Packing the right things in your hand-luggage will prevent hassles at airport security and can help ensure that you have a stress-free, comfortable flight. We’ve compiled a guide with some handy tips on what to pack:
Airport and Airline Restrictions
Airport requirements for hand luggage
Any liquids you carry in hand luggage must comply with airport security requirements. Note that for security purposes, “liquids” also include creams, gels and pastes.
You need to place each liquid in a container designed to store no more than 100 millilitres – containers larger than this won’t be allowed through security check points even if they’re only partly full. Then place the containers of liquid in a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag with a capacity of no more than a litre and measurements of about 20 by 20 centimetres.
It’s worth knowing that exceptions apply for baby supplies and for medications, provided you get prior approval from the airline or airport and supporting documents from a medical professional.
Certain items, including lighters and sharp objects like knives, are prohibited in hand luggage.
Airline restrictions on hand luggage
Each airline has its own restrictions on the size and weight of hand luggage, and these may differ depending on whether you’re travelling as an economy, business class, or first class passenger. A commonly applied maximum size for hand luggage is 56 cm (H) x 45 cm (W) x 25 cm (D).
Most airlines allow you to carry one piece of carry-on luggage plus a bag containing duty-free items you’ve purchased, but this isn’t always the case – so find out your airline’s policy ahead of time.
Hand Luggage Essentials
Of course it’s vital that you remember your passport, ID card, plane tickets and wallet, and it’s likely you’ll carry these either on your person or in your hand luggage. It’s always a good idea to perform a last-minute check before you leave home to save panicking!
Essentials for a comfortable flight, especially if you’ll be travelling long distance, include:
- a warm top in case the plane gets chilly – or a full change of clothes if you need to look your best on arrival
- lip balm and a small amount of moisturiser to combat the drying effects of the cabin air; eye drops are also a good idea for preventing sore, dry eyes
- a comb or brush
- toothpaste and tooth brush
– just remember to keep the airport security requirements for liquids in mind when packing cosmetic items.
If you wear glasses, it’s a good idea to pack a spare pair. If you use contact lenses, consider bringing more lenses than you’d usually use – the recycled air in the cabin can dry your eyes out faster than usual.
Also don’t forget any medication you may need during the flight, but ensure you follow the rules for liquids. For prescription medicines, it’s best to carry the prescriptions with you.
For extra comfort on a long flight, it’s a good idea to bring along your own earplugs for blocking out noise, an eye mask and a neck pillow. Many travellers swear by neck pillows, which may make it easier to sleep in an economy seat.
For entertainment purposes, it’s a good idea to bring a book or magazines. You may also choose to carry a laptop and whatever device you use to listen to your own music.