What to pack in your carry on flight hand luggage!
Packing your hand luggage, or carry on bag is as important as packing your suitcase, especially if you are boarding a long haul flight! Taking into consideration your health, hygiene, the need to be entertained, and of course emergency supplies incase your suitcase is missing or you find yourself delayed, you need to pack a whole lot into that little bag – and it’s not as much as you might think!
I always find a duffle/sports style bag is best. They tend to be roomier, easier to carry/balance atop suitcases and have a variety of inner and outer pockets. I always squish my bag under the seat in front too as pulling it out of the over head mid flight whilst trying not to take up the aisle or land it on the heads around you is just plain ol’ frustrating!
Now, here is my first hand luggage packing secret – a bag in a bag! Inside my official cabin bag, I have a drawstring spots bag! In this I put all the items I’m going to constantly be using throughout the flight, such as; headphones, e-reader, pen and paper, mints, tissues etc. Most of it is for my own entertainment, things I will swap and change with each hour to keep me occupied. If you are planning on putting your hand luggage in the over head compartment then having the little drawstring bag saves you have to keep pulling your main bag out of the over head. I think it’s also a great idea for those traveling with children!
Another bag inside the main bag – a small toiletry bag. You don’t want to take all your fresh-me-ups loose in your hands but you don’t want to drag your cabin bag along either. Usually I have all my toiletries essentials in the clear plastic bag you use for carrying liquids on the plane. Convenient and compact, easy enough to take along to the bathroom with you! If you want something more discreet, take a small foldable toiletry bag and once you’re through security, pop your clear bag of liquid products into the toiletry bag. Voila!
The one thing I cannot stand about flying is the recycled air. The thought of breathing in other peoples airy excretions makes my skin crawl and more than once have I felt a little ill during and after a flight (and it’s not because of the plane food!). Unfortunately, we have to breathe and taking our own air supply on board is not exactly the ‘done thing’!
All that recycled air really dries out your skin too which can be really uncomfortable! This might sound like one for the girls, but the guys always end of feeling the same and use our products!
What to pack
- Paracetemol or equivalent
- Dissolvable multi vitamins
- Hand Moisturizer
- Facial Moisturizer
- Lip balm / Vaseline
Yes I said water! Not all flights have drinks included and you don’t want to be forking out constantly for a cool H2O. I always buy two of the largest bottles I can find air-side and carry them on board. Drinking water is the best thing you can do, constantly flushing the inhaled toxins from your body. Keeping hydrated is key – and you won’t come off looking like a shriveled prune either!
Top tip: Buy a set of refillable travel bottles and decant your staple products into them. It saves having to buy mini versions of the products you already own!
Remember that recycled air I was talking about? Germ avoidance might not be high on your list but it should be! You don’t want to land feeling ill, that’s no way to start your vacation! Packing a few essentials will help you fend off as many in-flight germs as possible! It’s also a good idea to pack a few bits and bobs to keep you feeling fresh. It’s easy to feel dirty after a long haul flight, so freshening up, especially before landing is a must!
What to pack
- Hand sanitizer gel
- Wet Wipes
- Liners/sanitary towels (us women need are always prepared!)
Bottles of this and tubs of that might all sound like a lot. But remember, each product can be no more than 100ml, so you’re only going to be taking travel sized versions of most things.
Though most airlines have some sort of inbuilt in-flight entertainment system, a few films and re-runs of The Simpsons just isn’t enough to get you through an 8+ hour flight. I find that packing the basics and rotating through them every 45mins – 1 hour keeps me well entertained – grown ups get just as board as the kids!
What to pack
- Book / e-reader
- Music player
- Hand held gaming device
- Puzzle books
- Deck of cards
Only you know what keeps you entertained. And don’t forget pen and paper!
· Extra jacket
· Neck pillow / Eye mask
· Extra socks
· Carrier bag – ideal for keeping your rubbish in!
· Mini first aid kit
The ‘oh no we’re delayed/my bag is missing’ Essentials!
A few years ago a friends plane got delayed overnight and the airline would not allow them their checked baggage back, so they headed to the overnight accommodation with only their hand luggage. Our cabin bag is no substitute for the suitcase filled with everything but we can pack a few bits and bobs just incase we find ourselves in a similar position!
What to pack
- Change of underwear
- Travel toothbrush
- Hairbrush / hair tie
- Facial Wipes
- Spare t-shirt
These won’t take up much space at all and are a real stress avoider and money saver!
It might sound like an awful lot, and of course if you’re only on a short haul flight you might be able to skip out on a few of the above. The longer the flight the more you are going to need – unless your lucky enough to be able to spend most of it asleep! I do love flying and traveling, those few hours where I can just escape into my own little bubble 30,000ft in the air – we don’t get that kind of escapism often!
We all want to start our holidays as we mean to go on, so having the most chilled out, comfortable and relaxing flight possible is the only way to go!
More long haul flight tips!
- In Flight Beauty Regime For Long Haul Flights
Keep yourself looking and feeling great by turning your long haul flight into a 37,000ft in the air spa. Relax, rejuvenate and land feeling like a million dollars.
- Keeping Yourself Entertained on Long Haul Flights
Keep yourself entertained on long haul flights. Audio, visual, gaming and more, there's plenty to do to make long haul flights more bearable, and of course, entertaining!
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