There are a few things that I always have with me when I fly. It’s always in an easy to reach pocket of my smaller carry on bag so that it rests easily underneath the seat. You may not need all of these but they’re all small items that really come in handy if you’re ever separated from your other carry on bag (ie a last second gate check).
Eye Drops – I wear contacts and with the dry cabin air, my contacts always irritate my eyes. Having some eye drops handy really helps and acts as a quick refresh.
Lotion – I typically don’t wear lotion but I like to have some with me just in case. Again, it’s that cabin air that can really dries out your skin. However, I would caution against having any scented lotions. What may smell go to you may smell awful to the person next to you. Just have the small bottle you get from hotels, not some Costco sized behemoth.
Pen – For filling out forms. Take a few cheap pens so if you lose them, you’ll have another on standby.
Light Jacket – This seems like a no brainer but I’m always surprised at people who ask for blankets as soon as they’re on a plane. It’s going to be cold so be an adult and plan accordingly. Also, if you need another reason, let me ask you one simple question. Do you really think those blankets are washed or replaced after every flight or do you think that MAYBE the cleaning staff just puts it back in the plastic? Something to think about…
Collapsable Water Bottle – These things are great. You can always fill them up after security at a drinking fountain and save money on the inflated price for a bottle of water. Also, if you like to brush your teeth in the plane’s bathroom, where do you think that water comes from? And how often do you think the water tank of a plane is cleaned? Side note: when you order coffee or tea, where do you think that water comes from? I’ll stick with my water…
Candy (or anything small ie $5 Starbucks gift cards) – This is more of a goodwill gesture to the flight crew. Even if they don’t eat chocolate, I’ve never met anyone who refuses it or isn’t happy to receive some. A few individually wrapped chocolate bars can go a long way to making your flight a delight or normal. For something that costs so little, the upside is really worth it. Also, just like they wouldn’t decline chocolate, would you decline an extra bag of peanuts or a glass of champagne?