Now that we’re well and truly in the middle of summer vacation season, it’s time to advise on what we would consider to be our carry on essentials. I’m not taking a summer vacation abroad this year (we’re in full on savings mode), but I have been known to overfill my carry on bag when I do take flights, so I’m trying my best to downsize when travelling and this list is a great place to start. Since we tend to holiday in Europe our flights don’t tend to last more than 3 or 4 hours, but since we’re crossing the Atlantic for our honeymoon next year, I figure I might as well get it right now, with plenty of time to spare. This list will be close at hand when it comes to picking out all those things I might need, and I’ll be sure to post a little something on my whole packing experience for that trip once it comes around.
1. Bag [Cath Kidston Travel Bag] – I would suggest a bag bigger than your everyday handbag, but not one that’s going to give you shoulder/back/neck ache when you carry it around filled with stuff. All the items we list here won’t pack completely stuff a bag like this and it’s so cute that who wouldn’t love taking this onboard for all your fellow passengers to see.
2. Entertainment [The Vacationers, iPod Nano, Instyle Magazine] – Sometimes being on an plane with hundreds of strangers is not the most fun you’re going to have, so being entertained and distracted from the crying infants or endless queue of people passing to go to the toilet is simply required to keep you sane. I am a huge fan of using the time for listening to music and reading, so might I suggest you try them to transport you somewhere for a little while, even if it’s all in your head.
3. Snacks [Your preference] – Plane food doesn’t exactly have the best reputation for quality of good value, so I always like to carry a few snacks onboard with me. These are usually on the healthier side compared to the menu on offer while in the air, which always makes me feel a little better, and I always remember to pop some hard boiled sweets into my bag to ease ear-popping during take-off and landing.
4. Hair Accessories [Scunci Retouch Mini Styling Brush, Hair Bands, Hair Grips] – I don’t know about you, but I don’t leave the house with a comb in my bag – you never know what the weather might be like, and I would hate to be unprepared. I feel like the same goes for flying – you never know how your mane will react during the conditions associated with flying, so I pack any hair essentials, like hair ties, grips and a brush in case I need to tiff things up a bit.
5. Charger [Apple World Travel Adapter Kit] – This one becomes far more essential if your luggage gets lost once the plane hits the ground and your phone is the only way to contact the airline or loved ones. I have on many occasions been known to carry a charger on me, so having one while flying is absolutely no different, I am nothing if not prepared.
6. First Aid Supplies [Travel First Aid Kit] – Someone always gets a cut / burn / insect bite / splinter while travelling, so it’s always worth keeping the remedy to any number of these little incidents in your carry on when taking a trip. Make sure you don’t get one of the kits that contains scissors, or anything else banned on flights, but other than that everyone will be able to come to you during a mini crisis and you’ll have exactly what they need. Yay, you!
7. Painkillers [Many available] – Travel can be super stressful (slow lines, last minute I’ve-forgotten-my-passport scares, uncontrollable children), as well as super dehydrating, so headaches are pretty much par for the course for some people when they take to the skies. Keep pain at bay by packing some painkillers and you won’t have a splitting head to contend with on top of everything else.
8. Hand sanitizer [Many available] – No, we don’t really want to think of all the germs that can be picked up in the airport and on the plane, so it’s best to just pack this and use it in between hand washes to make sure you’re as protected as you can be – the last thing you want when you’ve reached your destination is to get sick. And your fellow travellers will thank you too.
9. Minimal Make-Up [Benefit Mascara, Touche Éclat, Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm] – I refuse to believe that anyone leaves a long flight looking anything like their usual self, so I just like to help things along a little bit by packing my make-up essentials. I don’t bother with anything that I don’t absolutely have to have, so that usually just means opening my eyes a little, covering dark circles or blemishes and hydrating dry lips. I always feel a million times better once I apply a little of each.
10. Large Scarf [ASOS Oversized Knit Scarf] – Planes are cold. For this reason alone, I always pack a large scarf, which I can use either as it is intended, or as a make-shift blanket when I can feel a chill or want to take a nap. You can thank me in a couple of hours, when someone asks one of the flight attendants to crank up the air conditioning and your fellow passengers are shivering in their seats.
11. Moisturising Spray [Moisture Surge Face Spray] – As I’ve mentioned already, air travel is super dehydrating, and your skin will certainly be feeling worse for wear once you leave the flight if you haven’t taken a little bit of care with it. A simple moisturising spray will do just the trick in hydrating your face and getting you on you way to feeling in tip top condition.
12. Eye Mask [Moulded Blackout Eye Mask] – No, it’s never going to be easy to sleep whilst sitting upright in a super cramped plane seat, but let’s just give you a helping hand here in making it as comfortable as possible. An eye mask like this one, especially if it can block out light, will at least give you a head start in getting some z’s while in the air. Might just keep those dark circles at bay too.
13. Neck Pillow [Supersoft Microbead Travel Neck Pillow] – No-one wants to use the passenger sitting next to them as a pillow when they want to take a nap, so why not take a small neck pillow with you to help yourself and those fortunate enough to get a seat next to you stay comfortable. It might even make those painkillers redundant if you can wake up without an awful pain in your neck so win-win.
Extra (not pictured) – Don’t forget to keep all your liquids packed up in Clear Cosmetic Bags, to make them easier for security to take a look over while at the airport – you don’t want to be the one holding everyone up as you search for the little bits strewn through your bag.