Use your carry-on to bring the essentials to keep you clean and smelling nice when the airlines lose you luggage. When our luggage doesn’t arrive with us what’s left is a traveler with bad breath, dirty underwear, and a runny nose.

Convert a small portion of your carry-on into a backup for hygiene essentials to relieve the big headache of a lost suitcase.

Cover The Smelly Areas First

Most of the more offensive body odors come from a few specific areas. A decent emergency hygiene kit doesn’t have to take up a lot of space if you prioritize properly. Begin by starting from the top down.

  • Mouth: A quick flight nap can give you killer breath and landing without a toothbrush or paste is even worse. Bring a piece of gum and a portable size toothbrush with toothpaste. A packet of salted peanuts will also neutralize bad breath.
  • Armpits: Stick deodorant to control smells and baby wipes to remove sweat and feel fresh. Use the baby wipes for runny noses, which are instigated by changing air pressures.

  • Crotch: A extra pair of underwear is not only a good idea in case of lost luggage, but might come in handy in case you have an accident or eat something that doesn’t agree with you.
  • Feet: Pack the stick of gum, stick deodorant, and extra underwear in the 2 backup socks you’ll be bringing in your carry-on. This is an efficient way to pack your emergency hygiene kit and keep snooping security from discovering your leopard print g-string.
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Optional Essentials

If you have the luxury of a large carry-on or worry that lost luggage is a lost cause you can extend your emergency kit to last you longer.

  • An Extra Pair of Pants or T-Shirt – Both a space hogs and wrinkle easy. Bring knitted versions of both if possible and pack like a stripper to save space.

Many travelers have been all over the world and had their luggage arrive with them each time. Still, always plan as if you’re going to stay at a friends for the weekend and don’t rely on your suitcase for the basics. Lost luggage is at its highest levels in 20 years.


More than 1 million pieces of luggage were lost, damaged, delayed or pilfered by U.S. airlines from May to July [2007], according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The incentive behind this post was a lost piece luggage in Memphis that left my wife without clothes or fresh breath much like what happened to me in Munich 2 years ago. An an emergency hygiene kit will save you the money of having to buy hygiene basics until your luggage is returned to you (an average of 1-3 days).

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Your emergency hygiene kit should go along with the other small travel essentials you pack, like a cell phone and laptop charger. The carry-on is your lifeline in case you get stranded at the airport or your suitcase gets lost. Some clever hygiene patchwork (and kit) will keep you smelling and feeling fresh until your luggage arrives.

[photo by: everdrad]