When it comes to packing for travel, you probably pack your check-in luggage first before filling up your carry-on with whatever’s left. Well, it’s time to rethink that. This used to be how I packed, until I learnt the hard way not to do that.
When I recently travelled to Kansas City in the US, I had to transit through Denver, where I had an hour-long stopover. But during the flight, a thunderstorm hit the region and Denver International Airport closed temporarily, preventing us from landing. We had to circle, and the plane eventually had to land at another regional airport to refuel. By the time we finally landed in Denver, my plane to Kansas City was already halfway there.
Needless to say, I didn’t make it on the flight. On the other hand, my checked baggage did, and was sitting pretty in Kansas City International Airport’s baggage hold. To make matters worse, the next available flight was two days later, and my baggage would take a whole day to get it back to Denver. It was also nearly midnight at that point, so feeling dejected and tired (I had been awake for 30 hours at that point), I resigned to my fate and booked a room in the nearby hotel.
Little did I know, the ordeal didn’t stop there. Upon getting to my hotel, I opened my carry-on and was beyond horrified once I realised that I barely had anything useful. I barely had toiletries, I only had one change of clothes, and I didn’t even have my glasses.
Although I was able to purchase whatever I needed when I explored Denver the next day, I definitely could have saved a lot of time, trouble, money and frustration (just imagine scrambling to purchase necessities in a foreign, unfamiliar place!) if I had initially packed all that in my carry-on.
My situation was pretty unique, but I’m sure you’ve all heard horror stories of luggage being delayed or lost — and sometimes never recovered — at various airports around the world. So, from someone who has experienced it herself, these are the things you should actually pack in your carry-on so you won’t have to scramble to purchase necessities if you encounter a problem with your luggage.