What to pack in your long haul hand luggage

So I’m not always the best at packing. You’re probably thinking well why are you writing a post on it. And to some degree, you’d be right however this is packing for your hand luggage which I think I’ve got nailed. Big suitcase packing I’m of no help. None whatsoever. I’ve been that person on the floor by the check in desk crying trying to work out which of my 10 pairs of jeans I won’t need for a two-week trip. So you’re best off heading to Pinterest or Google to find someone better if you need help with that sort of packing. And if you find any good tips send them my way.

However, if you do want some suggestions on what to take in your hand luggage for a long haul flight then read on. Some will be pretty obvious but other ideas might be something you completely overlooked or never even thought of.

Obviously wallet, passport, phone
You’re not going to get far without these. Have them handy though either in the top of your bag. They come out a lot and you don’t want to be scrambling through your bag all the time.

Travel insurance documents
Hopefully, you won’t need to use it but it’s always handy to have this in your hand luggage in case you do need it. Another option is to have it saved on your phone.

Details on accommodation
Most landing cards require you to fill in where you are staying and also once you get out of the airport you need it handy to know where you’re going. You really don’t want to go rooting through your suitcase looking for it. Similar to the above you can also have these saved on your phone but handing over a piece of paper to your taxi driver is much easier than handing over your phone.

Books
I love an airline film but I also love having some time away from a screen. If I’m really struggling to drop off a book helps every time! Sometimes I also like to have a quiz book like a word search or sudoku. A note pad and pen are also always lurking in my hand luggage in case I have any amazing ideas I need to write down. A pen is also handy when having to fill in your landing cards.

Flip flops
You can take the girl out of Australia but you can’t take Australia out of the girl. Even if I’m going somewhere cold there is always flip flops in my carry on. They are also pretty helpful when the dreaded cankles develop on a long haul flight.

Charger
Most planes now have USB charging cables so you can charge your phone or tablet during the flight.

Smellies
E.g. Toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant and dry shampoo. Just because you’ve been on a plane for 20+ hours doesn’t mean you need to smell like you have. It also helps you feel ‘normal’ again.

Extra clothes
If it’s a long haul flight often a pair of pants, bra and a fresh t shirt will be in my hand luggage. It’s helpful as well if your luggage goes missing or you spill something on yourself during the flight (like I usually do!),

Layers
Layers are key! One minute you’ll be too hot then the next you’ll be too cold. I like having a big hoody with me so I feel warm and cosy on the flight.

Headphones
You want the noise cancelling type. Planes are much noisier than you expect and when you want a break from the in-flight entertainment and want to listen to your own music you’ll be thankful for the headphones. Also, they are handy if you have a long wait in a connecting airport.

Bottle of water
Just make sure it’s purchased after security. Flying dries you out you need lots of liquid and sometimes it can be awhile before they bring the drinks cart round.

Any valuables
Keep those safe and on your person at all times. Bags go missing or can get delayed you don’t want anything valuable or sentimental going missing as well.

And my number 1 tip an oversized scarf
Yes even if I’m travelling to a hot country I’ll always take an oversized scarf with me. It has so many uses; fashion accessory, blanket, pillow or even a sarong on the beach.

Is there anything you take that we’ve missed off this list? Do share below in the comments 
 

Dealing with the dreaded jet lag 

There isn’t many bad things about long haul travel but one of the worst is Jet lag. I’ve been flying backward and forwards from the UK to Australia every year for the past 10 years and every single time the lag has got me. You’d think I’d be a pro at dealing with it. I’m not, but whilst I do get affected I have also learnt some lessons about how to minimise it.
Here is my top 5 tips

Stay awake
If you can, try and land at night as this has always made things much easier for me. You can go straight to sleep and wake up in the morning to try and get into the new daily cycle. If you land in the day then make sure you get outside. Now this is the somewhat tricky part as you need to stay awake as long as you can. Ideally till when you would usually go to sleep. One time we were on the ferry in Sydney Harbour and the lag hit us like a lead balloon and we kept falling asleep on the ferry. Proper head bobbing, snoring sleeping. We swiftly had to make our way back to the apartment. My dad has also been known in the past to hit a saucepan with a wooden spoon loudly if we were falling asleep to early in the afternoon.


Comfy and hydrated on the flight           Yes you’ll need to have your pre flight pint (or for the more classy travellers a glass of wine) at the airport before you depart but whilst you’re on the plane make sure you drink as much water as you can. Skip drinking countless alcoholic beverages and stick to the soft stuff. When on the flight ensure you are comfy which can be difficult when in economy. I like comfy trousers, layers, socks and even a scarf and woolie hat. Try and find a position that works for you to sleep. Ideally not on another passenger’s shoulder.


Time activities and change your watch on the flight                                                This is something my partner has started doing on our flights in the last few years. He works out what times we need to sleep and how much sleep we should aim for whilst on each of the flight. We also change our watches to our destination’s time zone so that we start to trick our body like we are already there. I used to think the more sleep the better but now I know better and it’s more about sleeping at the right times. I usually plan for a certain amount of film time but also like to take a book and notepad and pen. I find starting at a screen for so long can actually keep me away whereas I start reading a book and I drift off without any hassle.


If you have a long stop over book a room We had a long stopover in KL a few years ago so we found the hotel in the airport and booked a room. Now you do have to book them for a set number of hours which can feel a little seedy but it’s not like that at all. The joy of being able to lie down on actual bed is bliss! You can sleep, shower and just enjoy a couple of hours on your own without a whole flight or airport full of people. Just make sure you set an alarm or schedule a wake up call so you don’t miss your flight.

If you wake up early get up explore
If your body wakes up and refuses to go back to sleep then don’t lie there staring at your phone or in my case eat a whole bag of very noisy twisties while your sister is trying to sleep on the bunk beneath you. Get up and get outside. You’ll be starting to drift off come 4pm so get out and make the most of the day. Some of my best experiences have been in the early hours of the morning-  5am run along the Cairns Promenade, beach walks with the boy on the Gold Coast, wandering around Darling Harbour without all the tourists or even seeing that New York really does not ever sleep!
   
I know there is a lot more tips and tricks but these are the ones that help me. What are some of your best ways in dealing with the dreaded lag?
x

Currency 

Found 3 types of currencies in my purse. A sure fire sign I should have cleaned out my purse months ago 💰🤑I have a terrible habit of just mixing up my currencies which can get everso frustrating when trying to pay for something in change. 

I even have a mixed currencies jar which has all sorts in it so far one to many time of pulling out my $2 coin I finally made my purse pounds and pence only. 

Any tips on what you do with your spare foreign coins?