What to Pack in Your Carry-On Bag


Six essentials you don’t want to put in your checked luggage

Like it or not, airlines are known to temporarily misplace or lose checked luggage. You can replace items like clothing, shoes, book lights and sunscreen. But some precious items are simply irreplaceable—or very expensive to buy again. Here’s a checklist of six items you always want to keep in your carry-on luggage on the plane:

1. Identification

Your driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID is necessary for going through airport security, so you simply cannot pack it in your checked luggage. You certainly don’t want to lose your passport if you’re fl ying overseas, as it’s necessary for entering foreign countries. (Pack any required visas in your carry-on luggage, as well.)

2. Itinerary and Travel Contacts

Print out or write down the names of the hotels you’re staying at (especially if you’re not on an escorted tour), as well as instructions on how to meet your tour company or transfer shuttle, and any confirmation numbers. If your checked luggage doesn’t show up on the carousel, and all of your key travel information is missing, you risk being disoriented and confused about where to go and what to do.

3. Money

Do not put any credit cards or cash in your checked luggage. Replacing lost credit cards is time-consuming, plus many airlines only accept credit or debit cards as payment for snack boxes in the air.

4.  Medication

It goes without saying that if you need to take pills daily to keep your blood pressure regulated, you cannot risk being without them on your first day of vacation. Same goes for any type of medication you take regularly for chronic conditions. If the medicine is in liquid form, and you must carry on board more than the  TSA-allowed 3 ounces, declare the liquids to airport security personnel for further inspection.

5. Electronics and Chargers

You may be tempted to pack your video or digital camera in your luggage, especially if you don’t plan on snapping any photos in the airports. But if you plan on preserving memories of your trip, you’ll definitely want your camera equipment with you on vacation. Of course, expensive items like your cell phone, laptop computer, iPod and all of the associated charges should remain with you on the plane, too.

6. Jewelry

It’s best not to travel with expensive jewelry anyway—why attract attention with fl ashy items when you’re sightseeing? But if you do want to travel with multiple rings, bracelets, necklaces or earrings, and they’re not inexpensive costume jewelry, put them securely in your carry-on bag.


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