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Have you given a thought to the things to pack in carry on in case of an emergency? It is every traveller’s worst nightmare (which isn’t safety-related) to arrive at your end destination only to find out that your luggage didn’t get on the plane with you. It could happen to anyone, from vacationers to businessmen and even aircrew. That anxiety you feel while waiting at the conveyer belt for your luggage that doesn’t seem to show up, yes, that’s legitimate.
Hence I prepare a getaway stash for whenever I travel. A pouch containing all the essentials: passport, money, and an extra lock for a piece of brand new luggage or bag. My own luggage got left behind when I was on duty – imagine that- and I learnt that having my travel documents and money on me just isn’t enough. So here’re 3 things I recommend that you pack in your carry-on luggage when you travel in case of an emergency.
1. Toiletries and essential medication
While you can most definitely survive without your own toothbrush, you definitely cannot call the hotel reception and ask for deodorant. So make sure you have your toiletry bag on the list of things to pack in your carry on. Your personal medication is important too, God forbid that you might encounter an allergic reaction or very painful period cramps.
Remember, liquids in your carry-on must be in quantities of 100 ml or less (or in some places, fit in the plastic baggies given out by the officers). It’s also best to keep all your liquids in one place and sealed in a Ziploc bag. Pro tip: I get one of those transparent makeup bags and put all my stuff in so I don’t have to transfer them into a Ziploc to prevent a bag-wide spillage. Plus, it significantly decreases the chance of the scanner picking up something you shouldn’t have brought.
2. Travel adapters and portable phone chargers
In this digital age where the lifespan of your smartphone batteries is shorter than my attention span, additional charging units are essential. On most planes, there are USB sockets and plug sockets between the seats where you can charge your electronic devices. However, when you get off the plane and into your hotel room, you might not get so lucky with charging points. A universal adapter is an excellent item to include in the things to pack in carry on, so you won’t have to carry a bag filled with the different plugs that won’t fit. Additionally, power banks have come a long way from the bulky, heavy metal things from a decade ago. They are useful for when you are travelling.
3. A change of clothes
Change of clothes truly does not have to be fancy. A lightweight t-shirt and shorts or pants might do the trick. When on duty, I always have a t-shirt, loose pants, and extra underwear in my trolley just in case my luggage decides to make a getaway. It’s great for changing out of the clothes you were travelling in to go to bed.
Books, tablets or even your portable gaming devices like Nintendo Switch can help alleviate your boredom on normal flights. I survived my flight from Berlin to Manchester on Ryanair playing Animal Crossing. To kick your experience up a notch, having noise-cancelling headphones to block out the sounds around you help a lot. Also, having some form of entertainment with you will distract you from all the murderous thoughts you might have over the people responsible for ruining your vacation.
5. Extra masks and hand sanitising lotions + snacks
When my husband left for Germany in March, I prepared a small transparent bag of extra masks, anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitisers and snuck it in his backpack. I didn’t want to hear him complaining that he didn’t have space, or he didn’t want to bring it. Additionally, I packed him a bag of Super Rings, M&Ms and some chocolates. Needless to say, he finished his stash of snacks on that trip and brought the bag along for his subsequent trips. Some countries are stricter than others when it comes to mask use. Pretty cloth masks may be allowed for public use in Singapore. However, in Germany, only medical-grade face masks or FFP2 masks are allowed when indoors or travelling on public transport. Remember to check with the regulations of the destinations before travelling.
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