Dear friends, are you traveling anywhere fun this holiday season? While I’m staying close to home this month, I will be flying to Florida in the new year for my annual class at The C.A.R.E. Foundation. This year’s topic? “Mindfulness With Exotic Animals.” I can’t wait!

Of course, getting to Florida from San Francisco requires a pretty long plane flight. I fly a lot for business these days, so feeling relaxed in flight means packing a well-thought-out carry-on. For me, that means making sure I have the following 10 items, no matter what:

1. Sleep mask: Sometimes you just want to doze on the plane or tune out others around you. My go-to sleep mask is the Bucky 40 Blinks mask. It’s lightweight, super comfortable and designed so your lashes have room if you blink.

2. Remedies: I seem to get sick or worry that I’m getting sick half the time when I’m traveling. Oscillococcinum, Emergen-C or COLD-EEZE zinc lozenges give me a little peace of mind if I think I’m coming down with something. I also like to have some Advil on hand, just in case a headache strikes.

3. An awesome book you don’t want to put down: It’s sometimes hard to find the time to read, isn’t it? But when I’m on a flight, I feel I can finally fall into that book that’s been sitting on my nightstand for weeks. I highly recommend Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening Your Life’s Purpose if you haven’t read it yet.

4. Healthy snacks: Most airlines don’t sell snacks anymore—but if they do, they’re probably not healthy. So I like to bring a little stash to get me through to the other side. My go-to soy-free protein bar is from Vega One: Chocolate Coconut Cashew is the yummiest! Veggie sticks, nuts, dried fruit and granola are always good options, too. My absolute favorite granola is Love Crunch Dark Chocolate & Red Berries! But these days I’m eating my second favorite, as it’s gluten-free: Kind Oats & Honey Clusters With Toasted Coconut.

oat clusters

5. My laptop: It’s got my favorite movies and music, and I’m set for hours. I just have to make sure the battery is fully charged.

6. Dramamine: Maybe it’s because I have such tiny ears, but I tend to get a bit woozy in planes. Rather than risk a motion-sickness headache, I just pop a Dramamine. Plus, it will help me get my nap in!

7. Tissues: You can’t predict when or why you will need a tissue, but you will. Bring a little travel pack with you or else you’ll be digging around the front seat pocket for that tiny square napkin you got with the drink service.

8. Lip balm: I don’t wear much makeup, but a dab of lip balm works wonders—especially in the ultra dry air inside the plane. My favorite is this one: Chocolate Whipstick by LUSH.

9. A bottle of water purchased after security: How many times has the drink service been delayed for one reason or another? I always bring my own now so I don’t panic or get parched while waiting for the turbulence (or an especially slow flight crew) to pass.

10. Gum: So you don’t have to wait until checking into your hotel room to feel minty clean.

Friends, what are your carry-on bag essentials?

6 thoughts on “Top 10 essentials for your carry-on bag”

  1. I like a cozy, light scarf to keep my neck warm and a small bottle of lavender to discreetly sniff – a gentle, suppportive aroma and good way to ward off any “airplane odor!” 🙂

  2. All great suggestions for your carry-on!
    I’ve been doing much more travel since my daughter and grandson moved to Indiana. Two essentials for me are earplugs which help me sleep and a neck pillow.
    I also try and wear a hooded top so I can pop it over my head if I’m feeling drowsy or cold.

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