Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Hand Luggage - What to pack?

It's that time of year again - SUMMER - everyone has broken up from university, people are beginning to look for some last minute summer holidays or people are waiting in anticipation and counting down for their holiday to begin. When it comes to holidays - packing is always a last minute thing for me, especially this year because I was working full time just before I came out and so it was quite stressful thinking about everything I needed to take with me. However, when I think about it, all you NEED is your boarding pass, your passport and some money. Everything else would make your holiday a hell of a lot easier but without those things you can't even go to your destination. I always carry my most important things - like those things mentioned above, any any valuables (if I can) in my hand luggage so I thought I'd do a post about what I put in my hand luggage, and what I think you should take too! 

1) Essentials

These are the things that I mentioned above mostly. 

  • Passport is obviously a huge one and if you forget that.... well you're screwed. 
  • Your boarding passes are equally important to reduce the amount of stress before a flight (we once forgot one of our boarding passes and it was a nightmare!) 
  • Although companies send confirmation emails (hotel, hire car, travel insurance, visa etc), I would always print these off and bring them with you. It just saves you time searching on your mobile sometimes, and it's best to have a copy in case of emergency. They often have addresses/contact numbers on them - so they can also be useful to give to any taxi drivers. I'd suggest printing maps of how to get the your hotel/shuttle bus/train station etc too if needs be.
  • I always take my driving licence - it's important if you're hiring a car abroad and it's another form of identity, if you don't feel like always taking your passport out with you. I know that in some cities/countries, for example Berlin, it's illegal to not have a form of identification on you at all times.
  • EHIC card/travel insurance documents. EHIC cards are obviously only relevant to those of us living in the EU, but always print out your travel insurance details just so you have a reference.
  • Another obvious thing you can't do without - money. No matter how much you have, whether it be a lot or a little, you should always at least have a debit/credit card on you, but for ease I'd also have some currency in cash. I know plenty of places, for example Thailand, where although they use the Thai Baht, they will also accept USD but double check the currency and the norms of the place you're visiting before you go! I often go to Thomas Cook and get a currency card, which allows you to use the card to pay for goods and services without any extra charge up to 9 different currencies on the same card (they have a small charge for ATM's). This was especially useful when I went inter-railing because I went to various European countries, some of which used the euro (Germany, Italy etc) and others which didn't (Hungary, Czech Republic) so that is something that you may be able to think about before you go! 
  • I think it's important to take photocopies (hard copy) as well as a snap shot (for on your phone) of these important things like passport, driving licence, EHIC card etc.
  • Prescriptions are another key thing. I can hardly see without my glasses and I need them to drive, so for me it is essential that I bring them. I am not on any other medication but I'd bring them if I was and I'd suggest bringing a piece of paper with the official and street name of your prescription drug so you can easily get it in a pharmacy if you run out or lose it, same with prescription glasses (I also have prescription sunglasses.) 
  • House keys/car keys - I always keep these in my bag when I'm on holiday so I know where they are and so when it comes to coming home again (weep), I'm not struggling to find them. 
  • Lastly, I always write myself an itinerary with dates, times, addresses, reference numbers, contact details etc on them so I can easily find everything I need on one sheet of paper. 
All these things are pretty small and compact so don't take up much room but I advise buying a document wallet, whether it be a luxury leather one (I need to get my hands on one of them!) or a just a plastic wallet, just so you know where they all are. 

2) Entertainment

I guess your entertainment will differ depending on the duration of your flight, and your preference for entertainment. 

  • Personally, for a quick one hour journey, I wouldn't take my laptop on board - it's heavy and cumbersome - but for a 8.5 hour journey (like I've just had) I do. I can edit photos for my blog, write documents etc. but obviously, entertainment differs between people too. You may want a PSP or whatever haha. 
  • I always take a book as I read like a mad woman on holiday when I'm sunbathing so I always get a head start on the plane there. 
  • Lastly, I love writing travel journals or writing my ideas down on paper, rather than digitally and so it's essential that I have a notebook and a couple of pens with me. 
On long haul, I tend to watch a lot of movies on the inflight cinema TV thingy. Yesterday I didn't even use my laptop because I was too engrossed in Cinderella & Birdman (I watched 4 movies back to back... oops!)

