It’s time to go on holiday or the next business trip and you’ve gotten to the stage of packing your hand luggage. Now what type of person are you going to be? The one who looks like they’ve brought everything including the kitchen sink or, like me, keep it basic but very practical? Below you’ll find my guide to packing hand luggage:
Things to pack
Spare change of clothes – first and foremost pack a change of clothes. If you’ve ever flown through turbulence or sat next to the person who goes green when flying then you might have experienced the need for a spare change of clothes. Also keep in mind, what will you wear if your hold luggage goes missing? If the shops are open you can buy spare clothes to keep you going but if not do you really want to spend the next day or two in the same clothes you travelled in? Personally, I don’t.
Adaptors and chargers – I prefer to pack my chargers and adaptors in my hand luggage. This is for a number of reasons, but predominantly in case my bag goes missing or my flight makes an unplanned stop and I need to charge my phone to contact family and let them know I am safe. Packing chargers are also useful if your plane happens to have electric sockets available to use in-flight. You may as well charge it for free after all.
Photocopies of passport and travel documentation – This may sound weird given that you’ll have your passport with you and hopefully a copy of your travel documentation but make another copy. If you end up leaving your passport in the airport lounge how will you show anyone what your passport looks like so they can help you find it? Also what if the transit from the airport to your hotel doesn’t arrive, do you really want to unpack your suitcase on the airport floor to pull out all your documents?
Toiletries – small toothbrush, mini toothpaste, roll-on deodorant, moisturiser, 48 hours worth of medication (if taken). I always carry some toiletries when I travel, especially a toothbrush and toothpaste. After a long flight you will be very grateful for this especially if you’ve had a nap. It is a great way to freshen up quickly and it’s definitely nicer for anyone meeting you at the airport.
Moisturiser is also really useful as planes circulate air constantly so your skin can get really dry and irritated. Keeping well hydrated will also help to mitigate this.
Always carry 48 hours worth of medication if you take medication daily. If all your medication is in your suitcase and it gets lost or delayed, could you really cope without it? All of this can fit into a small ziplock bag so it won’t take up much space. To reduce space take blister packs of tablets out of their boxes, just make sure to put the paper info sheet with them in case security want to check them.
Sweets or chewing gum – Sweets or chewing gum are good to have to suck on to help stop your ears getting blocked. Personally I prefer chewing gum as I find it more refreshing.
Pen and paper – A pen and paper can be really useful, especially the pen. Often when flying internationally you will be required to fill out immigration and customs declarations before you land so a pen is very helpful. You’ll also make a lot of friends as plenty of people don’t carry them. Paper is helpful for making any notes on thoughts or ideas you have during your flight. Also really useful if your flying somewhere that you don’t speak the local language as you can ask for help through pictures (think practical Pictionary).
Electronics – For me these come at the bottom of the list. Aside from carrying a mobile phone, any other electronics are a luxury and should only be carried if you have space. Unless you’re flying in business or first class chances are you won’t have enough space to open your laptop. Ipads (or other tablets) can be good for flying and these days most planes have in-flight entertainment so it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have space for them.
I hope this is useful for all you jet setters! Please comment below with any of your favourite things to take on a flight.