Flying across the country or across the pond can be tedious, uncomfortable and boring, especially when you're riding in those cramped economy seats. So there are a few things I pack in my carryon that help make the trip just a little more relaxing and stressless.
Taking an iPad or any of the new tablets on a trip is like taking your computer along with you. Only better. For one thing, they do not have to be removed from your carryon when you go through airport security. But more importantly, you can use them to do everything from writing a business report to reading a book or playing a game or movie.
Next to the iPad, the iPod is a great companion on the road. And I prefer the little nano because it can be clipped on my shirt or pants for added convenience. Mine is full of my favorite tunes and audiobooks.
Change of clothes
After my luggage was lost during a trip to Germany many years ago, I never fly anywhere without a change of clothes in my carryon. If my checked bag disappears again, two outfits, the one I have on and the one in my bag, can keep me going for a few days until my luggage is found.
Toiletries / Cosmetics
Like the change of clothes, my toiletries and cosmetics come with me. These things can be expensive and difficult to replace in a foreign country.
All your medication should be in your carryon bag, preferably in their original packaging from the pharmacy.
Pashmina / Sweater
Planes are often cold and blankets are usually non-existent so my black pashmina serves double-duty as a wrap and blanket. A sweater would work just as well.
It's almost impossible to sleep on a plane with those annoying fluorescent lights overhead so a soft black eyeshade is just the ticket to darken the space.
Lots of passengers pull out their noise canceling headsets to overcome the noise of the plane's engines and crying babies. They're a bit expensive and cumbersome. Instead, a new pair of earplugs works great for me.