3) Devices

  • Phone - a must.
  • Portable rechargeable charger (and USB cable) - a must for me because I'm always on my phone and so my battery lasts as long as a thai meal would in front of me (if you know me, you'll know that asian cuisine is my absolute favourite and so when I eat it, it lasts about 0.5 seconds before it's all in my belly). 
  • Headphones, if you like to listen to music on your journey it's pretty vital. I tend to listen to music on any kind of flight so they're important for me. I would preferably keep them in a case to keep them untangled but I lose/break things and so currently don't have one. 
  • Selfie stick - who doesn't love a good selfie?! (this selfie stick is for my phone, but I also have a GoPro one - oh the shame) If you didn't know already, I am doing a giveaway where you can win a selfie stick (and a lot more!) here
  • Your camera of choice (to add onto the selfie stick, or not) - phone, DSLR, digital compact camera, phone (I took all of these - over packing much!)
4) Other

  • Sunglasses because when you arrive to your destination - depending on your destination I guess - you don't want to be blinded (obviously, if you're returning to rainy England like I will be doing in 3 weeks, these won't be necessary) 
  • I like to take a pair of shorts with me in hand luggage because I am generally quite cold as a person and so the air conditioning on airplane's freeze me therefore I chose to wear trousers on airplanes but when I get to my destination (if it's hot) I don't want to boil. Having a pair of shorts in your hand luggage means they're easily accessible so you can quickly change before you boil to death. Denim shorts are a little bulky and I tend to go with a pair of satin or runner shorts.
  • Lastly, toiletries. They're a damn nuisance with all the rules and regulations - they must be under 100ml, you can't have more than 1L in total, they must all fit into the airports special teeny tiny bag and you must only have 1 per person. I hate these rules. Something in the airplane (I think it's the air-con) makes my face super dry and flaky so usually on a flight I have to take all my make up off and moisturise my face, and then redo my make up. It would be a lot easier just to use BB cream but I like the feeling of taking all my make up off to moisturise, rather than layering it all on and reapplying layers on top of dry, flaky skin won't look the nicest so I take the bare essentials of my make up on board the flight with me. These include: mascara (I use Urban Decay's Perversion), a moisturiser (I use Origin's Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating treatment), eyebrow kit (I use Benefit's brow shaping kit in dark), some cotton buds, my cleanser (I currently alter between using Simple's moisurising or refreshing facial wash - obviously decanted into a smaller container because of the damn rules), my foundation (Currently using Hello Flawless foundation in beige by Benefit - which is SPF 25) (I usually take a BB cream instead but I have just ran out of mine), a lip balm, a concealer, the necessary brush, a lip liner (the one in the image is MAC's Staunonly Stylish - discontinued but similar to Stripdown) and for long haul flights, a toothbrush and mini toothpaste. 
  • I also often take a mini deodrant and some baby wipes, to help freshen up after a long haul flight. It's the little things. 
  • Paracetamol (or your pain killer of preference) and sleeping pills (for long haul) are something I'd also recommend. 
Remember to take a resealable bag with you and to sort all your liquids out before you get to the airport - they sometimes have bags but I've been to airports which don't supply bags or do for a fee (bit tight) so just think about it before you go! 

Obviously, I haven't included some other things like...
  •  A travel pillow or travel blanket (I tend to not bother, especially with the blanket as on long haul when you need them, they are usually provided)
  • Hand lotion (I just use the moisturiser I use on my face - saves space)
  • Snacks/water bottle (I buy these at the airport, after security and on long haul, food/drinks are provided)
  • Eye masks and ear plugs (again, usually provided when/if needed

...but as I don't take them, I left them off my list but obviously it's up to you to decide what YOU want/need to take. 

Hope this helps all of you and leaves you not forgetting anything important in your hand luggage. If I have forgot anything, please let me know but this is everything I had with me yesterday and I was just fine!  

What are your essentials when it comes to your hand luggage? What can't you live without? 

P.S. Remember to check out your particular airlines regulations about hand luggage regarding weight and dimensions, as they differ from one to the next which can be a pain if it's only hand luggage you're taking. 


  1. Great tips on packing . I so need this advice in my life . I always end up trying to take way to much . :-) http://bauchlefashion.com

    1. Me too! I thought "I need a guide" so I decided to do one myself! Thank you for reading x