Packing your carry on luggage is a task that nobody enjoys doing! We end up leaving it to the last minute and hurriedly throwing in irrelevant items. This blog is here to help you make that process less stressful! We will enable you to make the most of your space and weight when packing. What you pack in your carry-on will also depend on whether you are taking a checked piece of luggage. If you need to fit all your clothes in your hand luggage keep that in mind as you read on.
My first tip is to include documents and objects that you will need to access quickly in a zipped side pocket or near the top of your bag. Having a wallet which holds your passport, boarding pass and other important travel documents is really helpful. Liquids should be packed in a zip-lock bag so that you can find them quickly when at security. If you are on a long-haul flight, you may wish to pack a toothbrush and mini toothpaste. Be sure to remember to keep liquids under 100ml in your hand luggage. Other handy items I pack in my carry on include hand sanitizer, mini deodorant/wet wipes, travel sickness pills [better to be safe than sorry!] and often a mini lip balm/hand cream as I find my skin dries out due to the in-flight air conditioning.
Other items that over the years, I have found to be thankful for packing are sleeping essentials such as an eye mask, ear plugs and a neck pillow. Depending on the airline and class of service you are flying, sometimes an eye mask and ear plugs are provided. A blanket may also be given to you but I find that a thick pair of socks and a cozy jumper is always a good addition to my hand luggage. It is also sensible to pack a portable charger or cable for your phone. Many long-haul flights have USB outlets in the seat back for you to use, but on shorter flights, this is unlikely so it is always best to carry your own portable charger. And again, while some flights will provide in-flight entertainment, I also like to have a book/my kindle and some noise-cancelling headphones if I have space.
Smaller items that people tend to forget are things like chewing gum. This will help with blocked ears during take-off and landing. A pen for custom forms, a notepad and protein rich snacks are also handy. I do not go anywhere without my reusable drink bottle, which cuts down my usage of single-use plastic cups. Many airports now have water fountains where you can easily fill your bottle up post-security check.
The final thing to think about is clothing. Even if you are taking a checked suitcase too, it is always a wise idea to pack a change of clothes. An additional outfit in your carry on comes in handy if your luggage goes astray! Crucially, think about the weather and temperature in your arrival destination; you may be leaving your home town in winter but heading to a sun destination, so you will be thankful for sandals and a light summer dress which can be easily folded, or a t-shirt and shorts upon your arrival.
To sum up, the key to carry on packing is to get rid of items that you ‘might’ use; you need to be ruthless and to include only the essential items. Remember too to roll and fold where possible rather than just stacking clothing. Also do your research beforehand as to whether you will have easy access to laundry facilities on your trip.
Now that you know how to pack efficiently, why not get planning for your next holiday hotspot here!