Preparing for an exciting vacation abroad? But, has your excitement been halted by the dread of the long flight to get there? No need to fret! I have created a comprehensive list of how to strategically choose and pack your personal item to ensure you are as comfortable as possible on your long flight.

Notice, I say “personal item”. On most flights, you are able to take a small personal item free of charge that fits beneath the sit in front of you and a carry-on (there is sometimes a fee associated with this, depending on the airline and this bag is then stored in the overhead compartment).  I am specifically talking about strategically choosing and packing your small personal item, as generally, your carry-on will not always be accessible, especially if you are encountering turbulence and are unable to get up from your seat.

Let Me Break Down How to Strategically Choose and Pack Your Small Personal Item

Choose a Backpack

When selecting your personal item opt for a smallish backpack. On my last trip to Thailand, I brought a PacSafe backpack with that was the perfect size! It fit everything I needed and slid easily beneath the seat in front of me. The bag was even small enough where I still had leg room on each side of the bag to extend my legs. This backpack also came with a detachable cross body bag which I used throughout my entire trip.

About the bag:

  • Brand: PacSafe
  • Name of Bag: LX400 Anti-Theft Backpack with Detachable Pocket
  • Dimensions of Bag: 6.7×11.4×17.3
  • Weight of Bag: 15 ounces
  • Volume: 20 liters
  • Buy it: https://amzn.to/2wnNvYu

What to Pack

Because of the size of this bag you need to be very strategic in what you choose to put in it. Anything you will want easy access to during your flight should be strategically packed in this bag.

Things to pack:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste – If you are traveling for more than 10 hours you will want this
  • Deodorant
  • Small perfume or body spray – Remember you will likely not have access to a shower for quite some time
  • Extra clothes – Be sure they are lightweight and take up little room
  • Blanket – Choose something small and lightweight, but big enough to cover up with
  • Neck pillow
  • iPad or Tablet fully loaded with entertainment – Including ebooks, movies, television shows, games, etc.
  • Snacks – Choose things that will not take up much space. Fruit leather and raw nuts are a great option!
  • Water
  • Headphones
  • Earplugs
  • Eyemask
  • Medication – Anything you may need during the flight such as an inhaler, insulin, pain reliever, etc.
  • Feminine hygiene items – If applicable
  • Gum
  • Wallet
  • Passport
  • Carabiners
  • Sunglasses
  • Prescription glasses – If applicable

How to Pack 

Yes, I really did pack all of this into this small backpack! It can be done and I will explain how to do it!

In the large part of the backpack:

  1. Start by packing your extra clothes – rolling them into very tight small balls to take up as little spaces as possible
  2. Blanket – roll into a small tight ball and press in the bag as far down as possible on top of your extra clothes
  3. Snacks – place snacks around your blanket

In the second largest part of the backpack:

  1. Place your feminine products on the very bottom – be sure they are stored upright to take up as least amount of space.
  2. Medications – again storing them upright at the very bottom to save space
  3. Deodorant
  4. Perfume/body spray
  5. iPad/Tablet
  6. Wallet
  7. Passport
  8. Sunglasses
  9. Prescription Glasses

In the small part inside of the backpack:

  1. Earplugs
  2. Headphones
  3. Eyemask
  4. Gum
  5. Toothbrush and toothpaste
  6. Gum

On the outside of the bag:

  • Clip neck pillow to the top handle of your bag
  • Use the carabiner to attach your water bottle to the outside of the bag
  • An extra pair of lightweight shoes can also be clipped to the outside of the bag if needed

I hope this helps you prepare for your next big adventure by strategically choosing and packing your personal item!

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