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Packing the ultimate no-surprises carry-on

Chances are, if you’re traveling out of the country for a trip that lasts more than a few days, you’ll be checking a bag. If so, what you bring in your carry-on becomes very important. Bags can be lost or delayed. Or, if you’re on a multi-leg flight, you may find yourself staying somewhere unexpected overnight due to weather or connecting-leg cancellations. This is your recipe for packing a ready-for-anything carry-on.

Tuck in sanitizing wipes and hand lotion

Sanitizing wipes are more convenient than liquid sanitizer since you can use them to wipe down your tray table and arm rests as well as to sanitize your hands. But alcohol-based sanitizer is drying, and so is aircraft ventilation. Bring a small bottle of hand lotion to use after sanitizing.

Bring basic toiletries

What would you need if you were stuck overnight without your luggage? Whatever it is, tuck it into your carry-on. For some, that might be just a toothbrush and a comb. For others, it could be full make-up and some styling products.

Consider a little clothing

A fresh pair of underwear and a tee-shirt to sleep in are extremely welcome in cases of lost luggage. Roll them up so they take up less room.

Pack a small book light

Are you a reader? When the lights go out on a long, overseas flight, the overhead light never seems to be bright enough for the person who is trying to read, and is too bright for the seat-mate who is trying to sleep. A book light keeps everybody happy.

Include cords for your technology

Are you a reader? When the lights go out on a long, overseas flight, the overhead light never seems to be bright enough for the person who is trying to read, and is too bright for the seat-mate who is trying to sleep. A book light keeps everybody happy.

Carry your medications

Avoid packing prescription medications in your packed bag if possible. Carry it with you to avoid loss or delay.

Don’t forget snacks

Heartier snacks like nuts and granola bars can come in very handy if you are stranded somewhere or wind up sleeping on the airport floor at night when all of the restaurants are closed.

And, as you pack, remember that the TSA cares what you carry onto an aircraft. All liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes must be in 3.4 ounce or smaller-sized containers, and all must fit in a one-quart-size resealable bag.

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