What to pack in your carry-on

Taking your first trip overseas can be daunting and the prospect of a long flight can be enough to make you want to cancel your holiday. It’s important not to panic and think about things logically.

Firstly, check the size of the cabin bag, and any associated weight restrictions as to what you are allowed to take on the flight. This can vary between airlines and should be stated on the airline’s website, or you can give them a call to clarify.

Secondly, think about how long your flight will last. If it’s only a few hours then you will want to keep the contents of your cabin bag to a few essential items. If it’s a longer flight, then you may want to consider a few extras to keep you occupied.

Liquids and pastes (such as toothpaste and perfume) can be taken on board, but each individual container should be no larger than 100ml. You will also have to fit all of your liquids and pastes in a see-through bag, about the size of a medium sandwich bag. These bags are usually available at security/screening checkpoints.

I would consider the following, keeping in mind the above tips:

To freshen up
Toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, anti-perspirant, travel wipes – you can buy all these in travel sizes or decant the right amount into smaller plastic bottles and tubes available at pharmacies.

To keep you occupied
A good book or magazine or, if you’re really lucky, an eReader – some people find it difficult to concentrate on long flights, so think about what you really need to keep you occupied. Most long-haul flights show movies and television shows which can help you pass the time.

For your comfort
Take a neck pillow if you have one.
Have some lollies to suck on for take off and landing.
A thick pair of socks will keep your feet warm if you remove your shoes.

Your wellbeing
Keep close to hand any medication you require. You may want to carry a letter from your pharmacist or doctor explaining what each drug is.
Carry a couple of your preferred painkillers just in case you get a headache.
Consider compression stockings if you are prone to clots or swelling.

Your documents
Consider putting together a folder that will enable you to keep all your documents, such as tickets, itineraries and your passport together. Keep these separate from other sections which you will be accessing frequently. Make sure you have a pen, as you will probably need to fill out a landing card before you reach your destination.

Before you land
The climate at your destination may be quite different to the one you have just left. Consider packing a change of clothing (including fresh underwear); you will feel much better after having spent so long in the same clothes.

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