6 Essentials for Airline Travel – Part 2

This is Part 2 of our 2-Part series as journalist Jason Notte of The Street looks at "packing an entertainment and travel survival kit full of six items that security can't take and fees can't touch." His article, "6 Essentials for Airline Travel Survival," is reprinted in part by permission.
  1. A water bottle
    Wait, won't security take my water bottle away because of the liquid limit? Absolutely, if you have water in it.

    Water's generally one of the better purchases you can make in an airport, but a savvy passenger knows that nearly every airport on the planet has water fountains or, at least, bathroom taps once you've stepped through security. The savings only increase when you bring that same bottle on the plane, where even non-alcoholic beverages now cost $2 to $3 on carriers such as Allegiant and Spirit.

    "There have been too many incidents with people on the tarmac with rationed food and water," says Anne Banas, editor of SmarterTravel, of the wisdom of bringing along filled water bottles.

  2. Granola, protein, Candy or any other Bar-shaped Food
    If airlines' once-free meals are now $2 to $11 and free pretzels just aren't coming, you may as well load up as efficiently as you can. The individually wrapped bar is a clean, compact and cost-effective way to tide yourself over during long trips or when it looks like you're not going anywhere for a while.

    "Even protein bars could count as a meal when you're really stuck in a bad situation, and you'll have no problems getting them through security," Banas says.

  3. A Pillow-and-Blanket pack
    U.S. Airways feels its blanket and pillow set is worth $7 of a passenger's pocket change, while Allegiant charges a cool $15.

    At least they're offering. Delta, Southwest Airlines, Air Tran and Alaska Airlines, ditched those amenities altogether, and you're unlikely to get anything if you're stuck in a terminal rather than on a plane.

    Companies such as Travelpro, Lewis N. Clark (see photo) and Conair make $15 to $23 blanket-and-pillow sets that fold into small travel-sized totes. Despite the initial purchase price, you'll certainly save money in the long-run.

    "A thin portable blanket and pillow set could go a long way," Banas says. "You don't want the ones in the cabin because sometimes you have to pay for them and, even when you get them for free, you don't know if they've been laundered."

  4. Moisture
    Passengers are signing up to spend hours in a giant dehumidifier once they buy their tickets.

    Because some folks just don't dry out as well as others, Banas recommends bringing a small bag filled with solid lip balm (such as Chapstick), moisturizer and other products that can live outside of the carry-on. The small bag creates easy access, while the products within make sure you're not kissing loved ones or hailing cabs through chapped lips.
Read "6 Essentials for Airline Travel Survival" by Jason Notte, in its entirety.

6 Essentials for Airline Travel – Part 1

Photo credit – Amazon.com)
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