Hand Luggage/Carry on Essentials | Travel Guide

I’ve always loved travelling and exploring new places and love researching before hand to see what’s there to get an idea of what photography shots I want, but something I often don’t plan until last minute is my carry on.

If you’re like me and lucky enough to be able to take a bag on board for free (because some airlines are overly strict and charge a little too much) then I’m assuming this is why you’re here.

Like everyone else, I always start with a list but often forget things that I need and if your bag is in the hold…ya screwed!

So here’s a list of general basics that you’ll (probably) want to pack.

Passport & Tickets

So this is pretty obvious but I would ALWAYS keep my passports with my bag and not in my suitcase. Sometimes we get our suitcase with us in the cabin but if they’re in the hold and something happens, you may not have a passport which can cause 101 issues. It’s also worth photocopying them too!

There are usually apps where you can download your boarding tickets to save the hassle of rummaging through your suitcase but in the event technology fails, which is often and at the most inconvenient of times, it’s worth putting it in an accessible place.


I don’t want to lose my bag as much as the next person so I’ve decided to take my valubles with me because I really don’t need any of these going missing! I bought this on Amazon for £9.99 and it’s quite sturdy and fits a lot in – perfect for travel and day to day. This way it’s always there for whenever you go on holiday or even a day trip.


If you’re on a long-haul flight this is probably something you’ve already thought about but on short flights we often just go for a our phones. So remember something like a book or if you’re really not up for reading, download those movies you never seem to get around to watching – and maybe a camera to take pics of the views – because why not?

TIP: Bring a portable charger, the last thing you need is 2% whilst following Google Maps.


You’re on the plane and about to watch that movie you downloaded from Netflix – but oh wait, you forgot headphones and now you’re sitting in silence for hours hoping the person next to you won’t start a conversation…bring headphones people!

TIP: Bluetooth is often the best so there’s no faffy cables.

Light Jacket

Always wear your heaviest clothes when flying – not only will it most likely save you space in your bag, but it will also help with the weight restrictions put in place by your airline.

Contact Lenses / Sunglasses

I know not everyone wears contact lenses / glasses but for anyone who does, it’s an absolute must to bring your glasses case and contact lense case! It might sound obvious but I’ve forgotten them a few times and I’ve had to stay awake to try avoid sleeping with my contact lenses in – luckily these have been day trips and not a holiday. Be sure to pack your cleaning gear too for your contacts.


Again, kind of an obvious one but I always take a condensed version of my purse with me when I go away, because realistically, do you really need your Morrisons More Card or Superdrug Beauty Card with you? Just make sure you have your ID – unfortunately at the time of writing this the Euro exchange rate is CRAP.

Mini Perfume / Deodorant

So this is classed as a liquid and therefore you won’t be able to have this in your handbag when flying but when you’re on holiday this is a must so I thought I’d add it in anyway.

I love my Twist & Spritz from the Perfume Shop and bonus points for all you bargain hunting folk out there like moi, sometimes they’re on a deal – one for perfume and one for my setting spray (which also doubles as a hydrating spray for extra hot days).

Camera / SD Card Reader

I know not everyone owns a camera, as most people use their phones these days (myself included) but when I’m going abroad on holiday especially, I do like to take my proper camera with me. You never know when it will come in handy and I love taking shots of people as well as street photography. This is yet another thing I do not want to be chucked round in my suitcase so this will NEVER leave my side I don’t care what anyone says – I’ve seen the way people throw suitcases!

TIP: Bring an SD card reader so you can transfer your photos to your phone and back them up to the cloud.


Nothing too much because once you land you’ll probably want to try the local food, especially if you’re landing around lunch. But whatever you do, avoid nuts! How would you feel if you had nuts and someone had a reaction or died on the plane due to their allergy. Please be mindful of others.

Blister Pack / Plasters

For me, this is more for when you are walking around because I’m more of a walker when I’m not back home – I like to see the area I’m in and listen to the accents and just have a feel for the culture (the French accent is the best FYI).

This is something you can buy if and when you need it rather than pack it with you but if you have some lying around the house, may as well!

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