Things I MUST Pack In My Hand Luggage

I’ve had this post title on my to write list for ages, but as I’m currently trying to plan a very last minute bank holiday weekend trip (as in, I’ll be booking flights on the 27th and flying on the 4th) I’ve been thinking lots about my hand luggage essentials. A lot of the time when I travel I go hand luggage only and so everything is in my carry on bag, but this post is talking about my hand luggage essentials when I’m checking a bag into the hold.

Laura photographing tulips in Amsterdam, carrying a bag full of hand luggage essentials

A change of clothes

As silly as it seems to carry a full on change of clothes in your on the plane bag, trust me if you have an experience like I did, where your suitcase goes missing and you have to wander around your very hot resort in jeans, you will thank me. I now always pack a change of clothes, as well as two lots of underwear. This means that even if I do have a missing suitcase for a few days, I have a clean pair of underwear, a pair to be wearing and a pair to have washed in the sink and let dry.¬† It’s the little things that make you feel a lot more comfortable, if you have a suitcase disaster.


Again in case of missing luggage, but also just in case of flight delays, I carry a toothbrush, a mini toothpaste, deodorant and some of my face wash. In a real emergency I’d be able to buy shampoo, conditioner and shower gel or borrow some from another room but I know how much my skin suffers if I don’t wash my face properly. I also make sure I’ve got a small pot of my moisturiser because the plane really drys out my skin, so I moisturise on board.

My camera and accessories

I would be absolutely hearbroken if I arrived at my destination and my camera was broken or lost, so I always carry it in my hand luggage. I keep it in a canvas bag so that once I get onto the plane and my bag goes in the overhead lockers, my camera can be on my knee, so it doesn’t get knocked around. There’s a lot of money in my kit and as a photographer¬†¬†it’s probably more important to be than my clothes.

My laptop

Depending on the trip, I usually take my laptop with me. I always do if I’m travelling alone, because I don’t stay out too late at night when solo. So I make sure I use that wasted time in my hotel room wisely, and do some work. My laptop stays in my hand luggage for the same reason as my camera, and it also goes onto my knee on the plane


My chargers, adaptors and charging banks live in my hand luggage because without them there’s no point having the electronics. I make sure they’re all fully charged and take at least two charging banks for my phone, in case of dire emergency like a very long delay or a hospital visit, so that I am contactable if I need to be.

Reading material

I’m someone who is always on the go and even though I love to read, I never seem to find the time these days. A plane journey is the perfect excuse to treat myself to a new book and as soon as I’m sat down my book comes out. It’s the quickest way to pass the time too. I often treat myself to American Cosmo in the airport shop, too, so that’s in my hand luggage as well.


Kind of an obvious one but I’ve always got something to snack on in my bag-usually crisps, something to suck during take off and landing and a white toblerone bought from duty free. Why is it the only place you can buy them is airports?

What do you pack in your hand luggage?



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