I would not, by any means, claim that I’m a frequent flier. There are people who fly several times a week who probably are way more prepared than I’ve ever thought about being. And yet, I know that there are people who fly even less than I do, and they have no idea what to bring with them on the plane.

This came to my attention when my friend had to fly for the first time in 20 years a few months ago – and he literally had no idea what he might need.

Side note – I really hate to fly. Being trapped in a metal tube that hurtles me through the lower stratosphere crammed in tiny seats next to people I don’t know…don’t know if they washed their hands…don’t know when they showered last…don’t want to make small talk with… NOT my favorite thing. However, it is the only way to get places in a relatively quick manner, and as such, I’m down with it.

On longer trips, I take my laptop – which means I’ll throw all this stuff in a backpack. But I really prefer the bag pictured. It is way cuter, and kinda looks like a saddlebag – which makes me feel all like I’m a cowgirl or something, so win-win.

Here’s my list of items I don’t leave home without:


Books &/or Magazines. This one is a little hard. I would much rather have an actual book. Because, you know, you don’t have to worry about charging cords, etc. But, if it’s a small-ish book, I might finish it too quickly, and I surely don’t want to tote three or four around with me the whole trip. Choose your book wisely. Make it something entertaining, but not too short. I also usually grab at least one magazine to leaf through. When I finish it, I just leave it in on the plane for the next person. (The in-flight option is usually good to peruse too, because they are targeted toward major destinations, listing restaurants, etc.)

Cards. I always, always, always have a deck of cards with me. Solitaire if I’m alone…Euchre or Hearts if I’m not.

Leather-bound journal. Because I’m snobbish about such things. And I love the one I have. Even though I hardly ever find time to write anything down.

Writing implements. A good pen, maybe a pencil or two.

Earbuds + a well-stocked & downloaded playlist. Whether it’s on your phone, a tablet, or an mp3 player…make sure it’s charged and doesn’t require data or wifi to play.

Tablet with a movie or two. If it’s a long flight, this is necessary. Some planes have free in-flight entertainment. Some do not. Depends on the airline, the flight time, the age of the plane, etc.

General Hygiene and Medical options:

Floss. I do not ever leave home without floss.

Band-aids. I’m allergic to Latex, so I always make sure I have some non-latex band-aids with me. Nobody needs a rash that lasts the whole trip being all itchy and whatnot. I also always have a few blister packs because I love to hike, and blisters are inevitable.

Cleansing Towelettes. I have a pack to clean hands with, one to wipe my face etc.

Lip Balm. I always have this with me anyway, but flights always seem to dry me out even more.

Meds. Dramamine. Benadryl. Advil. Advil Sinus. (Without fail, I get a stuffy nose on every flight I’ve ever been on. When I can’t breathe, I’m less than pleasant to be around.)


An Extra Hairband. I always wear a hairband because I have thinning hair issues – so I make sure I have an extra just in case. They help with bad-hair days too.

Sunglasses. Sometimes you might even need them on the flight.

Hankybook. “The HankyBook is a stylish pocket-friendly fabric book that offers easy storage, use and unprecedented cleanliness.” They are awesome.

Something to keep you warm. I ALWAYS get cold on an airplane. I have an over-sized cashmere scarf that I like to take. It’s super thin, but super warm.


A few zip-lock bags. Don’t buy the cheap ones, and don’t take a whole box. A few will do. The cheap ones led to my phone dropping through the bottom of the bag into the Virgin River in Zion National Park…trust me on this.

Tide pen. This works to get out stains on the go. Unless you spill coffee on a white shirt. Then it makes it worse.

Charging cords for devices. That’s a given. Maybe a portable too if you have a good one.

Necklace my girlie made me ages ago. I had to fly to NYC alone, and she stuck it in my bag for me to find. It always goes with now.

Snacks. Non-stinky, quiet, yummy. Those are the requirements.


So, what’s in your bag? Anything I’m forgetting?

Drop a comment and let me know what you never leave home without.