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What Should You Take In Your ‘Personal Item’ On the Plane?

Woman packing suitcase

We have discussed suitcase packing lists for several kinds of trips, but let’s take a look at what needs to go in your personal item. Most suitcases travel in the overhead bin or under the plane altogether, but the personal item goes under the seat in front of you for easy access during the flight itself. Here is a quick list of the essential items you will want for your personal comfort during your trip.

  • Any of your normal purse items — wallet, cell phone, keys, sunglasses
  • Any of your travel information — boarding passes, itinerary, reservations
  • Entertainment — Reading, knitting, work (if you must)
  • Electronics — Music or movie devices along with any chargers, including phone
  • Temperature control — Also known as a pashmina to wrap around for warmth or to fold into a pillow
  • Comfort items — Snacks, fuzzy socks, lip balm, hand cream

I always like to carry a notepad and pen. I tend to toss magazines after I read them, so jotting down a book I discovered or a new restaurant in my destination city saves me from having to keep the whole magazine.

The contents of the personal item are especially essential if you are checking your suitcase. Here are a few things to add if you plan to check your suitcase (i.e., it could get lost in transit).

  • Any and all prescription medications
  • A change of underwear just in case

There are also a few critical items if you are on a work trip specifically:

  • Laptop and charger
  • A small zip bag of office supplies such as pens, highlighters, wireless mouse, paperclips, flash drives
  • Anything you will absolutely need for work when you arrive, in case your suitcase goes missing or gets delayed

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