If you fly regularly, you’ll know that cleverly packed carry-on baggage can really save your life during a long, dreary journey. Realising you’re stuck between a bickering couple for 28 hours and you’ve forgotten your iPod really isn’t fun. To help you to make sure you’re prepared for your flight, I’ve had a think and done some research and put together a list of 7 items to keep in your hand luggage.
1. Essential Medication
There are all sorts of rules governing what you can and can’t take onto the aeroplane as hand luggage, and these vary from country to country. In pretty much all cases, you’ll be asked to explain your medication; however, don’t let that prevent you from bringing it. If you’re a diabetic, for example, you’ll need your insulin; if you’re an asthmatic, you’ll need your salbutamol.
2. Important Documents
There are plenty of vital items to keep in your hand luggage, such as important pieces of documentation. Try to choose a carry-on bag with a useful interior pouch in which you can store all your important travel documentation. If it’s all securely in one place, it’ll be easily accessible when you need it and less likely to get bent, torn, broken or just damaged in general.
3. Basic Toiletries
Again, you will have to pack your toiletries so that they conform to the flight regulations. In British airports, for example, you cannot carry liquid onto the plane in any container that holds more that 100mls, and this includes things like face wash, shampoo and deodorant. You should find, however, that you can buy special ‘travel sized’ minis from your local department store and these are especially designed for overseas trips.
4. A Warm Top
Something warm is another important item to keep in your hand luggage. It’s always a good idea to pack a long sleeved jersey or sweater in your hand luggage. The interior of the plane may be a bit on the cool side and sitting in one position for hours will inevitably leave you feeling chilly.
5. A Pillow or Neck-Rest
Airline pillows are, on the whole, not fabulous. If you’re keen to up your chances of getting a good rest in-flight, you might consider bringing your own along. Alternatively, and in the interest of saving space in your bag, you can buy a wide range of inflatable neck rests; these will give you the support you need, and won’t take up your entire carry-on allowance.
6. A Change of Clothes
There are actually several clothing items to keep in your hand luggage. If your flight is particularly long, you may very well begin to feel a little grubby in your original clothes. Pack a few basic essentials in your carry-on bag: a new shirt, some underwear, maybe another pair of socks. This will help you to disembark feeling a little less grimy than you otherwise would, and is also useful if your hold luggage fails to come through.
Long flights are not fun, to say the least. While there are usually various choices of things to watch on the plane's TVs, it is a good idea to bring your own entertainment material as well. Books, Sudoku, an iPod, a portable DVD player: these things will help you to pass the time.
As we’ve established, it is important to ensure that your carry-on luggage complies with all the regulations stipulated by the country in which you are traveling. Make sure that you are well aware of what you are and aren’t allowed to take on board with you before you begin your packing; this will help you to avoid difficult situations in which you are forced to throw away expensive items or pay a lot of money to check them as hold baggage. That concludes my list of 7 items to keep in your hand luggage. Do you have any suggestions to add to it?
Top Photo Credit: PracticalHacks