Frequent travelers are careful about what they pack in their carry-on luggage. But before 9/11, savvy travelers could load up with all kinds of “just in case” items. Take a look at this newspaper article titled “Lights out? Laptop fried? Savvy travelers ready” — published in USA TODAY, believe it or not, on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Traveler checklist USAToday Sept-11-2001

Look at the sidebar checklist on the far right, titled “Cautious Traveler’s Checklist.” (click image to enlarge) Incredibly, the very first suggested item is a Swiss army knife!

Here are the rest of the items along with their current validity.

Swiss army knife You’re kidding, right?
A universal tool No way
Extra batteries for all electronic gear Maybe
Extra eyewear Ok
Extra medication Probably ok, but you may have trouble with liquids. And gels.
Extra change of clothes Ok if you have room
Doctor’s phone number Ok
Thermometer Good luck
Flashlight Maybe
Extra AC adapter for computer Ok
Paper copies of contact, itinerary Ok
Photocopies of important documents Still a good idea
Latest Official Airline Guide (OAG) Do they still print this?
First-aid kit I wouldn’t try it
Battery-operated alarm clock Not if it goes tick-tick-tick
Snack bars and bottled water Take the snack bars, leave the water