What are your top 5 carry on essentials?
Airline traffic is about to get crazy again! If your luggage got, let’s say …re-routed….what do you consider essential?
We all know that feeling – watching as the bags unload onto the carousel at the airport, waiting to see your bag drop down and wind its way over to where you are standing! Earlier this year, on a cycling vacation to Mallorca, we watched as everyone took their bags and proceeded out of the airport. One by one, travellers left until we were the only ones left. That dreaded feeling – can you feel it? Right in the pit of your stomach….No bags!!!
The saga continued as we went to the lost luggage counter. It has been a while since I have used my Spanish and needless to say, it was very rusty. To add to the challenges, we finally left the airport rather late Sunday afternoon and the shops were all closed. We couldn’t buy anything – no toothpaste, contact lens solution or sunscreen (we got solid sunburns in the first couple of days – oops!) All up, after countless phone calls with less than ideal Spanish skills, it was 4 days before all our bags made an appearance!
Thankfully, we were renting our bikes, so all was not lost. Turns out it is a little more challenging to buy women’s cycling clothing in Mallorca – which leads me to an important question – what do you consider to be essential to your travel? If you had to live only with your carry on, what would you pack?
1. Toiletries- while there are extensive limits on what liquids can now be carried on, drug stores and other shops have risen to the challenge – there are few essentials out there that can be a challenge to find in sample sizes, but they are coming out more and more. For me, contact solution, toothpaste and a small sunscreen top the list. A little hotel shampoo also comes in handy and can stand in for soap if desperate.
2. Holiday specific outfit – beach holiday – you will find a bathing suit and sarong in my purse; cycling holiday – I will be carrying one complete outfit in my bag (including pedals, shoes and helmet) from now on!
3. Camera and cables including battery charger and power converter – theses gadgets need their regular power feed. I love taking photos – I usually have my DSLR as well as a waterproof point and shoot in my bag.
4. Computer bag with laptop and iPad. The iPad is great for reading and music, but I still prefer the laptop for more computer flexibility and fun for the zillions of photos that will no doubt be taken. Luckily, they they are both pretty small – combined they are the same size as my old laptop!
5. Needless to say – travel wallet full of your most important belongings – passport, wallet and travel documents.
Should your luggage be “misplaced” by the airlines, lodge a claim straight away. Travel conventions suggest that international travellers are entitled to an emergency convenience kit. We were not offered this, but would have greatly appreciated the toothpaste/toothbrush combination. Make sure to ask for it if you don’t pack it in your carry on. Keep your receipts – you are entitled to a limited number of replacement items. Inspite of the fact that we had no clean clothes or other essential items for 4 days, the airlines reimbursed us for very little, adding quite a bit of cost to our trip.
What are the ‘can’t live without’ items for you? From now on, I plan on making sure I travel with my carry on essentials.
Related link: Airline passengers get new bill of rights