Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, there is plenty to plan for when you are packing your bags for your next big trip! While the unexpected does happen, you’re sure to have a less stressful and more fun travel experience if you pack these 10 travel essentials for your next flight.
1. Earplugs & Eye Mask
One of the most important things you can do to make travel more pleasurable is to set yourself up to arrive at your destination well-rested. Avoid jet-lag by making sure you pack a few pairs of earplugs and an eye mask to give yourself a barrier against crying babies and bright sunlight from your neighbors' window.
2. Phone Charger
The last thing you want is for your smartphone to die while you are trying to access your paperless ticket, replying an important email, or texting your family to let them know to pick you up from the airport. It’s also a major bummer to lose power in the middle of a long flight when Candy Crush is the only thing left between you and boredom. Be prepared by slipping a phone charger in your carry-on. Most modern aircraft have charging jacks or you can also invest in a portable charger that allows you to power up from anywhere.
3. Hand Sanitizer & Airborne
Airplanes are a known germ-fest. Anytime you are confined in a small space with re-circulated air, you run the risk of getting exposed to all sorts of nasty viruses and bacteria. Come prepared with plenty of hand sanitizer and vitamin-C-packed supplements to give yourself the best chance of avoiding seasonal bugs. If you get stuck next to the sniffling, sneezing sick passenger, we suggest trying to switch seats!
4. Comfy Shoes
We all like to look our best, especially when traveling for a special holiday or business meeting, but one of the biggest mistakes travelers make is not predicting that they will need comfy footwear. Raise your hand if you’ve ever sprinted through the Atlanta or Dallas airports to catch a flight! You also might find yourself stuck on a layover wanting nothing more than a cushy pair of sneakers to soothe your heels. For ladies, consider foldable flats.
5. A Jacket
Even if you are on your way to a tropical island, you can never predict the weather. Or that the person sitting next to you on the plane is going to blast their vent non-stop, even though it’s already cold in the cabin. Do yourself a favor and always pack a light, compressible jacket for emergencies.
No one likes a "hangry" flier with low blood sugar. While many airlines will supply you with peanuts or pretzels, it’s always best to pack something a bit more substantial for those unexpected hunger pangs. Some of our favorites are yogurt covered raisins, beef jerky, and wasabi peas, but pretty much anything bite-sized and non-perishable will do! Also, do your neighbors a favor and avoid stinky snacks - it’s just good flight etiquette!
7. A Book
Sure, you could answer emails, check Facebook, or browse through SkyMall Magazine for all of the latest and greatest as-seen-on-tv gadgets, but nothing beats unwinding with a book. Remember that even though you may be traveling for business, being on a flight is a unique time of solitude where no one can bother you. Take this opportunity to pay a visit to Harry Potter or reread your favorite chapter of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
8. Refillable Water Bottle
While you can’t usually take water with you past security, you can certainly fill up a reusable water bottle once you reach your terminal. Stay hydrated! Flying can often zap you of energy and sometimes even makes your limbs swell, and drinking plenty of H2O will help keep you happy and looking your best.
9. Change of Clothes
You never know what might happen when you set off for an adventure! While we always hope your flight arrives on time, if it doesn’t, one of the easiest ways to maintain a fresh, cool attitude is to bring a set of clean clothes. Always pack one outfit in your carry-on luggage, that way if your checked baggage gets lost or you have a longer-than-expected layover, you aren’t stuck in yesterday’s clothes.
10. Your VetRewards Card & TravelProtection
This one should be a no-brainer! You have probably used your VetRewards Card to book your flights and get the best prices on your rental car and hotel reservations, but you can also use it to cash in on everyday discounts on food, shopping, entertainment and even event tickets while you travel!
If you'll be over 100 miles from home, you can also take advantage of your TravelProtection Benefits, like Worldwide Travel Assistance for unexpected scheduling changes and travel updates, Travel Medical Assistance if you need to find a doctor fast, or our MedEvac and AD&D Insurances should you experience a medical emergency.
Want to learn more about our affordable VetRewards and TravelProtection Plans? Visit our Benefits Page!