair brush, tooth brush and other toiletries handy.


When you're tired, looking tired, or tired of squinting in the sun, sunglasses are an essential you wouldn't want to be without. More importantly if you need your daily prescription glasses or reading glasses you'd be pretty upset if you couldn't read or see a thing without your glasses. If your a contacts person instead, don't forget to pack those bad boys along with your contacts solution and case. 


I don't know about you guys but I love food and I love to take pictures of my food. Whenever I travel I always take my camera because I always want to capture those great moments. Whether your heading cross country to see the family or simply going on a much needed mini vacation it's always great to have a camera to capture it all. Tip: Remember to pack not only your camera but your memory chip and batteries as well. 


Whether it's your phone, computer, or tablet remember to pack the appropriate chargers for your electronics. There's nothing worse than being stuck with a dead phone when you need it, especially when you're on a trip.

So, ladies, do you have any (if not all) of these essential items in your handbag? Are you a frequent flyer? What are a few of your own favorite airplane travel essentials?

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