How to

How to pack a practical carry-on bag

20th June 2017

Your carry-on bag is of utmost importance – it can make or break your flight.

 

The top two items:

 

  • Plane pillow

Tired of spaghetti-necking your entire flight?  Well, ladies and gentlemen, the solution is simple, easily attainable and will make a world of difference:  the neck pillow.  

I refuse to travel without this little pillow from heaven.  I always sleep on planes and (previously) always got a stiff neck, or just felt like the whole plane was looking at my gaping mouth as I fell asleep with my head in another super weird position.  Now, that’s all a thing of the past.  I sleep easily and comfortably.  Is it as comfy as my bed at home?  No ways.  Does it make my flight?  Definitely.  

You don’t need the best, most expensive or most fluffy pillow.  You just need one to hold your head in place.  I have a blue inflatable one that only cost a few bucks – and I sleep like a baby.  Here is an embarrassing photo of me thoroughly enjoying my blue inflatable pillow: 

 

 

Did you know that you can bend the sides of most airplanes’ headrests?  That does help a lot too, if you have forgotten your pillow at home.

 

  • Warm and comfy jacket.

 

If you are anything like me, you FREEZE on planes.  Airplanes have aircons from ice-hell, that want to freeze you in your sleep.  In my opinion, at least.  And don’t think that those barely-big-enough-for-my-body (excluding feet…?!?) are thick enough to keep you warm.  Oh no.  That’s why I never fly without a lovely thick jacket that I can comfortably sleep in and that keeps me sufficiently warm.  

 

Not sure what to wear on your flight?  Read my tips here.

 

And now, my nifty list of things that I fly with, categorised accordingly.

 

Don’t get on the plane without it:

  • Jacket
  • Neck pillow
  • Passport
  • Flight ticket

 

Mediumly important:

  • Toothpaste & toothbrush
  • Moisturiser
  • Change of underwear and shirt
  • Medication (remember your prescription, if you have one)
  • Tissues
  • Hairbands & clips

 

Negotiable:

  • Bottle of water (buy in duty-free, drink throughout the flight.  Has to be empty when I arrive)
  • Mascara
  • Sanitary items – if needed.  (If you stress a lot and tend to get surprises, pack some just for in case.)
  • Eye drops

 

I sleep easily, so I don’t need things like ear buds, eye covers or pills.  If you do, go ahead and pack them in.

Remember to put all your liquids (in bottles not bigger than 100ml) into a see through bag – depending on where you’re traveling to and from. This includes not so obvious items like your mascara.

 

Walking around on the plane

 

This is very, very important.  It doesn’t matter if you have to hassle people out of the way, pause your movie or get out from under your blanket and brave the cold – you HAVE TO get up and walk around in the plane.  Sitting through long haul flights can cause a number of problems, (including blood clots) and can simply lead to swollen, stiff legs.  

I buy a big bottle of water (as mentioned above) in duty-free, which I drink throughout the plane.  Not only does this hydrate me, which is also very important, but it forces me to get up and go to the bathroom every so often.  Then, even if I don’t feel like waking the people next to me to get out, I don’t really have a choice.   I then walk to and fro in the plane and do a number of stretches to get the blood flowing again.  If you’re not sure about which stretches to do, you can try some airplane yoga. 

 

The most important thing on the plane is to try and be as comfortable as possible.  Staying warm, hydrated and wearing the right clothes can take you a long way to achieving this.

 

 

 

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