Whether you’re packing for the holiday of a lifetime in the Med or just sneaking in a short city break in Berlin, packing the right kit is essential for starting your holiday off smoothly.
I’ll hold my hands up and say the longest flight I’ve experienced totalled just under four hours, so I’m pretty sure this would change after being thrown into the world of long haul but for now, here are my very own travel essentials.
The first and probably most important item is the thing that will hold all of your neccesities – the bag! When the wife and I go away we tend to take hand luggage only and have become experts at packing a week’s worth of clothing into a small carry on.
I’m not a fan of rolling cases (and the bashed ankles that go hand in hand) so finding a durable, lightweight rucksack big enough to hold all of my stuff was a priority. After lots of research, I found the Cabin Max flight approved carry on, and I have to say it is fabulous. It is lightweight at 660g, and has a capactiy of 44L – the dimensions are also approved for most airlines, and even when I’ve gone a bit overboard on outfits I’ve never had any issues carrying it on or being asked to check it in.
When packing, the very first thing I make sure I have is my passport. Whenever I’m travelling I constantly fret and panic I’m going to lose it, so before I leave I always make a copy to keep tucked into my wallet. I check in online where possible, but I like to keep a copy of the flights to and from wherever I’m jetting off to, and a copy of any insurance documents and confirmation of bookings…what can I say, I like to be prepared!
I got the wonderfully tropical passport holder below from John Lewis. It looks huge, but it’s big enough for me to pop my travel documents, money, cards, passport and phone into so they are all in once place and easily accesible.
On to the good stuff! Whether I have a cabin suitcase that contains all of my items or just a handbag, I make sure that I pack a toiletry bag to carry with me at all times. Aside from the usual makeup and bathroom bits, I try to carry a few things to make sure that I’m comfortable.
The first thing you’d find in there would be Bach’s Rescue Remedy, be it in drop, spray or cream form. I’m a very nervous flier, so having something that I know calms me down and is also natural (and won’t completely knock me out) is so important. As well as this, I like to carry a travel sized pack of wet wipes – you never know when you might need one. I usually take ones that can be used primarily for my face/body so I can freshen up if needed, but even standard baby wipes could save you from sticky situations you might find yourself in.
As I’ve only really taken shortish flights, I’ve never experienced very dry skin but I like to carry hand moisturiser with me and usually a mini face moisturiser to keep my skin looking bright. No matter how short the flight, I find that my lips always suffer (mostly due to nervous lip biting) so I pair these with a lip balm and I’m good to go.
At the moment, I’m loving the Neal’s Yard Geranium & Orange Hand Cream – it smells divine, and leaves my hands super soft. For my face, I’m using a mini Clinique ‘Dramatically Different Moisurising Lotion +‘ and for lips I have the Nivea Fruity Shine lipbalm in watermelon.
Whether you’re in the air for an hour or fifteen, hydration is the key. The first thing I do after going through security is make a beeline for the biggest bottle of water I can find and sip, sip, sip! I’m usually too nervous to eat anything before leaving the house, so I try and buy healthy, filling snacks that will be light on my stomach and keep me relatively full until I have a chance to eat properly on the flight.
No matter the temperature on the ground, more often that not I find myself shivering and miserable during airtime so I try to remember two things that will help beat the chill – a big, comfy scarf that doubles as a blanket and a pair of fluffy socks that I can slip on mid-flight if needed. If I get too cold it makes me jittery, which in return makes me feel more anxious so having the option to stay warm is crucial.
When I do go away, I am usually going on holiday somewhere warm and sunny, so I always pack my sunglasses as I would be lost without them. I take two pairs where possible – one pair of prescription and one pair non-prescription as I like to have the option to wear contacts every now and again.
The last two things that I pack are of course technology items! I love to read and rarely travel anywhere without my Kindle. I’m currently rocking the paperwhite version that has a built in adjustable backing light so I can read in almost any light conditions. I load up a variety of books so I have lots of choice and something interesting/gripping to concentrate on rather than the fact that I’m being catapulted through the air in a giant, metal tube.
Perhaps the most important thing to go in my bag (and usually the last thing to be packed) is of course my phone. I currently use an iPhone 6s and before a flight will spend a little time making sure that I have lots of entertainment available to me whilst I am travelling.
I download offline playlists from spotify and browse the app store for any offline games or apps that catch my interest. I sometimes use the passbook app for storing boarding passes/tickets so I’ll make sure that these have been loaded up and are correct. I have no complaints about the battery life, but as well as headphones (noise cancelling headphones are a lifesaver) I also take a little battery pack and cable so I have some extra juice in case I should need it.
That concludes my in-flight essentials – and as I’m jetting off to Lisbon for a little autumn sunshine this weekend, I’d better start packing! Let me know if you think there is anything that I am truly missing out on, and what items you can’t be without for air travel adventures below.