Whilst recent events have made me reconsider my normal hand luggage packing practice (being tested for explosives in a Croatian airport), I always find it interesting to read other people’s hints and tips for packing, so I thought I might as well share mine.
The bag – first of all, you need a bag to put all your stuff in. I prefer a large handbag with good handles or a shoulder strap. If you go with a bag that has to be carried (rather than a small wheely case), you’ll be less likely to overpack. Also, for a girl, it’s better to treat your hand luggage as a roomy handbag, as you’ll want to keep your normal handbag essentials on you when you travel.
Being short, I’ve always struggled with managing overhead storage on planes, trains and buses, so for me it’s essential (unless I’m travelling with Mr Brooker) to have a bag that will fit under the seat in front (or under the table on a train). That makes this bag perfect for me, as it’s fabric and will easily mould into a small space.
A change of clothes – despite never having experienced lost luggage (touch wood), I always pack a change of clothes in my hand luggage, just in case. Usually, that consists of a pair of shorts, a tshirt, a change of underwear, flip flops and a dress, if you have one light enough which won’t crease easily. This also takes a little weight out of your suitcase. Stick them in w plastic bag, to keep them nice and clean, just in case emerging in your bag leaks or spills.
Important Documents – passport, tickets or boarding pass, travel insurance policy schedule and contact details. I also had some Italian and Croatian phrases to read on the plane.
Your general essentials – phone charger, camera and charger, your tablet, if you’re taking it, and any medications you might need. I also travel with Vaseline in my bag to deal with dry lips, mints to freshen up and a hair bobble in case my hair needs to be dealt with.
Travel time essentials – sunglasses so you’re prepared as soon as you step off the plane, and something sensational to read during all that time sitting on your bum. I also take another book or two in my suitcase, or buy more at the airport, but that usually works out to be extremely pricey!
Money! – I always travel with 2 purses to split my money up. I have my every day purse with sterling and a little local currency as well as my cards etc, and another for foreign currency only. Only when we travel do we carry such an amount of cash. So keep what you don’t need for each day safe in a separate purse in your hotel safe. Plus if you get pick pocketed en route, they’re not going to be looking for 2 purses.
Make-up – we’re talking non-liquid essentials and anything fragile, such as palettes and baked blush. You don’t want these getting wrecked in the hold. And everything’s to hand if you do lose your luggage.
Ok, a pop-up wine glass isn’t essential. But this one’s pretty cool. £4 at Tesco.
Liquids – I’m sure you all know about the plastic bag rule for liquids in your hand luggage. Nothing over 100ml, and all to be placed in a clear plastic bag. I think ziplock freezer bags are the best thing for the job, and a great way to keep all your make up and hand sanitiser altogether.
So that’s pretty much it! I’d love to hear your hints and tips for packing – which items can’t you do without?!