CARRY ON PACKING LIST
Travelling is amazing. What is less than amazing is hanging around in airport lounges and planes for 30 hours with only your carry on. Especially if all the things you need are in your pack or suitcase, sitting at the bottom of a stack of luggage on the other side of the doors marked “Security Checkpoint. Staff Only”.
I try to pack light, so I can travel with only my carry-on. I’ve managed to trim my entire packing list down. However there are times when I need to take more gear and have to check a bag.
While you no doubt managed to remember your phone and a travel pillow, there’s a few more things I pack in my carry on that make the experience a bit more pleasant. All those bits add up.
You can download the list here.
Headphones – Now this is a fairly important one for me. I have some in-ear, noise isolating headphones. They dull the sound of the engines, the snoring man and the screaming baby to whispers. I can watch the in-flight entertainment without any issues and I can sleep with them on..sometimes.
Kindle – Of course this is filled with physics textbooks, ancient Greek literature and other writings for the educated modern man…such as all of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series.
A pen – Stop asking to use mine. Get your own.
Notebook – As a blogger, I find I take a lot of notes, whether it is of something I’ve seen or an amusing thought. Sometimes I think of a phrase that I want to use somewhere or hear something in a conversation.
Laptop – For when I want to start putting those ideas into some kind of structure and fleshing out articles. I often will have a lot on the go at once, playing with ideas, or writing introductions or paragraphs that I think will work. There is nothing like sleep deprivation and turbulence induced nerves to get the creative juices flowing.
USB cables, a travel adaptor and a power strip – A lot of planes have USB chargers now, so your tablet doesn’t die while you’re watching the latest Game of Thrones episodes you’ve been hanging out to see. It also pays to have your phone on 100% when you land, whether to call a cab or entertain you during transit. I carry a power strip as well. You’ll be a travel guru at the airport if there is only one outlet and you have to share. Also when you’re away, you will only need one travel adaptor.
Valuables – You will likely have these with you anyway, but just in case you are unsure, take them with you. Don’t leave them in your check in luggage.
Wet wipes – Baby wipes. Whatever you want to call them. I use them to give myself a wipe down when I’m feeling scungy, which is quite often. Face. Neck. Hands. Shit, I go into the toilets and give myself the closest thing to a shower I can.
Toothbrush and toothpaste – I generally don’t get to travel in business or first class. I have to bring my own.
Warm hoodie – I’ve been in some planes and been freezing, especially when leaving somewhere tropical, heading to somewhere cold.
Change of clothes – By this I mean underwear, socks and a shirt. I’m a guy. I’ll be honest, after a 10 hour flight, I can get a little gamey. More accurately, after a long haul flight, I feel like everyone in the airport can smell me, even over the eye watering Thai Jungle Curry they’re serving in the food court. Having a change of clothes can be amazing. And they come in very handy if your baggage ends up in Antarctica by mistake..
Eye drops – For your eyes.
Eye mask – Also for your eyes.
Ear plugs – Not for your eyes.
Hand sanitiser– I don’t like hand sanitiser. I’m a firm believer that soap and water are the best way to keep your hands clean under normal circumstances and the overuse of antibacterial agents will lead to stronger super bugs. However, logic also tells me that airports and planes are hot spots for pathogen transmission, as people from all over the world are converging in close proximity. I still wash my hands with soap and water, but i’ll use hand sanitiser before I eat.
Travel documents – Either hard copies or make sure they’re on your phone and it is working. If you do lose your luggage, then at least you have what you need for the time being.
Snacks – I always take food with me. Some nuts. A couple of apples. Grilled chicken with sweet potato and mixed vegetables. Seriously, do the airlines feed you enough or am I just a piglet? Anyway, it’s always better to have food in your pack.
Water bottle – You’ll have to empty it before security, but once you’re through you can fill it up again. No need to annoy the air stewards every 30 minutes for a sip of water.
Cash – I’ve been through a few of the major hubs and have various currency in my travel wallet. Singaporean Dollars, Hong Kong Dollar, UAE Dirham, some pounds, some euros and of course the greenback. I’m not saying you should go out and get a bunch of cash, but it can help when you’re for food in coffee in transit.
Flight vitamin supplements – Hah. I’m kidding. I’ve tried the vitamin things for long haul flights and noticed zero difference to anything other than my bank balance and the colour of my piss. I’m not a believer, but if you are, then pack them. If you’re planning on sleeping though, make sure you read up on the ingredients and their effect on sleep. Make sure your jetlag helper isn’t going to keep you awake for the entire flight.
Passport – I know. Stupid right? Who’d forget their passport?
So this is my list. I’m sure there are plenty of other things you could pack as well. Let me know in the comments and I’ll keep expanding the list.