10 essential carry on items

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Got a long haul flight coming up? In the past year, I’ve taken more than 50 flights – many of these between six and 15 hours – and I’ve got pretty good at figuring out what I need to help me get through those long haul flights.

Here’s the 10 things I can’t do without on a long distance flight.

1. Tablet/Kindle/Book

This is a no brainer. You want to keep entertained on your flight – unless you’re one of those amazing people who can sleep anywhere. Depending on the airline, you may or may not have in-flight entertainment and sometimes there’s nothing on there you would watch. I usually take both a tablet loaded with a few of my favourite shows or movies I wanted to watch and a book with me to fight the boredom. (I’m of the old school and prefer a book I can hold – then I just swap it for another at a hostel or leave it behind when I’m done.)

2. A comfy pair of socks

I always bring a pair of socks on board with me because it’s always freezing in the plane and shoes can get uncomfortable on for an entire long haul flight. I put them on as soon as we take off and settle in for the long journey.

3. Jumper

As with the socks, the jumper is for when you get cold on the plane. I always bring my merino wool jumper with me. It’s loose and therefore comfortable, but also warm and merino is good because it takes quite a few wears before it might start to smell from general wear.

4. Noise cancelling headphones

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Those bud earphones just don’t cut it. Noise cancelling headphones are amazing – you can hear all your movie clearly and it’s worth the spend. I can’t travel without them.

5. A change of clothes

I’m always prepared for the worst that my luggage may play a disappearing act and not turn up on the carousel. And you always feel better after a long flight if you get changed. So I always pack a change of clothes – usually a T-shirt and a pair of jeans.

6. Snacks

There’s no guarantee the food on the plane is edible. I avoid anything with meat or eggs and that sometimes means I go without a meal or just pick out the fruit and vegetables. But I always brings snacks for that reason – a couple of muesli bars, chips and fruit. Often I’ll also buy a sandwich before I board just in case.

7. Toiletries

I always carry a few essential toiletries in my carry on. Flights dry out my skin terribly so I always pack face moisturiser, hand cream and face spritz. I also bring a toothbrush and toothpaste, and make up remover wipes to freshen up my face during the flight.

8. Valuables

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I pack any small valuables or fragile items in my carry on. That includes cameras, cash, credit cards and laptops. I wouldn’t risk either theft or breakage by putting them in my check in bags.

9. Eyemask and Neck Pillow

If the airline gives out blankets, I usually put that over my head to help me sleep by blocking out the noise and also keep warm.

But for some of the shorter, cheaper flights you don’t get a blanket so I revert to an eyemask to block out light or bring another jumper or shawl to put over me.

The neck pillow is a must to help me sleep. I like the memory foam neck pillows the best.

10. A bottle of water and jet lag prevention tablets

Another product I swear by these days is the 1Above Flight Drink, designed to combat jet lag. The drink contains electrolytes and vitamins to help keep you hydrated and fresh. You can buy it in concentrated liquid form or in effervescent tablets. I was sceptical at first but it definitely helps. Yes I’m tired after a flight but usually because I haven’t slept much – but I definitely don’t feel as sluggish as I used to after changing time zones.

The main thing is to keep hydrated on the long haul flights. I always carry a bottle of water with me on the plane to put the 1Above tablets in. That way you can sip it slowly throughout the flight.

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