Here’s a list of WanderWomxn approved items to make sure you have in your carry-on especially for international travel. I definitely prefer to be #teamcarryon mostly because I hate waiting at baggage claim and I’m afraid they will lose my stuff! But sometimes you gotta check a bag, especially if you’re bringing lewks! Either way, I like to have certain items guaranteed to be accessible so here’s some of my pro-tips:
- Reminder for liquids, you’re only allowed to bring a certain amount of ounces so check the country’s rules! In the United States, you can bring under 3.4 ounces. This is supposed to be changing but it’s the rule for now. And if you’re in Europe and other countries outside the U.S., they are very serious about your liquids being in a separate clear (see-through) bag.
- Bring anti-bacterial wipes for the tray table, TV, seatbelt, armrest because some people have no home training and do gross things on planes.
- Always check the wattage of where you’re traveling to, just in case you need to buy a converter for the outlets. Nothing is worse than going to plug in your charger into a wall that is not compatible and not everywhere has USB outlets.
- Phone charger bank and your cords – For obvious reasons! Don’t depend on the airport or plane outlets to work.
- Headphones and/or earbuds – We are big fans of noise canceling headphones and earbuds so you can totally zone out during the flight. I have AirPods but in all honestly, my pick is Bose noise-cancelling headphones that come with a wire. Those wireless connectors never seem to work with me and I end up having to use my regular headphones or the free headphones they give out. But bring your own to reduce waste.
- Washcloth – Many international hotels or AirBNBs won’t have washcloths. It’s tragic! And they can be hard to find at stores in other countries.
- A change of clothes – At the very least have clean drawers! If you’re on a long flight and/or changing climates, you might want to change clothes when you arrive. Also good to have just in case any checked luggage gets lost, and you can use that “lost luggage” airline money for other goodies!
- Toothbrush/paste – On most international flights, everyone gets a packet with toothbrush and toothpaste but if you’re doing a red eye within the United States, don’t expect any toiletries. It’s always good to have one in case of luggage loss.
- Tissues/toilet paper/wipes – Many popular tourist places don’t have toilet paper in the bathrooms or will make you pay for it. It helps to always be prepared especially if you have allergies or pee a lot (speaking from experience!).
- Sunscreen (face/body) – We all gotta protect our skin! All shades of folks, even melanated peoples, need to protect ourselves from sunburn, skin cancer and wrinkles. Look into reef-safe brands especially if you’re going to the beach or snorkeling. If you have tattoos, this stick is essential to protect the ink!
- First aid kit – It can be as simple as some ibuprofen, aspirin, anti-diarrhea medicine, a couple of band-aids, and Neosporin. Don’t forget any personal prescription medications like birth control, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or hormones. We also recommend including electrolytes packets (for dehydration AND hangovers!), as well as any herbal medicines or vitamins you might need. Activated charcoal is also super helpful for diarrhea or stomach bugs.
- Anything that keeps you calm – Air travel can be stressful these days so it helps to have things for the flight or airport that keep you calm. Some ideas: crystals to hold or put in your bra, or a journal that you can write down affirmations or feelings to keep your mind less anxious. Also we love having a mini spray of Florida water or essential oils to use before the flight as a cleanser and after the flight as a smell good refresher!
- Tampons/pads/menstrual cup – Anyone else have a period that always wants to pull up for travel?! Sigh. For starters, you don’t want to have to deal with any surprises during your journey. Also different countries have different brands and qualities of these items. If you need organic tampons or pads, they aren’t sold everywhere and if you find them you’re paying a premium. Since these items can be important for personal comfort, make sure you have what you need.
- Snacks! – Nothing is worse than being hungry on the plane or hangry when you get to your destination!
- A pair of earrings and some lipstick/gloss – It helps to freshen up after a long flight. A little accessorizing with moisturized lips can go a long way!
- Tea bags and/or instant coffee – Whether in an airport, on the plane, or in the hotel/AirBNB, you can always get hot water. We recommend mint and ginger tea for the stomach, chamomile and lemon balm for relaxation and chill vibes, green or black tea for a bit of caffeine. If you’re a coffee snob (*raises hand*), Vietnamese instant coffee packets found at many Asian groceries are a game changer.
- Most importantly, a positive attitude – It takes up no space, it’s free and is easy to carry. Remember travel is an adventure and a privilege!