What should you pack in your hand baggage?


  • Documents and important papers

This one’s a no-brainer, but, worth mentioning, nonetheless. Keep your passport and wallet in your hand baggage, at all times. Ensure that you pack your tickets and other valuable documents like those containing key addresses, invitations, visa details or hotel bookings in your hand baggage. Even though these might be stored on your phone; it’s always safer to carry printouts as back-up.

  • A collapsible water bottle

With the rules about whether or not you can carry liquids while travelling being constantly in flux, a collapsible water bottle is a great carry-on luggage idea. Especially as it’s so important to stay hydrated while travelling by air. So, make sure you pack a collapsible water bottle in your hand baggage. Once you have passed though security, you can fill the bottle with drinking water—or, better still, you can pack a collapsible water bottle with a filter, which can be filled with tap water.

  • Medicines

It’s best to divide the medications that you need to carry between your checked-in luggage and your hand-baggage. Ensure that you pack some OTC medications that you might need during your flight within your carry-on luggage. One reason to include a portion of your meds in hand luggage is that, if your checked-in baggage is lost or delayed, at least you have some medicine on hand.

  • Phone charger

In this hyper-connected day and age, mobile phones are something that most of us regard as a necessity. So, to ensure that you can stay connected, make sure you carry your phone charger with you at all times. In case your phone battery runs out, you can always give it a quick boost with 10 minutes of recharging, especially if you have stored important information on your phone or need it to quickly access to your emails.

  • Valuables

Remember to keep your jewellery, camera, laptop and other expensive or luxury items in your hand baggage, where you can safely keep an eye on them, while travelling.

  • Hand sanitizer

This is a must, to keep your hands germ-free. Even if there are limits on liquids and gels, a small hand sanitizer usually falls within these limits. Make sure you use some sanitizer before munching on snacks and after touching things that hundreds of other travelers have touched!

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

Regulations permitting, this is a great idea. Brushing your teeth during or after a lengthy journey can immediately make you feel fresh. You can pack a toothbrush and toothpaste, with other permissible toiletries, in your carry-on bag and use them during the flight or after disembarking.

  • A change of clothes

Remember to pack a change of undergarments and a change of clothes, in case of flight delays and in case you feel the need to freshen up after reaching your destination. We’ve all seen news stories in which passengers have been stranded at airports due to unforeseen circumstances, without so much as a change of clothes. Be prepared to ensure you’re well-equipped to handle such a situation, should you fall into it.

  • A small snack

Travelling can sometimes mess up your meal timings and cause you to leave long gaps between meals, which isn’t good for you. So, pack a snack! Carry a small pack of nuts or an energy bar with you, because you never know when those hunger pangs can hit you at the airport, in between flights or in between in-flight meal services.

  • For entertainment

Don’t get bored! Plan ahead and carry a book, magazine or an e-reader to keep you occupied during your journey. MP3 players for music and tablets for game apps and video-watching are good ideas, too. Readers… Avoid heavy hardcovers! They can be cumbersome to lug around. And, remember, you’re not allowed to use any electronic items during takeoff and landing.