My mother recently took a trip to visit some friends and was dreading the boring plane ride that would get her there. She’s also one to worry about unexpected needs while traveling, and no matter what she packs in her carry-on, she almost always seems to forget something. To help make her trip more enjoyable, I surprised her with a handy airline travel kit full of fun and practical items.
To come up with items for the kit, I visualized the plane ride and imagined all the things a passenger would need or want. Gum would help to pop her ears during takeoff and breath freshener would be a great relief when she wakes after a nap. A deck of cards would curb boredom and a packet of candy would satisfy her sweet tooth. Things like lotion, lip balm, and tissues would take care of personal needs and moist towelettes would wipe up any messes. Aspirin, ear plugs, toothpicks, an emery board, and bandages would cover other unexpected issues. Toss in a pen for doing the crossword puzzle in the airline’s magazine and a hair tie to keep her tresses in check and this kit was really looking good. As a final touch, I made up a little chart of world time zones and popular travel phone numbers and laminated it so she could carry it with her in the future. I bundled everything up into a sturdy little zippered pouch and marveled at the cute collection of items I had!
When I gave the kit to Mom, her dread about the flight soon turned to excitement. During the flight, she made use of many of the items and was even able to help out a fellow passenger who needed a bandage for a paper cut. It was even a huge money-saver during her airport layover, when she was able to dip into her supplies rather than pay the inflated prices at airport gift shops.
Oh, and you may be wondering if the kit passed TSA inspection. It did, with flying colors. I put the liquids (lotion, etc) into a quart-sized zip-top bag inside the pouch so that she could remove it easily if required, but the clear window on the pouch was enough to let it pass inspection without any objections.
Here’s a full list of the items in the kit:
- 1 deck of playing cards
- 1 pack of gum
- 1 Tums quick-dissolve packet
- 1 bottle of breath-freshening drops
- 1 package of candy (M&Ms or Skittles)
- 1 Crystal Light drink packet (just add to a bottle of water)
- 1 emery board
- 1 packet of tissues
- 1 single-use vial of eye drops
- 1 small bottle of lotion
- 1 tube of lip balm
- 1 pen
- 2 moist towelettes
- 1 antiseptic wipe
- 1 elastic hair tie
- 1 packet of aspirin
- 2 adhesive bandages
- 2 ear plugs
- 3 toothpicks
- 1 Shout wipe
- 1 comb (not pictured)
- 1 lens-cleaning towelette
- 1 pocket reference card with world time zones and popular travel-related phone numbers
- 1 quart-size zip-top bag (to pass TSA inspection, all liquids must be in a bag like this)
- all in a re-usable zippered pouch