I guess that is entirely up to you, but I will tell you about what I put in my carry-on.
I used to put a lot. Now, because I’m getting older (maybe not wiser) and my back starts to hurt and I simply don’t want to carry that many things around, I try to keep it simple. That also depends on how long my flight is. Since I will be doing a big long haul trip soon, I will concentrate on that one.
1. iPod. I can’t stress enough my need for one. It’s not only for entertainment, but to shut people out or shut that baby that is crying on top of his little lungs three rows back. (I should mention that I also believe that airplanes should have a family section like trains do).
2. A good book. I wouldn’t recommend starting a new one during the trip because what if it gets boring? I would go for one that I have already started reading and that way I know I will want to read it for the rest of the flight.
3. A Magazine. As much as I love Sky Mall, it gets kinda boring. And, maybe I get tired of my book and require something with a little less neuron usage. Magazines are the answer to that. I do love pretty pictures and inspiration.
4. Travel Wallet. I find myself looking all over the place for my boarding tickets, passports and a pen for when I have to fill out the Customs papers. This will prevent that. Everything organized in one space. Just make sure it’s in a front pocket.
5. Toiletries. Ugh. Last time I went to Europe I had a 20 hr flight. That was hellish but I was so excited to get there, I didn’t mind so much. But, I would have been better off if I had brought a small toothbrush, a deodorant, etc. Maybe some wipes. If you’re into that.
6. A change of clothes. I have heard people recommend this just in case your luggage gets lost. I am not so sure about this. Maybe it’s me, but my luggage has never been lost. Freshness, on the other hand, has. Maybe extra underwear, maybe an extra shirt. Who knows who/what you might find?
7. Those U shaped pillows. Long flights, sleepy eyes, and awkward people next to you… ‘nuff said. Maybe that blindfold thingy comes in handy too.
8. List of contacts of where you will be staying. YOU WILL NEED THIS. Write it on a separate piece of paper. Don’t rely on your phone.
9. Some makeup. Concealer, blush, chapstick, at least.
10 Medications. Allergies, blood pressure, etc. Better be safe than sorry.
Suggestions for the flight? Hydration. Also, walk around the airplane or do some stretching exercises. You want to avoid embolism.