The carry-on is an essential travel accessory and should meet some basic needs—inflight, upon arrival and in case your checked bag didn’t arrive.
In-flight needs are things such as entertainment, toiletries, blanket or jacket, snacks, socks or slippers, sleeping aids such as an eye mask, earplugs (regular or pharmaceutical) and your medications. Upon-arrival needs are your contact numbers, itinerary and cell phone.
In case your checked bag didn’t arrive, you’ll need a full change of clothes or at least fresh underwear, hair and beauty products (making sure, of course, that they are in travel sized containers that hold no more than three ounces each.
How you dress for the flight is essential, as well, if your bag doesn’t make it to your destination with you. You’ll want to dress comfortably, but chic, so that if you only brought a change of underwear, you will still be ready to go out on the town. Choose clothes that are dark in color, wrinkle free and bring some fabric refresher, such as Febreze, with you. Turn the shower on hot, hang your clothes, spray them with the refresher and let them steam for a half hour.
And finally, remember the carry-on Rule of 3–1-1: three-ounce liquid containers, one carry-on bag that fits underneath the seat in front of you or the overhead bin and one personal item, such as a purse or computer bag.