Travel Tips

Published on May 11th, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut


VIDEO: Top 5 Things to Pack in Your Carry-on Luggage


Wondering what to pack for that next trip? In this new travel video, I share my “Top 5 Things to Pack in Your Carry-on Luggage.” These travel tips are especially helpful for budget travel in economy class, when you might not get all the amenities you’d like from the airline (although low-cost airlines do differ in terms of the service and amenities they offer).

I’m not very good at folding clothes when I’m going on a trip. But over the course of the years I have learned what to bring along in my carry-on baggage. Here are my top 5 things to bring on board:

1. Travel Portfolio: One envelope or portfolio should be able to hold all your travel documents, including boarding passes, itineraries, hotel confirmations and other important documentation. Be sure to always keep it in the same place — don’t move it from bag to bag — so you’ll be able to find it.

2. Home-made Amenity Kit: You may not be sitting in first class or business class section of the plane, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of the same comforts. I bring along an old amenity kit that I stock with eye mask, inflatable pillow and — extremely important — ear plugs to cut out noise from annoying passengers.

3. Snacks: We’ve all heard horror stories about airline passengers being stranded on the tarmac for hours without food (some of us may have experienced it first-hand). My mother taught me years ago to always bring along some peanut-butter crackers or other such non-perishable snacks when I travel, which can help you cope with long airline delays — especially if you’re traveling with children.

4. Plastic Bags: Anyone flying into, out of or within the United States needs to have carry-on liquids in a plastic bag, but these little bags also come in handy for storing other items and separating currency from multiple countries. Whether you’re flying through one of the worst facilities or one of the best airports in the Americas, a bit of organization can make the experience much smoother.

5. Stuff to Read: Sure, everyone has a laptop computer, a Kindle, an iPad, an iPhone and countless other gadgets that entertain and distract when traveling. But there are times that you can’t use them. So always keep a book, a magazine or a newspaper handy. Otherwise you may find yourself staring at the bizarre ads for “It’s Just Lunch” in the back of the inflight magazine.

More Latin America Travel Inspiration:
Hearst Magazine’s Michael Clinton Shares Latin America Travel Tips
5 Travel Tips for Taking the Kids to Latin America for the Holidays
Holiday Travel & Storm Warnings: How to Travel Worry-Free

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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