Wondering what to pack in your hand luggage or carry on bag? Read on below to find everything that you will need pre, during, and post your flight.
But take your hand luggage anyway as you never know how much space you will need on your way back. Depending on the airline you may be able to check it in if you don’t want to carry it around.
Carry On Backpack
I would highly recommend the Nordace Smart Backpack Siena. It comes with plenty of pockets and compartments to store all of your valuables, and a trusty handle to latch it onto your luggage handle. Everything that I mention below fits seamlessly into it.
For other bestsellers at the moment you can view them here.
When it comes to hand luggage, you have a wide range to choose from to suit all budgets and tastes. Opt for one with a long term warranty like the Tripp brand offers. I have been using it for a couple of years and couldn’t fault it if I tried. In fact, my family members borrow it when they are off on their own travels.
Whilst the below may seem like an exhaustive list, rest assured that they are all compact sized and will pack into any standard carry on bag or hand luggage.
Here are both of my carry on bags and travel blanket in action. I always take my hand luggage empty and return with it filled with whatever snacks I find on my travels ?.
When boarding a flight, the last thing you want is to step off with a bug or to arrive feeling grubby. Ensure you pack the following in your hand luggage to maintain your hygiene in the air.
When boarding a flight, I like to wipe down the seatbelt buckle ( I can’t imagine the number of people that must have touched this before me), armrest, and foldable tray.
Antibacterial wipes are great for this, as it gets through security and it’s easy to dispose of after you’ve used it.
Many travellers try to spend as little time as possible in the airplane toilets, so brushing their teeth is often something that they would skip on long haul flights.
Fear no more, with the 3-in1 Mouthwash powder you can have your breath smelling minty fresh without even having to leave your seat. This is a great alternative to having to carry a toothbrush and toothpaste aboard a flight.
Travel Toothbrush & Toothpaste
If you prefer to brush your teeth during, in between, or after your flights then pack a compact toothbrush and toothpaste that won’t take up much room in your hand luggage or carry-on bag. The toothpaste is also small enough to pass through security.
Flushable Toilet Wipes
Not every country or airport is accustomed to toilet paper, so I prefer to keep a packet of these with me at all times. The best part, they are flushable and you get a wide range of biodegradable wipes as well.
Collapsible Water Bottle
When travelling, hydration is the key to combatting the dry environment on your flight. It also helps to prevent dehydration which can make your jet lag worse upon arrival.
Opt for a collapsible water bottle that you can fill and empty out where necessary. Not to mention this saves more room than a standard bottle when you pack it into your hand luggage or carry on bag.
TIP: You can ask your flight attendant to refill it for you on your flight.
Whilst most airlines provide a complimentary blanket, I’m usually still always cold. I always like to take a travel blanket that I can use on my flight and during layovers.
My top choice is the travel blanket that easily folds up into a little pouch, which I can then hang off my carry on bag when it’s not in use.
To aid with your blood circulation on your flight, slip on a pair of compression socks to prevent the risk of developing blood clots and swelling. This is particularly important for anyone with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
TIP: Your risk of developing blood clots on a flight is low, but it increases as your flight time increases. If you plan to spend a lot of time in the air, these shouldn’t be overlooked.
All the liquids mentioned below can fit into a single clear pouch for security screening.
When travelling, you don’t have to compromise on your skincare. You can decant your skincare items into smaller travel size pots and bottles, which will also make it past security screenings.
To prevent your skin from drying out on your flight, use a face mist often to replenish your skin barrier. This is particularly important for anyone prone to dehydration or dry skin types. Yes, this includes oily skin types, as they can also be prone to dehydration.
TIP: If you have a hydrating toner, you can decant this into a travel size mist bottle and use that instead. Opt for a nozzle that offers a fine mist.
For those looking to wind down with an extra dose of hydration, opt for a hydrating sheet mask of your choice. Other than the air hostesses, no one will even notice or care that you have it on.
TIP: for good measure, I also add my sheet mask into the clear bag for liquid screening.
A moisturiser is important to seal in all the goodness from your face mist and sheet mask. It will add an extra layer of hydration that your skin will thank you for.
For oilier skin types, you may be able to skip this if you choose to use a sheet mask as well.
Eye drops should be used to soothe dry and tired eyes in the air. In particular, contact lens wearer and anyone else that suffers from ocular dryness should always have a bottle on them.
Contact Lens Solution & Case
If you absolutely must wear contact lenses whilst travelling, and they are not dailies, then ensure you have a travel-sized bottle of contact lens solution handy. These usually come with contact lens cases too.
Ideally, try to switch to a pair of glasses for the duration of your flight to prevent your eyes from getting irritated.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
For those wanting to drown out everything around them whilst enjoying the lineup of movies on offer, opt for noise-canceling headphones.
TIP: Be mindful that this may mean that you may miss important announcements.
Flight Adapters For Headphones
If you want to use your own pair of headphones with the in-flight entertainment system, opt for a flight adaptor.
Lose yourself in the Original Travel Journal, which comes with a scratch-off world map diary and other bits to get you into the travel mood and keep you occupied during your flight.
When travelling, I opt for a book that’s based on travels and adventures to add to the excitement of my journey. You can find the most updated list here. Regardless of your taste, it’s always good to have a book on you for when your eyes need a break from the screens.
To ensure that you’re ready to hit the ground running when you arrive, you can use your power bank to charge your phone before you land. This will also be useful whilst you’re travelling.
A travel pillow comes in handy on and off the plane and most of these can be easily hung onto your carry-on bag.
Warming Lavender Eye Mask
This Lavender Eye Mask warms-up upon contact with the skin. It will stay warm but never burn, and it will start to cool down after 15 minutes. At this point, you will be more than ready to fall asleep. For those that struggle to sleep on flights, or just want to relax, this is really handy.
Sleeping Eye Mask
For those that require the extra blackout, opt for a sleeping eye mask.
To complete the sleep ensemble, opt for earplugs to block out any sounds that may disturb your sleep. Whilst these come complimentary on most overnight flights, it’s always best to have a pair of your own just in case they don’t provide one.
Lastly don’t forget to include:
- A physical copy of your flight, insurance, and hotel itinerary in your carry on bag
- A change of clothing for when you land, especially if you’re going from hot to cold or vice versa
- Medicine and vitamins that you will have to take between the time you leave home and arrive at your hotel
If you found this useful, be sure to check out my other travel planning posts.