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Travel Necessities

What to Carry On Your Carry-On

I’ve been out traveling for work and was supposed to be back home yesterday night.  I got to my connecting flight in Chicago which said it was still on time, then I realized it was 20 minutes passed the time the plane was supposed to begin boarding.  The announcement came over the speaker that they were investigating the hydraulics of the plane and would give us an update in 30 minutes.  Well, about 15 minutes later, they confirmed that they could not get the issue resolved, and the flight was cancelled.

I’ve had a flight get cancelled before, and I was able to get onto a flight home the same day.  I was hoping it would be the case once again, but considering this was a large plane heading to Los Angeles, it was likely that most flights would either already be filled or be filled quickly with those standing in front of me at customer service.  Sadly, this was the case.  United booked me a room and gave a few meal vouchers.  My flight home would happen in the morning.

Anyhow, my luggage wasn’t going to be with me which left me in a bit of pickle.  If anything, I learned that certain things should always be packed in your carry-on to remain sane.  Here’s my list:

  • Extra pair of clothes – You’ll just feel better in a fresh pair of clothes the next day.  Keep it simple so it doesn’t take up too much room.
  • Phone charger – Luckily, my husband told me to pack this in my carry on just so I could charge my phone while I waited during my layovers.  It turned out to be much more handy as my battery would not have made it the next morning without it.  Having a smart phone available helped me get updates on my flight and keep my loved ones updated on my status.  It also doesn’t hurt to have some games to play during the flight to help pass the time.
  • Some snacks – It might just be me, but familiar snacks just add a bit of comfort when you’re feeling a bit stranded (or maybe it’s the pregnancy talking?)
  • Any daily medication – I always keep these in my check-in bag because I don’t want to bother with TSA inquiring about it.  Now I realize it’s a small delay to deal with in case your luggage doesn’t make it to your destination.
  • Comb – Just because it’s unlikely you’ll get this at your hotel without having to purchase it
  • Bare minimum of makeup – If you want to look a little more put together in the morning
  • Face moisturizer – Might be a girl thing, but I don’t like putting other lotion on my face unless it’s facial moisturizer.  It would’ve been nice to have some with me.

You don’t need your toothbrush, toothpaste, or basic toiletries.  Any hotel you stay at will have these things nowadays, so I personally wouldn’t bother to fill in the carry-on space with these items.  Also, I was fortunate to at least have my flight be first thing in the morning.  Had it been later in the afternoon (which would have been the case if I was further back in line), these carry-on items would’ve helped me be more comfortable too if I went out and about the city.

Nonetheless, I’m home now, safe and sound.  I do hope whatever hydraulics issue that plane was having is fixed and fixed properly.  At the end of the day, it’s better safe than sorry, and I’m just happy to be home.  I’ve learned a thing or two from the journey and thought it would be helpful to share!

Home sweet home.
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