What’s In My Travel Bag?


940x788Whether I’m traveling for business or fun there are certain things I always have with me on the plane or train. These are the things that will keep me sane if I get a seat between a crying baby and a talkative businessman, that will help me survive if I get stuck in an airport due to weather, and will keep me happy under almost any circumstance. I pack these things in the very large purse/laptop case that fits under my seat, always within reach.


It’s no coincidence that food is number one on this list. If I’m hungry, you don’t want to be around me. *I* don’t even want to be around me. I get hangry.

My stomach doesn’t care that we were stuck on the runway for two hours and haven’t reached our cruising altitude yet and FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD, WHERE IS THAT CART WITH THE PRETZELS AND COOKIES???

So, I make sure to have my own snacks with me, things that won’t care about getting too hot or too cold or getting a little smooshed in my bag. Little packs of peanuts that I buy in big boxes at Costco. Delicious Kind bars. Gum and mints. Shelf-stable cheese (don’t ask me what’s in it, I’m just glad it doesn’t need refrigeration).

If I don’t come prepared, I’ll spend $14.99 for the first tiny box of weird snacks that I find in the back of the in-flight magazine.

Also, if we have them at home, I grab a few suckers. I offer them to crying kids (after asking the parents first, of course!) – the sucking sometimes helps their ears.


I always have my laptop with me, for starters. It’s a Surface Pro 3, so it’s very versatile – I can use it as a tablet or attach a keyboard.

My cell phone, of course. Who goes anywhere without a cell phone these days? And because I want to be ready for the unexpected, I always have at least one portable charger with me, fully-charged and ready to go. Most of the chargers that I have can charge my phone one-and-a-half times, giving me lots of extra phone time.

My Kindle Paperwhite. It’s my favorite way to read books. I like it even more than actual paper books at this point. I can read it on a dark plane without disturbing other people.

I also carry a multi-plug. It takes up just one electrical outlet, but I can plug three plugs and two USB cords into it. This is not only handy in hotels, where outlets can be hard to find, but is also great in airports when the outlet is already full. I can politely ask to unplug everyone’s devices for just a sec, plug in my multi-plug, get everyone else plugged back in, and add whatever I need to!

My noise-cancelling headphones are a lifesaver. They’re very small, so they don’t cut out as much as the giant over-the-ear ones do, but they totally block out words and crying and engine noise (I never realized how loud the engines were until I started wearing these headphones!!). They run on batteries, so I usually throw a couple of those in my bag too. Sometimes I don’t even play anything through them, I just turn them on for the white noise.


I always fly with a pair of socks in my bag. On a long flight I don’t want to keep my shoes on, but I also don’t want to bare my feet to my neighbors (ewww). So I keep a pair of fluffy, comfy socks to change into, and a little baggie to put them in when I’m done with them so that they don’t stink up my bag.

My sleep mask is essential. I really like to sleep on planes, and between the sleep mask and the noise-cancelling headphones I’ve been known to really conk out.

Here’s a weird one. Is it just me, or does everybody obsess about what will happen if the plane crashes? I read once a long time ago that in crashes where people survive the initial impact, most of the deaths are from smoke inhalation. So, I carry a smoke hood. I also keep it in the bedside table at my hotel, just in case. I hope I don’t freak other people out when I put it in the seat-back pocket, but I want it to be very reachable!

Lip balm, always lip balm! Why are planes so dry? Plus lotion – a tiny bottle that has always gotten through security – so that I don’t feel like a lizard by the time I land.


Even though I rarely check bags, I know that there’s always the possibility of my carry-on suitcase being grabbed at the gate if there isn’t enough room, so I always keep my valuables in my smaller bag.

I have a travel jewelry holder that keeps all of my necklaces from tangling and holds my earrings securely, and even has a padded pouch for my Citizen Eco-Drive Sunrise watch. I never put my watch and bracelets on until I’ve gotten through security – I’m too nervous about leaving them in the little plastic bowl!!

Any pills I’m taking go in my bag too, including pills that I might need, like Advil and Tums and DayQuil go into my travel bag so they’re easy to reach when I need them.

And last, People Magazine. Yes, I consider that a valuable. I only buy it when I fly. It’s like my good-luck charm. Sometimes I don’t even read it, but I have to buy it!

What do you pack in your travel bag?

Comment Leave new

Adam G
April 29, 2015 2:03 pm

I carry a lot of similar things in my travel pack.
Here’s some other things I carry:
I have an extra set of apple earphones in case my nicer one’s get busted.
A comedy DVD in case I get stuck somewhere (it’s usually Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin)
extra business cards
quarters for meters in far away cities.
a notebook and a bunch of pen’s.


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