The Ultimate Packing Guide for Airplane Travel Hand Luggage

Packing for a trip can be an overwhelming experience, but what can make it worse is if you forget something that you should have packed. What makes it worse still is if you miss anything vital from your hand luggage, if you miss something important then it could be a deeply upsetting, disappointing, boring or just more expensive journey for you.

Therefore, to make sure you are prepared, take a look at this ultimate guide for what you need to pack for your next flight, this will ensure that you don’t forget a thing, and you’ll take stuff you didn’t know you needed, but glad you packed!

Passports, credit cards and vital documents

Probably the most important thing you do not forget is your passport and other travel documents (including all your receipts for hotels, hire cars etc.), without these you are not going anywhere. You need them in the airport for your security checks, and when you arrive at your destination.

You will also need to keep your credit cards, debit cards or holiday money nearby.

Handy Tip: Make copies of your passport, credit cards and travel documents and keep them separate from the originals just in case they are lost or stolen, pack them in one of your cases or give them to another traveller with you.


If you have any prescription medications or supplements that you need to take, packing them in your carry-on bag is the safest way to ensure you will never miss a dose. Even if you think you will land and be at your hotel before you need to take them, put them in your hand luggage anyway, just in case.

Remember to pack anything you might need for travel sickness, headaches, muscular pain, allergies etc.

It’s also a good idea to pack anything you might need for a stomach upset too, there is nothing worse than travelling anywhere if you feel unwell.


It is always worth packing some foodstuff, you never know when you or someone in your party might need a quick snack. Avoid packing bags of crisps that are full of air and instead go for smaller snacks (mints, dried fruit and nuts, breakfast bars, crackers, biscuits etc.).

Obviously anything with higher protein and fibre will keep travellers fuller for longer (protein bars, dried fruit are all good).

Stay Hydrated

It’s important to stay hydrated whilst on any journey, on a flight the air lacks a lot of moisture, so it’s easy to quickly feel dehydrated and unwell because of it, so it’s important to drink plenty, even before you go through security.

Obviously, before you go through security you can carry liquids, after security and whilst on the flight look to take a reusable water bottle, the eco-friendly collapsible type of bottle are brilliant, we use them virtually everywhere we go.

Comfort Basics

Even if you are flying economy it’s possible to make it feel like you are flying first-class, so get those basic comforts right and you’ll land very relaxed indeed. The air in the cabin will be dry so you need moisture for your skin as well as your body; pack lip balm, face and hand cream, face wipes and eye drops. We also ensure that we have hand sanitiser, a toothbrush and toothpaste to hand too.

We also pack travel sized eye drops and spritzer to spray on your skin.

Treat your feet and pack a pair of thick, fluffy socks for the flight, take off yours shoes and just wear the socks to give your feet a treat.

Sleep Essentials

Even if you’re not planning to have a proper sleep on the flight, anything you can do to make yourself feel more comfortable is a bonus. Earplugs and an eye mask are essential pieces of kit, they will help you sleep or just help you to feel more relaxed. You will be amazed how much better you will feel by just cutting out light and sound on a flight. If you plan to use headphones, then get yourself a pair of comfortable, noise-isolating ones to keep out as much external noise as possible

Hygiene is a must

You do need a range of toiletries for flights, but they are especially essential on long flights. So ensure that you have some deodorant in your hand luggage as well as gum or mints. Hand wipes are critical, and we have already mentioned toothbrush and toothpaste, but we feel that they deserve another mention.


Chances are you will be using electronic devices on your journey, so in your hand luggage take a portable charger and power bank; you don’t want to run out of power for your essential pieces of kit. Charge your devices every chance you get.

Extra clothes – just in case!

Whilst we have never had to deal with lost luggage, it is always possible, so if you have any space left in any hand luggage pack a couple of extra items (light jacket, underwear, shorts as a minimum).


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