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Packing Your Luggage for the Last Flight Out: What You Should Know

Updated on April 20, 2015
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Being on the last flight out of an airport -especially a smaller airport can be a risky travel move. Last flights out are notorious for delays or cancellations. Weather, mechanical problems and crew delays can ultimately create an unexpected cancellation leaving you stranded in a city where you have no familial or friendly ties. You’re often left with the choice of remaining in the airport or staying in a hotel until the following day –if you’re able to be transported to one.

Should you either choose or be forced to board the last flight of an airport to your final destination, there are a few packing rules that you will want to abide by for your sanity.

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Travelers Who Like to Travel Light

For those of you who prefer to travel light, this article is for you and could be used as a resource to help you avoid the pitfalls of only carrying your purse, wallet and/or laptop around and nothing else. If you are one who prefers to not drag your luggage around with you, there are a few things that you will want consider packing in a smaller bag –or ladies, your larger, travel purse.

What to Carry in Your Carry-On Bag

Toothbrush and Toothpaste

First, basic hygiene actions are critical and will keep you on your game when you find yourself stranded overnight. Always pack a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste pack in your carry-on bag. While the airline or hotel may take pity on you and provide you with a travel kit, it will in no way be comparable to what you need to feel fresh. In fact, some airlines won’t give you a real toothbrush at all but a concoction of a stick with a sponge on it or some teenie-tiny brush of sorts. Let’s face it, if you’re one who prefers the sensation of bristles removing plaque and particles from your teeth, this won’t do it.

Soap/Body Wash

Next, a travel-size of your favorite soap/body wash will be essential as well. Again, hotel soap is tolerable and better than nothing, but if Irish Spring is the product that makes your body feel oh so clean, the hotel soap won’t do the trick either.

Baby Wipes and Hand Sanitizer

Consider a travel size of baby wipes as well along with hand sanitizer. After a day and/or night of sitting in the airport and being exposed to so many people, sanitizer and/or baby wipes are a nice way to remove some of the dirt and grime you have encountered. In fact, it has been alleged that airports and planes are at risk for carrying the same norovirus that is sometimes encountered by passengers on cruise ships that causes illnesses.

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Pack Your Underwear in Your Carry-On

Pack at least one pair of clean underwear –or more if you prefer in your carry-on. Even if you’re stuck putting on or sleeping in the same clothes you traveled in from the day prior, you will find there’s nothing like putting on a pair of clean underwear and ladies –yes a brassiere. Fellas, a clean pair of socks will go a long way after having walked many miles at the airport or having remained seated all day long. Ladies, don’t forget the feminine hygiene products. Again, you only need enough to get you through the night and possibly the morning of the next day.

Medications

It goes without saying that if you are one who are required to take medications that you should always keep those with you rather than placing them in a suitcase that will be going into the plane’s belly. There is risk that you may be separated from your medications for a day or more, so you will want to keep those handy.

Having a couple of over-the-counter medications present are another way to stay on your game. For example, if you are prone to bloating during travel, you may want to have some form of simethicone in your stash. Do you not sleep well in hotels? You may want to keep a travel-size dose of sleepy aid in your bag? Headaches, backaches, muscle aches any one? A travel-size dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen can’t hurt to keep on hand.

Chargers

Keep those chargers handy. It’s hard to believe how important technology has become in recent years and for the most part, you will want the ability to connect with the rest of the world to share the latest news about your stranded state. Keep them in a bag that will accompany you on the plane.

These are just a few items that this author recommends for travelers on the last flight out. These tips are a good rule of thumb no matter where your travel plans take you but if you find yourself booked on that last flight out, pack smartly for the worst case scenario!

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    • American_Choices profile image

      American_Choices 2 years ago from USA

      "Expect the best, plan for the worst!" That is my mantra for travelling - near or far.

      If I might suggest adding in an emergency cell phone battery backup. The cost is so nominal and those backup cells are readily available at supermarkets and big box stores alike.

      Also, when I travelled as a consultant, our team shared numbers for calling for alternative flights - we had all the numbers right in our cell phone - just in case.

      Very helpful hub. Voted up!

    • Mahogany Speaks profile image
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      Mahogany Speaks 2 years ago from Texas

      Great suggestions!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 2 years ago from California

      Stay away for Phoenix AZ as your last fight out or be prepared for an overnight stay. Nicely organized hub. I am particle to carrying a change of clothes like workout shorts and tee as well. That way you always have something to sleep in at a hotel. You can hand wash your day clothes and iron them dry in comfort.

      Voted up, interesting, and useful.

    • Mahogany Speaks profile image
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      Mahogany Speaks 2 years ago from Texas

      Another great idea! I have also done that myself on occasion.

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