Recently while having the unfortunate,  but not uncommon, experience of being stuck in an airport, I made a list of all the things I should have had with me. (Hindsight is always the best teacher.) While trying to remain calm and patient as our flight was delayed once again, I borrowed a pencil and made a list of the items I would be sure to have with me on any future trips.  My list started with  a backpack: essential both for ease in carrying and to fit under the seat so that it stays with  me after boarding the airplane. 

 This is what should be packed inside: 

  • Snacks like energy bars or packaged trail mix.
  • Magazines. Read them and throw them out.
  • Travel games like crossword puzzles or a travel edition of Scrabble.
  • Toothbrush, deodorant, extra lipstick, small hair brush.  Who knows when you’ll see your luggage again?  If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will.
  • Camera with extra battery.
  • iPod with the ear buds.  Have a couple of podcasts or audio books already recorded.
  • Pencils, pens and a small blank notebook
  • Travel clock
  • Small pillow
  • Inexpensive throw away raincoat.  Can be found at any Dollar Store.
  • Light-weight sweater.
  • $1 bills for tipping.
  • Bottle of water purchased after going through security.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have a Kindle or an iPad, this is the time when they prove to be invaluable.
  • And most important, all travel paperwork such as itinerary, trip tickets and maps for the trip tucked into an easily accessible place.

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