General Question

jonsblond's avatar

What should you not forget to pack in your carry on for an overseas flight?

Asked by jonsblond (43916points) June 1st, 2010

My son leaves in 4 days for his student exchange trip to Germany. What does he need in his carry on for this red eye flight?

He’s almost 18 and this is his first flying experience.

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22 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

This is my recommendation, but I haven’t travelled by air since before 9–11, so I don’t know what all the new rules are, check them first.

Passport and ID. should be in a case around his neck, so he can put it under his shirt when he doesn’t need it.
Any medications he will need.
A change of socks and underwear, just in case his luggage is delayed.
A book or something to occupy him on any layovers or during the flight.
A pen and a small journal. He should write something in it every day.

lillycoyote's avatar

Give him money to buy one of those goofy round donut pillows you wear/snap around your neck that you can get at the airport. They’re about 18 dollars I think. Yes, they are goofy, but make for a much more comfortable flight. And speaking of money, make sure he has plenty of Euros, just in case.

jonsblond's avatar

@lillycoyote I almost bought one of those pillows for $7 at Walmart today. Looks like I’m going back to get it. Thanks!

lillycoyote's avatar

@jonsblond Good. That airport mark-up is a killer. A captive audience. Though after I posted that I wondered if maybe a teenage boy might think the pillows weren’t cool, but I suspect that a couple of hours into the flight he won’t care whether it’s cool or not.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Remember about liquids and pastes. No more than 3 ounces. I left PDX on a trip with my toothpaste and had to leave it in Sacramento.
If he has an Ipod or cell phone, remember to bring the the chargers. I know the outlets are different in Europe, but he could use them in the airport. A little money for food, a book. Whet you could do is go the grocery store or Target and go to the sample area. Where the stuff is in sample size and costs about a dollar. Good for toiletries. A pocket translation book or map of that area he’s going to so he can study on the plane. Just basics, really.

Jeruba's avatar

His American cellphone probably won’t work in Germany. He should check with his phone company.

Will he have a credit card? If so, call the card company and make sure they know to expect international charges.

He might want to have his camera with him.

sakura's avatar

a pack of cards… we travelled around New Zealand with our then 9 year old and it was teh best investment ever… we always had something to do at each airport whilst waiting to board and they take up no room!

perspicacious's avatar

A change of clothes and any medication you take. You need to pack whatever will sustain you in the event your checked baggage gets lost.

lilikoi's avatar

1. Toothbrush.
2. Travel size toothpaste.
3. Chapstick or travel size moisturizer because my skin tends to get too dry on airplanes.
4. mp3 player with headphones and extra batteries.
5. A couple of books; different genres.
6. Magazines I pick up @ airport newsstand while killing time before flight.
7. Variety of snacks and some kind of meal.
8. Socks to put on my feet.
9. Jacket.
10. Camera.
11. Pen and paper.
12. Cell phone.
13. Ear plugs (in case I tire of wearing noise canceling headphones).

whatthefluther's avatar

Photographs of his beautiful and cool family.
Lots of reading material (especially if he has any aspirations of ever beating his dad at Trivial Pursuit regardless of @Blondesjon ‘s condition)
iPod full of podcasts of dad’s radio show
Oops, wait…..he is not yet eighteen…..scratch the podcasts.
See ya….Gary/wtf

janbb's avatar

On an international flight, you will be served meals so you don’t need to worry about food other than snacks, If you want him to be able to use a cellphone, check with your carrier about international access or about renting a phone there that you can use. I have never seen a teenager using one of those neck pillows so you might want to check with him before gettong one.

majorrich's avatar

A voltage converter. Many countries in Europe run on 220v. I fried my razor even though it said it was 220 compatible. This will be invaluable for protecting chargers for the Ipod and the camera.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Once he clears security, he should buy a bottle or two of water. It’s so easy to get dehydrated on an international flight.

And, of course, he should get up and walk around the plane frequently to avoid blood clots.

CMaz's avatar

Cash, toothbrush, fresh underwear a T-shirt and a couple of Tylenol.

Everything else is extra.

Ltryptophan's avatar

The neck pillows are crap. There is an inflatable angled lap cushion that let’s you slouch forward onto it. When I open my laptop I’ll link to it.

A silk waist money belt of the best quality, I think eagle creek.

Credit card.


Earplanes earplugs.

A good attitude.

Led light

eye shades, walmart has some nifty travel ones with room to open your eyes in the darkness.

A German language book, or something to help learn German.

Candy(all natural if you ask me)

Copies of all his Ids, and payment methods back and front.

The Bible.

Shower as close to departure as possible!

Hand sanitizer

A comedy act for the stranger he might be sitting next to.

In Germany pastries suck. Pretzls with the different types of mustard are super yum.

malcolm.knapp's avatar

My parents always said make sure you have:

1) Tickets
2) Passport
3) Money

Everything else make the trip nicer but these things make the trip possible.

Ltryptophan's avatar


I don’t have one, but I know this has got to be better than the collar pillows.

Fred931's avatar

Pack, in your carryon, everything you would need for a day. If checked luggage gets lost, you at least have something to wear and anything you might need.

majorrich's avatar

Baby wipes I found to be quite nice to have in my luggage. I recall european toilet paper to be a little disappointing. Take coffee as a gift for your host family. Their coffee is also very disappointing.

Jeruba's avatar

GA to @Ltryptophan for “A good attitude.”

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