Let’s face it. Even a short plane trip can expose you to the kinds of stress (not to mention germs) that make you more likely to get sick. So we’ve put together a list of 9 must-haves to ensure you what to pack in carry on luggage so your family remain healthy and comfortable during your flight.
Note: Traveling by bus, train or car? You’ll still want to keep these certain items nearby.
What to pack in carry on luggage? When it comes to wellness, you can “take it with you.”
1. Throw in an empty water bottle
If you don’t want to buy a bottle of water after going through security, be sure to bring an empty bottle to fill from the fountain after you’ve made it through. Bottle or not…staying hydrated when flying with lots and lots of water is one of the most important ways to stay healthy. That’s why this is at the very top of our “what to pack in carry on luggage” list.
2. Bring disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizer
The best way to reduce your exposure to germs is to wash your hands frequently. Unfortunately, you can’t always do that. And you’ll likely still come into contact with germ-laden doorknobs, airplane armrests and tray tables. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is great for your hands, but wipes are more versatile and won’t take up limited space in the one-quart clear plastic zip-top bag of 3-ounce containers you’re bringing through security. So be sure to have both in your carry on luggage.
3. Don’t forget saline nasal spray
One reason people get sick when they fly is the low relative humidity in the cabin (not to mention, the recirculated air). When your nasal passages are too dry, your body’s ability to flush out germs is reduced. Remember to keep saline nasal spray handy with easy access in your carry on bag.
Sprays will do in a pinch; however, the most effective method is to use a nasal saline irrigation–like a Neilmed Nasal Saline Rinse Kit. But keep in mind, the rinse isn’t something you can easily use on a flight.
4. Pack your own pillow
It’s important to be comfortable on your flight. So bring your own neck pillow and a small blanket, sweater or jacket you can comfortably use to cover up in case it gets chilly. If you’re traveling in sandals, have a pair of socks handy, both to wear on the plane if your feet get cold and to put on when you go through security without your shoes.
5. Prepare healthy snacks
If you’re not up for rummaging for healthy food in the airport (or hoping the next exit has something more than burgers and fries), consider preparing snacks you can take with you.
Sandwiches, pasta, grain salads, legumes, whole or dried fruits and other meals can provide a healthy, fulfilling meal without the security hassle. Here are a few quick options that can save you a lot of calories and unnecessary fats at the food stands:
- Turkey or chicken sandwich on whole grain with sliced avocado and cheese
- Washed fresh fruit and veggies
- Whole nuts, pretzels or trail mix
- Granola, energy or protein bars
Be sure your sandwich and any sliced or bitten fruit are placed in a TSA-approved zip-top bag. Try and stay away from garlic and smelly meats and cheeses, as a courtesy for the passengers around you, and sauces, jellies and jams to ensure you make it through TSA unscathed.
Also, eat anything with nuts prior to boarding your plane–just in case there’s someone aboard with a severe nut allergy. No matter what you bring, be sure to pack extra baggies to discard any rubbish.
Note: For international flights, you won’t be allowed to travel with meats, fruits or vegetables.
6. Secure prescription and in-flight medications
Be sure to have handy your prescription medications, a couple of band-aids (in case of accident) and whatever you normally use in the event of stomach upset, headache, etc. Keep in mind, in addition to your small liquid containers, the TSA does permit reasonably-sized containers of liquid medicines. These don’t need to be in a zip-top bag, but you need to declare them at security.
If you lose your medications, Doctors To You can help with that by working with a local pharmacy for you to pick up or have it delivered to your hotel room.
Note: It’s also a good idea to keep sunscreen handy. Just make sure the bottle says no more than 3.4 ounce/100 ml or pack it in your suitcase.
7. Include clothes and shoes for exercise
Whether you plan on swimming in the hotel pool, running on the fitness center’s treadmill or just walking from place to place to see the sights, be sure to pack the right clothes and shoes for these activities.
Don’t have room for these in your carry on? No problem. Just tuck them away in your checked bag.
8. Pack natural sleep aids like earplugs and a sleeping mask
Getting good rest is vital to staying healthy. If you don’t necessarily rest well in strange places, these items are essential.
9. Immune system boosters
Bring plenty of vitamin C, since taking large amounts may reduce the duration or severity of cold symptoms if you do end up sick. Adequate zinc intake has been found to have a similar effect, so consider packing some lozenges like Zicam Rapidmelts that are placed inside the cheek of your mouth–not on your tongue.
If these methods don’t prove helpful, and you find yourself ill while in the DMV area… give Doctors To You a call. Our concierge house call doctors are available 24/7. And you don’t pay until you’re better! Here’s what others have said about our service: