Going on an adventure to a faraway place is exciting – but sometimes the getting there is not. Long plane trips can be hard on the psyche and the body, but a little preparation goes a long way. Pack these must-haves in your carry-on for a healthy flight, inside and out.

Stay Hydrated

Airplane air isn’t humidified – which means staying hydrated requires a little diligence. While full water bottles aren’t allowed on the plane, empty ones are. Pack a good-sized water bottle and fill it with water once you pass through security. You’ll reduce the discomforts of dehydration – and reduce your chances of getting blood clots. And, no – coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol don’t count. Caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating, so stick with good old-fashioned H20.


Nutritious Nibbles

Even if you’re being fed on the flight, airplane food isn’t the kind of stuff that will power your body in a way that makes it feel energized and happy. Pack some small, healthy snacks to fuel your flight. Fruits and vegetables are always good, as are breakfast cereals, granola bars, trail mixes, and popcorn. Bring yourself a treat as well – you may as well make this journey feel special.

Feel Fresh

You know how when you arrive after a long journey, everything somehow seems better after you shower? You feel better when you feel fresher, so keep some basic hygiene gear handy in your carry-on, and you’ll have a much more pleasant flight (and arrival). This includes a small toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, and maybe some face wash and a washcloth. Those with contact lenses (if they choose to wear them on the plane) may want to bring eye drops or solution and a case for storage. Oil blotting papers can also be surprisingly refreshing – just dab over your face to feel fresh faced in seconds.


Mini-Medicine Cabinet

Popped ears? Be ready with chewing gum. Motion sickness? Have ginger, peppermint, or antihistamines on hand. Prone to headaches? Be ready with ibuprofen. There’s no getting off this ride, so you may as well come prepared for any discomfort that may pop up – if it does, you’ll be glad you did.

Protect Your Peace of Mind

If there’s something you know you’ll need when you land, pack it in your carry-on, even if you’re checking luggage. This includes medications, chargers for electronics, and any valuables you may worry about if your bag gets lost along the way. You may want to throw some clean underwear in there as well, just in case. The last thing you want to do is sit and wonder if your bag is going to make it to your destination at the same time you do. Plan ahead, and you’ll be worry free if your check baggage has to play a little catch-up.