The Ultimate Carry On Bag
December 7, 2018 11:46 PM   Subscribe

We live on a small island in Micronesia. My brother is getting married in South America. That's 40 hours of flying there and 35 back! For Christmas I'm making my boyfriend the ultimate carry on bag, which will have activities and snacks he gets to open every few hours. limitations: have to be available to ship to Guam.

Here's what I have so far:
Travel Boggle
Travel Cribbage
Adult coloring book/scented colored pencils
A Math game book
A Make your own old fashioned kit to make cocktails on the plane

We already have ipads/kindles/phones. I'm looking for things that will delight him or make him laugh, and also amuse us for at least a minute or two.

For example: Do you know of the best cashew mix in the world? Or, some sort of build your own candy kit that we could carry on? I'm looking for interactive foods or experiences that will fit in a small bag (like making old fashioned out of the kit.). Ideally I'd like to have something to open every 4-5 hours, so 15-20 things. Childish things are fine too! I bought him one of those popular unpackaging toys that have surprises inside that are made for 5 year old boys.

How about a plane accessory that changed your travel experience? Or, the best carry on ever I could put everything in?

If you have ideas about products that will ship to Guam (we use the US post office) Please give them to me! I've pretty much exhausted the limited stores that we have here. Most of the stuff listed above I've had to order off amazon.
posted by foxonisland to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I love this! Luxury eye mask, to be used at next nap. A weirdly-specific magazine (like Fancy Fowl about chickens). Hand grip exerciser. Those pills that turn everything sour into sweet. Pez dispenser + pez. Origami kit. Glitter sensory bottle (you can make them but I bought mine off Amazon). These things straight from the 90s!
posted by whitewall at 1:03 AM on December 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Not as much fun as what you’re after but practical for long haul kit. I would focus on sleeping as much as practical on the flight.

Just did LGW-AKL total travel time of 30 hours last week and the following were lifesavers:

Fresh undies and socks
Noise cancelling headpohones!
Zzzing podcast playlist
Vicks First Defence
Fresh tissues
Stick on heat packs (I needed this for hip pain - helped enormously)

I would get a jack converter next time I do this flight - then I could plug my own noise cancelling headphones into airline entertainment system.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 1:30 AM on December 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

A Make your own old fashioned kit to make cocktails on the plane

I gave my boyfriend one of these and he was not allowed to use it on the plane, and made to pack it away. This was because of the bitters, as it is ever so slightly alcoholic and counted as "bringing his own alcohol" which is quite strictly forbidden, although enforcement probably varies significantly. This might be something best done during a layover, depending on how comfortable you are on trying to get away with it.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 1:32 AM on December 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Steam eye masks are wonderful on long flights.
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators at 2:03 AM on December 8, 2018

It's Hard to be a Russian Spy is a fun book of brainteasers and puzzles. It is legitimately challenging.

Set is a fantastic game that can be packed as small as a big deck of cards. The full sized one could be played across your two tray tables. There's also a mini version, but it looks like it might be less fun.
posted by snaw at 5:12 AM on December 8, 2018

I was really shocked how much improvement came from an eyemask and one of those neck pillows (though they can get a bit hot).

I'm a big fan of puzzles like Sudoku/Kakuro/Slitherlink/Hashi (I think a lot of these originate with Nikoli in Japan) which are number-based rather that word-based. They've occupied more than one transatlantic flight for me. I recently found Numberland Puzzles which sells some as PDFs to print yourself. Conceptis sells books, but no idea if they'd ship to Guam or how much it'd cost.
posted by hoyland at 7:20 AM on December 8, 2018

We can get LEGO block candies at the bulk store in Toronto. They actually do stack together! You could also get one of those mini jellybean samplers and try the different flavours and combos they suggest as recipes. Or or of the ‘bean boozled’ jelly bean games that exist - be warned, some of the flavours are disgusting!

Not sure what ships to Guam but most of these could be found at a candy speciality store if they exist on-island.
posted by five_cents at 10:53 AM on December 8, 2018

Thanks for all the great ideas everyone! I think I ordered at least one thing from every person's suggestion. I also found this make your own candy sushi kit from Japan that looks like fun.

And thanks for the heads up about the cocktail kit- turns out, the kit won't ship to Guam anyway.

Placed a big order online today, I can't wait to put it all together. Now I just have to hope it will actually make it by the time we leave. Shipping times can vary wildly!
posted by foxonisland at 4:49 PM on December 8, 2018

They will either infuriate or delight--depends upon your bf--but a "tavern puzzle" might be just the thing to make the time go. Most of the ones I found by searching that were metal so not sure if they are OK for the plane or not, but no blades, so maybe?
posted by Gotanda at 5:06 PM on December 9, 2018

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