PACKING your hand luggage can be a nightmare. What to take with you and what to leave out? How many times have you left stuff out of your hand luggage, boarded a plane, and then realized you can’t get at it because what you need is in your suitcase, which is now in the belly of the plane and not within reach. For me, it is a simple bag of sweets, or a book I wanted to read, which I can’t get on the plane. What’s it for you?
Here is a list of some of the essentials (not including the kitchen sink) which you should take with you in no particular order.
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Photo of hand luggage from Kindel Media
1. MEDICATIONS – only put those medications in your suitcase that you don’t need to take such as those for stomach upsets, or headache tablets. If you suffer from those conditions, the flight attendant will have those medicines to give you. What he or she won’t have is prescription tablets that you need for cholesterol, and high or low blood pressure tablets.
This medication, should it be taken on the plane during your flight, needs to be in your hand luggage, not in your large suitcase, which could be delayed, misplaced or stolen. The last thing you want to do when you get to your destination is start looking for a pharmacy and a local doctor to try and convince them that you need specific heart condition tablets that you can’t buy over the counter.
2. MOBILE PHONE CHARGER – even if you think you have enough juice in your phone, it’s always good to have your charger with you. The phone is important as it is your office – not just for calls – but for internet and emails.
3. DOCUMENTS FOR YOUR TRIP – never put your wallet, passport or plane tickets in your suitcase. Those need to go into your jacket or hand luggage to go on the plane. It’s also good to scan and photocopy your tickets, papers such as travel insurance, and other important documents.
4. WATER BOTTLE – always useful to have a collapsible water bottle during long flights. You can get it filled up with tap water once you have passed security. Bottles that have filters are evenbetter.
5. EXTRA UNDERWEAR – fresh underwear to change into during a long flight in case there is turbulence and something gets spilled.
6. TOILETRIES – toothbrush and face wipes for those unexpected accidents. You may need to take a shave or comb your hair.
7. SNACK – a little snack or packed lunch (non-liquid) will be good if you get hungry. It will also save you money if you end up getting it at the airport.
8. SUITABLE CLOTHING – you might be wearing a thick jumper leaving Heathrow London, but once you get out of the plane in Hawaii, you may want to switch into a t-shirt and shorts.
9. PRECIOUS ITEMS – jewelry, laptop, camera and other luxury items should be kept with you, rather than being put in a suitcase that could go missing.
10. BOOK – If you get bored with your in-flight entertainment, then it’s always good to get a book. It can also be a useful tool if you are a nervous flier and need to keep your mind occupied. One book that I have read recently is Cod of Thunder by A.K. Hakala and illustrated by his brother Esa, which is a thrilling Nordic tale with mythical characters.