What’s Your Go-To Travel Essential?

By Rachel Carlson

Published June 12, 2023

Read Time: 3 mins


Airpods. A water bottle. Teeth-whitening strips.

What’s your essential “must-have” travel accessory before you get on an airplane? To start our list, we conducted a most-unscientific sample of passengers getting ready to fly on a recent day at PIT.

After all, no matter where you’re going, for business or leisure, there’s at least one item you can’t leave home without.

Music is on many a traveler’s list, so having the right tech is key. Shawna, of Pittsburgh, shares that she grabs her Airpods and sets her music to match her destination to give her “a little bit of vibe.” Mariachi might be on her future playlist as she heads to Mexico next week.

Conner, arriving from Tampa, set the tone for his visit and listened to music from Pittsburgh’s own Mac Miller on his Nintendo Switch. And if you really want to be transported by the tunes, pick up a pair of noise-canceling headphones like Amy, 43 of Pittsburgh, who says that “on the plane, nothing beats them; you can be in your own world.”

Make your trip easy by staying hydrated, entertained and in high spirits by bringing along all your must-haves. (Photo by Beth Hollerich)

With all this tech talk, we can’t leave out in-flight entertainment. Mike, 43, brings along his Microsoft Surface because it doubles as a laptop and tablet. He can have it out during takeoff and landing, which allows him to “watch videos from the time I sit down to the time I land.” On his watch list: the new Arnold Schwarzenegger Netflix TV series, FUBAR.

Syndey, 28 of Pittsburgh says, “whenever I travel, I always have to bring my Kindle because I love to read, and I also always have to have my water bottle with me because I drink an excessive amount of water when I travel.” Good thing PIT has plenty of water bottle refilling stations to keep her hydrated as she heads off to Chicago with her fantasy novel downloaded and ready to devour.

Have you been considering the switch to Away Luggage? Frequent traveler Michael claims “I will never go back to a different suitcase.” He loves how easy it is to pack as well as the built-in TSA approved lock.

Katherine’s must-have is a travel-specific shampoo and conditioner set she bought inexpensively off Amazon. The set is TSA approved and has its own container “where you can easily use everything.”

In typical teenage fashion, 16-year-old Danielle gave a YouTube inspired “bag haul” of what’s in her backpack as she travels to Hawaii with family. Her items of choice include a book, melatonin, necklaces, “just to switch it up,” teeth whitening strips “in case you can’t brush your teeth on the plane and a charger, of course.”

And then there’s Susan, whose travel essential is like no other: her husband of 45 years. “I never travel without him,” she says. Whatever is your essential item, the good news is you can more than likely buy a back-up at one of the many shops at PIT.

Unless it’s your travel buddy, typically not sold in stores.

Traveling with a well-stocked bag full of essentials is the only way to go during a flight to ensure you’re not only comfortable, but also helps make the trip more enjoyable. (Photo by Beth Hollerich)

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