Packing light can be a challenge, and when it comes to packing your carry on luggage, packing light is often essential.
Before you pack anything, you’ll need a bag or case to put everything into. Our preference is a hard case, why? Because they’re often easier to cart around airports than a duffle bag or backpack, and most include those little features that we have come to not be able to travel without [like a power bank that has a QuickCharge option for all of our devices].
We recently took July, who currently only make carry on size approved luggage, with us across the world, and let us tell you, we’re on the waiting list for their checked in luggage launch because we fell head over heels. They’re sturdy, include that all-important battery that stops us fighting for a seat next to a power point only to realize that we don’t have an adapter on you and they’ve got 4 spinner wheels [that are custom made, and silent, and they come with a lifetime warranty] to make it easy to get about – and they’re easy to run with when they call final boarding and you realize you’re on the wrong side of the airport – whoops!
Now you’ve got something to put everything in, what should you put inside!
Before you begin anything double check:
What weight are you allowed for carry on?
The actual weight can vary from airline to airline, so it’s best to double check with your carrier. Generally, you’ll be allowed somewhere between 14-22lbs [7-10kg] on international flights, and domestic flights vary from strict weight requirements to no weight restrictions at all.
Does your bag fit in the allowed size for carry on luggage?
Most commonly, carry on luggage needs to be 22 x 14 x 9 inches [55 x 36 x 23 cm] or smaller, airlines vary though so you’ll need to double check with your booked carrier.
Obviously, you’ll not get anywhere without a passport, identification, money and travel documents. Triple check they’re in that bag!
An extra set of clothes.
Always [read: ALWAYS] pack an extra set of day clothes and underwear in your carry on. There is nothing worse than getting off a long haul [or even a shorter flight] feeling far from fresh and realizing that your luggage hasn’t made it to your destination and there will be a delay, or worse, they can’t find it. No one wants to wear the same clothes until your suitcase makes its way back to your hands [if it ever makes it back at all].
While we are on the topic of clothes, we always include a pair of tracksuit pants for long haul flights, so that we can be extra comfortable, and a pair of bed socks so that the shoes can come off but our feet don’t touch the gross plane floor.
[Fun Fact about our July cases: they include a handy waterproof and smell-proof bag to pop your dirty clothes in until you get the chance to pop them in the wash]
Anything that’s ultra-valuable.
If there’s something that’s important to you, or worth more money or hassle than your prepared to go through with travel insurance, make sure it’s in your carry on. Camera’s, computers, jewels or something that has sentimental value, pack it. Sometimes having those important items is worth the overcharge with the airline if it means that your bag is now overweight – just in case.
Your bathroom stuff
Airlines have strict requirements when it comes to carry on liquids. It’s something that’s universal across the world so you’ll want to get comfortable with the rules so that you’re not having to hand over your favorite perfume to security.
We’ve always found that the easiest way to not get yourself in strife is by grabbing a travel approved kit from a chemist or dollar store that includes spare bottles and jars. It needs to be a clear quart size bag [about 5x7inches] and nothing inside the bag can exceed 3.4 ounces, or 100ml. Inside you’ll need to include everything that is a liquid or aerosol; toothpaste, deodorant, perfume, creams, etc.
For things that come in bigger containers, either pop it in your checked baggage or put a small amount into a travel size container.
We’d suggest throwing in some face wipes to help freshen up along the flight, or before you arrive at your destination. Flights = dry air, you’ll want to keep your face & body as hydrated as you can. If you’re comfortable rocking a face mask on a plane, include a sheet mask in your bag too!
Something to do on the plane
Any flight can be a bore so you’ll want to include something in your carry on that will keep you entertained. A good set of noise-canceling headphones will be a lifesaver [and grab an adapter so that you can use them for in-flight entertainment, most planes still have those annoying double jacks for audio output]. Have that TV show you’ve been wanting to catch up on downloaded off Netflix onto a mobile device or grab a book that you’ve been dreaming of getting in to.
Comfort Bits and Pieces
There’s nothing worse than being freezing cold on a flight. A light blanket will keep you warm and help get you cozy on long haul flights and don’t forget to pack some sort of travel pillow. The struggle to get comfy for a little bit of shut-eye is very real, even when you can snuggle up to your lover.
Some images supplied by July