When I was growing up, our airplane bags were known as our “activity bags.” I stuffed mine to the max, filling it with endless amounts of paper, crayons, and games. I lugged around a huge backpack I could barely carry, while my sister brought solely her iPod and my brother simply brought his book. Even from the start, I’ve never been a light packer.
Preparing your bag for the plane can be difficult. I always worry I’m forgetting something, and often I am. Therefore, I present to you my airport checklist, making packing for the airport so much easier—no more unnecessary or forgotten items!
- Passport, if flying international
- Earbuds — Bringing earbuds over headphones can make things
a lot simpler when packing. Headphones, while great for at-home use, are bulky and delicate to travel with. They can easily break, being squished on by books, and are bulky to fit in a bag. Therefore, I suggest bring earbuds; I use my Apple white ones.
- Empty refillable water bottle — Bringing an empty one is necessary in order to pass through security. Disposable water bottles are great in a pinch, but you can save both money and the planet by not using a plastic water bottle. Easily refill your reusable one at a nearby water fountain at your gate. My Nalgene works great, and that’s what I use.
- Wallet — This is obviously an essential, and don’t forget some form of an ID, too! Sadly enough, this has happened to me A LOT of times.
- Gum — Gum is nice on the airplane when you’re taking off, or if you just want to stay feeling fresh during a long flight. I love mint, and my favorite brands are Extra and 5.
- A snack or two — You never know when you may be hungry! Plus, bringing your own food ensures you’re eating healthy and saving money by not buying snacks at the airport. I usually bring a piece of fruit or two, like an apple or banana, with a granola/energy bar, such as KIND or Lärabar.
- Hair-ties — This seems simple, and it is, but hair-ties often forgotten (by me) to put in my bag I carry around the airport. Hair-ties are great because you never know when you’ll want to throw your hair up! I usually walk in the airport with my hair down and leave the next airport with my hair up. I like to bring both elastics and scrunchies, but bring whatever works for you.
- Phone charger — I always carry my charger with me on the plane. Whether you phone dies at the airport and you need to charge it last-minute, or your luggage gets lost and you’re left without your bags, it’s always nice to have your charger with you. “JIC,” as my sister says! Just in case.
For warm destinations…
- Sunglasses — Most likely it will be sunny where you’re traveling, and sunglasses are always nice to have, especially for those like me with uber-sensitive eyes.
- Travel size bottle of sunscreen — Once again, always nice to have because you never know! It’s important to keep your skin protected.
For cold destinations…
- Winter hat — You’d be surprised how much this can come in handy. When you’re traveling from a warm place to a cold place, you don’t want to have to hull around your puffy, oversized winter coat; a winter hat keeps you warm, and is the perfect size to stick in your purse when you’re traveling.
Lastly, it’s important to bring the right bag. You don’t want anything too big and bulky, but don’t want to be left with a tiny bag so stuffed you can barely zip it. Find the middle of the two: I like to bring my Herschel backpack. It leaves me with a chic, traveled look, and is easily accessible, which is super important! If you don’t like carrying a backpack, I suggest bringing a big purse or bag. It will allow you to throw stuff in it when you’re in a hurry (what I love about big bags), and it’ll keep you looking stylish.
Overall, the key to airport success is truly doing whatever works for you. Rarely will you see people you know at the airport, so always keep efficiency & comfort in mind.