There are certain R&R basics you know to toss in your carry-on: books, tablet, magazines...but then there are also less-obvious—yet totally crucial—accessories that can make or break a flight. Here are a few items to never set foot on the jetway without.
1. A pen: Even if you always carry a one, you will inevitably have switched handbags, loaned it out, or otherwise find yourself without one at some point. Check before boarding! Why? That crossword you dutifully remembered to pack (see #3) won’t fill out itself.
2. Earbuds: Sure, you can buy the airline’s overpriced plastic-and-foam headphones, but the standard set you have plugged into your iDevice right now is totally compatible with inflight plug-ins. And who are they kidding? You’re never going to ‘reuse’ the cheap kind they’re selling on future flights.
3. Puzzle print-outs: It’s always when you fail to pack your own entertainment that the puzzles in the back of the in-flight magazine will have all been completed. Play it safe by printing out a few free crosswords or Sudokus before boarding.
4. Universal charger (or at least your devices’ specific chargers): Guess what? Continuously using your phone, iPod, or tablet (you know, the way you do in an airport) can sap the battery pretty fast. Fail to bring a charger and you risk not just being bored during your flight, but arriving in a new destination short a resource.
5. Batteries: If you have fancy battery-powered headphones or other accessories, bring a backup set. Nothing short-circuits a flight faster than trying to pass the time by watching movies without sound