Carry-on Essentials For a Healthy Flight


Last month I wrote about how to maintain your workout routine while traveling. Now that summer is in full swing, I thought it would be helpful to tackle another travel related topic: how to stay healthy on a plane. We all know that planes are crawling with germs (yuck) but you can pack your carry-on with lots of items to help you keep those germs at bay and arrive at your destination healthy and happy. Here’s a list of items that I always have in my bag:

  1. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. I carry these items with me every day but they especially come in handy when I’m on a plane. I use the wipes to clean my seat, arm rests, tray table and seat belt. It may look a little nutty but it brings me some peace of mind before I take my seat. I also wipe down my carry-on bag and luggage when I’m unpacking at the end of a trip. No one wants dirty luggage in their home!

  2. Water. It's so easy to become dehydrated while flying so consuming enough water is really important. I usually buy two 1L bottles but when I flew to Europe last fall I bought four. Your skin will thank you.

  3. Healthy food. Does anyone eat plane food anymore? Seriously, I would love to know. And now that most airports have a wide variety of food, there’s really no reason to rely on the airline’s limited options. I always pack a variety of snacks including protein bars, rice cakes, almonds, bell peppers or carrots, berries and sliced apples. For international flights, I will pick up a salad or a healthy sandwich at the airport. PRO TIP: be sure to pack some snacks that do not include nuts! I was recently on a cross-country flight and a fellow passenger had a severe nut allergy so no one was allowed to consume any nut products on board.

  4. Layers. I will never understand people who fly in shorts. How are they not freezing cold? I always wear extra layers, even if I’m flying in the summer or to somewhere tropical. A cozy scarf and sweater are my items of choice.

  5. Neck pillow and eye mask. These aren’t as necessary for shorter trips but for those overnight flights, they are a lifesaver. I have a tough time falling asleep on planes but both of these items allow me to get at least a few hours of Zzzzzs.

  6. Sheet masks. Confession: I am still building up the courage to be one of those girls who can pull this off mid-flight. I always pack one but never end up using it. There are other things you can do to help your skin survive that dry cabin air though, including never flying with makeup on and washing your face as soon as you arrive at your destination.

I hope these items will help you on your next flight! Share your plane ride essentials in the comments below.