Carry-On Essentials To Keep You Fresh

There’s not much worse you can look and feel than when you get off a long-haul flight. However, with a few essentials in your carry-on baggage you can come out looking fresh.

Even celebrities are prone to looking like they’ve been dragged through a maelstrom when they leave the airport, despite the million-or-so precautions they take. So, imagine how you must look, especially after one of those never-ending long hauls? Dehydrated, sleep-deprived, puffy-eyed and thoroughly bored, your post-flight moods, decidedly, aren’t the best of them all. But with a little help from a few good friends, like your trusted hand sanitiser and iPad, your journey could become a lot more comfortable. Here is a list of such useful airplane carry-on items that’ll make your flight bearable and help you step out looking fresh and rested.

Books and magazines:

Long flights can get on your nerves simply because there is a limit to how bored you can get. Depending on your preference and duration of the flight, pop into the airport bookstore for a pick-me-up, if you haven’t already come pre-armed. If lengthy books don’t do it for you, load up on the glossies and gossip rags, or even comics, graphic novels and puzzle books- this will ensure that boredom is kept at a safe distance through your journey.


Feet are underrated. But they have a deciding role in your comfort factor. Since you don’t regulate the temperature in the airplane, warm socks might mean all the difference between a cold, cold journey and a cushy one. In fact, if you aren’t too averse to the investment, buy a pair of luxury cashmere socks for super-snug comfort, and a warm, toasty feeling in your feet.

Ear plugs and muffs:

There are only so many nasty looks you can throw at a noisy passenger or the family with six bawling kids. Take things into your own hands, or ears, by carrying good quality earplugs or muffs that will block out all the unwelcome prattle. More importantly, these little plugs will cancel out the painful effects of cabin pressure. Without travel earplugs, a traveller’s ears have trouble equalising the air pressure difference between the cabin atmosphere and the inner ear. This results in barotrauma: a condition experienced by roughly 25 percent of all air travelers.

Eye mask:

You may dismiss travel masks as being unnecessary accessories, but studies have shown that sleeping in complete darkness helps promote melatonin production, which, in turn, helps the body regulate sleep cycles. High-quality, eye-contoured, no-pressure travel masks are just the thing you need if you want to catch up on those much-desired forty winks or more.

Hand sanitiser:

Even if you aren’t OCD about germs, carrying a hand sanitiser is a good idea, what with all the nasty microbes that live on overhead-compartment handles, armrests and tray tables. When it comes to choosing a hand sanitiser, it’s important to look for the germ-killing efficiency, but also make sure you buy one that that comes in an unassuming, travel-friendly container that meets carry-on regulations.


If you’re a seasoned business traveller, we don’t even have to tell you why an iPad is vital to survival in the skies. Whether you want to watch a movie, enjoy a book, play a game, or just listen to music, with these sleek slates, the world of entertainment is yours for the taking. Also, with many flights now offering Wi-Fi onboard, iPads have become even more essential, as you can read emails, keep up with social media and if you wish, even get some work done.

Under eye cream:

Among the more noticeable after-effects of a long flight are those horrid dark circles that form under your eye. However, with the generous use of a good eye cream, even if you aren’t completely well-rested, your eyes won’t give you away. Flying dehydrates the body and causes the skin around the eyes to look tired and discolored, and a lifting-and-firming eye cream works wonders.

Health bar:

No one likes airline food. Even if your flight does promise a gourmet spread, chances are you might still crave a healthy bite. Which is why, keeping a few nutrition bars handy is a good idea. Opt for handmade, gluten-free bars that are light and at the same time, keep you energetic and healthy.

A duvet:

Airplanes usually turn into floating iceboxes after take-off. And while flights do provide blankets, best carry your own. Apart from being able to choose the fabric and type best suited to you, you are likely to feel more comfortable in a duvet that’s yours and yours alone.

Loads of water:

Carry as much water as is allowed, and tank up through the journey. Staying hydrated is the key to looking fresh when you step out.

Chewing gum:

It is proven that the act of chewing helps open the eustation tubes in your ear, to release pressure. A few wads of chewing gum will keep your pressure-related woes at bay and breath smelling fresh, and they occupy hardly any carry-on space!

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