I thought I should share a few small tips that helped me when packing my carry-on luggage. As mentioned here, this is the first long haul flight I have ever done and from the time I knew I was going, I made sure I did my research on how I was going to fit everything in!
This post by The Blonde Abroad was super helpful! All I wanted to do was to find the bag she uses in her video but unfortunately wasn’t able to find one in time and I don’t think they are available in South Africa.
Instead I decided to use a backpack! A very good friend advised that the backpack is probably one of the most versatile and convenient bags to use as carry on luggage as you are hands free when walking around. I bought my backpack from MiPac which has the best range of styles and designs.
The items I put into my backpack were the essentials and the expensive items that I didn’t want to risk putting into my checked-in luggage.
As you will see above, I included my travel book about Japan – I added it to my carry-on luggage so I could then read it on the plane and mark off all the places I wanted to see too.
Little bags of jewelry, only the essentials. Japan was in their Winter season when I went which meant I’d be wearing scarves as an accessory around my neck, therefore no necklaces needed, just earrings and rings.
Camera! Most important item in this bag to capture all the special moments!
Kindle so reading on the plane or in the airport whilst waiting.
Battery pack in case my phone went flat with it’s cord of course, packed away into a smaller bag with all the other chargers, cords, plugs and earphones. My iPod went into this little bag as well so all the electronic items would stay together.
I found some wonderful little travel items at Dischem before I left, like hand-sanitizer spray, toilet seat spray and of course all the little cabin friendly sized bottles to decanter any liquids if need be (I kept those in my main luggage though).
Toothbrush and toothpaste, in travel size if possible so that they don’t take up too much space. Mouth wash and dental floss in case. These were nice to have if I needed to freshen up in the plane or when I arrived at the destination and needed fresh breath.
Face cream and mask samples are really handy as they take up no space and allow you to keep your face moisturized in the plane. It can get so dry in the plane so I make sure to apply a face mask before I get settled as well as hand cream for the hands and cuticles. Lip balm is another must to stop the lips from cracking. Eye drops will help as well due to the dry air conditioned air.
A tip I received and will pass on is to take nose spray in order not to get sick as well as using bactroban (antibiotic ointment) around your nostrils so that no bacteria can find their way up your nose. This can be a little annoying to apply all the time but the germs that spread around in airplanes will most definitely make you sick so any preventatives you can try to avoid getting sick are worth trying.
I included my deodorant (roll on) and perfume to keep me smelling decent! Long haul flying is not glamorous and without being able to bath in between, I wanted to make sure I didn’t stink out the plane.
Tissues were an added extra that always come in handy. The little mascara I included in the picture wasn’t even used, but if you wanted to add a little once landed, a sample size is nice to carry around.
I also added in a fold up material bag. This came in handy when I need to purchase anything at the layovers like magazines and snacks, I could then unfold the bag and put the extras in there instead of carrying items individually. When in Japan, I would take this fold up bag in my handbag wherever I went, it really was useful when I needed to pick up groceries or any other shopping.
A few personal tips I received and will pass on. I am in no way saying you have to do this, it is merely personal preference. About 24hours before my flight, I would take Vitamin C to prevent any lowering in the immune system before getting onto the plane. I also took Asprin to avoid any swelling in my feet from the altitude – this definitely benefited as I could at least fit right into the shoes I was wearing when I landed. Sleeping tablets were also a query I had before I took the flight which I read about and asked around the opinions of friends and family who travel a lot. I didn’t take these as I knew that when I got onto the plane I would be able to sleep – I can generally on the shorter flights so I thought I would be fine. A glass or two of red wine assisted in this sleep too! I do believe if you cannot sleep on the plane then to ask your doctor for something to help out as I believe sleeping on the plane helps hugely with the time and in the jet lag recovery when reaching the destination.
I hope this was a helpful post to those of you that are not pros at the traveling thing.