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7 Carry-On Essentials

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Penn chapter.
I’m definitely no stranger to cross-country flights and know well enough that there are items one must have in her carry-on to help ensure a smooth trip. Many of us are getting ready to return home, some of us are headed to our summer study abroad locations, and a few of us will be traveling all over. Wherever your destination, basics like water and snacks to beauty helpers like your favorite moisturizer will make the ride much more bearable. Here are seven carry-on travel essentials you won’t want to forget.
1. Water and snacks
Yes, it’s expensive to purchase a bottle of water at the airport once you’ve already passed through security, but this is by far one of my most important carry-ons. Along with keeping you hydrated prior to and during your flight, having a water bottle means you won’t have to depend on plastic cups that hardly hold more than a sip or two. Snacks are another key item you won’t want to forget, since you never know how long an unexpected delay could be or whether the overpriced meal and snack options sold onboard will be to your liking.
2. Magazines and books
I used to dread long flights, but now I actually look forward to them because it’s the one time I can actually catch up on my reading. Rather than bringing just one magazine or book, I pack a couple extras to help prevent boredom. Avoid buying them at the airport if you can, since they can be rather pricey. 
3. A travel pillow
Whether you’ve booked an overnight flight or just want to avoid arriving at your destination with a sore neck, you definitely can’t go wrong with packing a compact travel pillow.
4. Your favorite moisturizer
Recycled plane air always dries out my skin and leaves it looking and feeling parched upon arrival. For this reason, I never fly without a travel-sized container of my favorite moisturizer. Make sure to choose one that doesn’t leaves you feeling greasy. Hand cream and lip balm are also great additions.
5. A cozy cardigan
Airplane temperatures can be completely unpredictable so I always dress in layers when I fly. A cardigan isn’t bulky and can also double as a small blanket.
6. Your laptop
As much as I prefer to fly work-free, there are times when this just isn’t possible. When I know I have work that needs to be done, I’ll pack my laptop. Don’t forget to take it out at the security checkpoint!
7.  Extra medication and toiletries
You hope it won’t happen, but in the event that your checked luggage is lost, you don’t want to be left without the medications and toiletries that are vital to your personal health and comfort. For this reason, I never check my medications and always include travel-sized toiletry items in my carry-on bags.

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