What To Pack In Hand Luggage

what to pack in hand luggage 1

Whenever I head off on holiday, packing my hand luggage is the thing  I struggle with the most. “Will I have space for this? Do I really need to take that?” are just two of the questions I find myself asking, so I’ve made a list of only essentials of what to pack in hand luggage.

Your suitcase should be packed with the things you don’t need throughout your flight. Clothes, shoes and utility items like irons should be thrown in there because let’s face it – we doubt that there’ll be space for an ironing board on the plane.

Here is what to pack in your hand luggage (and how to optimise your bag for cramming as many things in as possible):

Important documents

As mundane and stressful as it sounds, travel documents should be kept on you at all times; you never know when you’ll need them. These include:

1. Passport

2. Boarding pass – These may even be on your mobile, but remember that you’ll need a boarding pass to get onto your flight.

3. Flight itinerary – Keeping this in your hand luggage or carry-on bag can help avoid confusion when finding you way around the airport.

Food and Drink

I always get hungry on flights. That combined with the fact that airport/air plane food is so expensive always leaves me wanting to pack the following:

4. Healthy snacks – Granola and nutri-grain snack bars are excellent choices and give you long-lasting energy for a flight. Fruit is also an essential.

5. Water – When on a plane, the water in your skin is dried-out and can result in a dehydration.


If you’re on a long haul flight in particular, you may benefit from taking:

6. Ear plugs – To sound-out the noise made by other passengers.

7. Cushion pillows – To avoid getting a sore neck.

8. Eye masks – To provide you with darkness so you can drift off during a mid-day flight.

Beauty products

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After you get off the plane, you may feel a bit groggy. If this is the case, pack the following in your hand luggage for use when you land:

9. Hand lotion – To bring the moisture back into your hands that was lost throughout a flight.

10. Body wipes – You can use these to have a quick wash of your face and sweaty areas.

11. Deodorant

12. Toothbrush & toothpaste – Brushing your teeth after a flight can help you to feel refreshed.


13. iPod or music player (with earphones!) – I’ve always found that music can help calm me, which is why packing a music player in your hand luggage is perfect for a nervous flyer.

14. Book – If you get sick of having no internet connection, take a book to read!

15. Magazines – If you’re more of a non-fiction kinda person, you might want to take a selection of magazines to fill your extra time flying.

16. Camera – Because the flying experience is part of your holiday, too!

Other Essentials

17. Medication – or any other supplements you need.

18. Phone – For obvious reasons (checking-in at various airports on Facebook included).

19. Wallet/Purse – Because who doesn’t want to spend 90% of their spending money in duty free?


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