The first time I left the country I can't even remember. I was an infant traveling to my mother and father's home country of Guyana. I went again around the time I turned eight. It was my first trip there that I could remember. Fast forward another four years and I am back again.
That would be the last time I would travel for over 10 years out of the country.
In May of 2010 I took my first trip out of the country by myself. Technically I was joining a group of classmates for a week-long (more like 10-day) trip to Greece for a class as part of my Sport Management Masters program.
Unlike the rest of my class I traveled solo. I flew out of New York instead of Miami and imagine my surprise when I land in Athens, Greece and my checked bags are NO WHERE to be found!
You see, back then I didn't understand the importance of a carry-on bag and how to pack properly. My carry-on consisted of snacks, electronics and probably my toothbrush. All of my daily essentials (i.e. clothes, shoes, undergarments) were in my checked luggage. So in a sense I was screwed.
Two days. That's how long I was without my luggage but I had some sort of luck on my side. There was an H&M around the corner from our hotel so I just bought new clothes and although our trip consisted of multiple cities we spent the first few days in Athens so I was able to get my luggage in time before we made our departure to the next town.
I learned a valuable lesson on this trip. Your carry-on is the most important thing you have when traveling (outside of your passport and money). Funny thing is it wasn't the last time I had my luggage disappear on me when traveling. Due to my unfortunate experiences, I have learned what essentials should always be packed in a carry-on. Check out my tips below!
What to pack in your carry-on when traveling:
At least 2-3 days worth of clothing
An extra pair of socks
Toiletries (toothbrush, tooth paste, face wash)
Wash cloth or baby wipes
Extra charger or batteries
Jacket or small sweater (It can get cold in the airport)
Electronics (computer, phone, tablet, headphones)
Notebook and pen
As long as you have these essentials with you when traveling you should be able to get through any airport mishaps or oversights. If you're like me and you're always somewhere, then these tips will help you get there with a little more ease.