I thought I was a seasoned traveler.
I thought I was great at this.
I thought I was invincible.
I’ve flown dozens of times, and never did I ever think I’d end up the victim of the dreaded cancelled flight. But, alas, just as someone always has to win those scratch offs, someone too has to always lose. For those that don’t know, my last trans-Atlantic flight was delayed 46 hours. I didn’t prepare for it, despite having been taught as a Girl Scout to Always Be Prepared. As I prepare for my journey back to the Emerald Isle on Monday, I’m reminded to pack my carry-ons better than ever. Just to refresh y’all’s memory…
Things I had in my carry-on luggage that proved to be worthless:
- One Cards Against Humanity game, one Phase 10 deck, and one Uno deck
- Additions to my mug collections- a Paris mug and a mug from the Elephant House in Scotland
- My Leprechaun hat headband I wore for St. Patrick’s Day
- An Eiffel Tower mini replica I got off one of those unlicensed vendors in Paris
- A Beauty and the Beast cross-stitch I was planning on working on whilst on the plane
- Pottery from Poland, a boomerang from Australia, and shot glasses from Madrid
- Six paris of elephant pants from Thailand
- Two coats, one hoodie from London, and one jacket from Bondi Beach in Australia (totally useful in June)
- Eight Cadbury chocolate bars
Oh my freaking hell.
Things I had in my carry-on luggage that proved to be helpful:
Yes, dear readers, I was that idiot. That idiot who washed her socks in the hotel bathtub to spare her fellow passengers the next day the smelliest 10 hour flight of their lives. The idiot who walked London in some cheap sandals because she didn’t have spare socks to walk around in for her Nikes. The idiot who did not look like Kim K fresh off the private jet because she had to wear the same clothes nearly 72 hours.
Things I will always pack in my carry-on luggage in the future:
- Toiletries bag
- An extra set of clothes
- Any essentials you MAY need: contact solution, lady products, q-tips (you never know how much you need a frikin q-tip till you get desperate for one, amirite?)
- Copies of your passport, social security card, residency card (if applicable!)
Truth is, I never expected myself to be that person who got delayed, or who got a cancelled flight. But the reality is that it can always be a possibility, so it’s best to always be prepared! It sounds obvious, but it has to be said. Don’t be me. I never thought I’d have to actively make an effort to bring an extra set of clothes into my carry-ons, but now I know better, and I just want to emphasize to y’all HOW MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE IT MAKES TO HAVE A FRESH PAIR OF UNDIES. So yes, pack your valuables in your carry-on, but also pack things that may become very valuable if you get told you’re going to be stranded in Europe nearly two days longer than you anticipated. SO NEVER SAY I DIDN’T GIVE YOU THIS VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE, YA HEAR ME?!
Also, did you know that if your flight is delayed more than four hours and it’s not because of an extraordinary circumstance, that you’re entitled to a check worth up to SIX HUNDRED EURO!? Yeah, I didn’t either. Look out for a future blog post on that, cause I’m still battling American Airlines over this and it’s been TWO MONTHS… I’m determined to get the funds though, so I’ll be sure to update when the money starts a’ flowin’.