It’s summer holiday time! While I’m sure you’re all fretting about your neverending packing list (do you really need another pair of shoes/dress/skirt/bikini? The answer is yes, always yes!) it’s always the handbaggage conundrum that gets me. I hate lugging heavy bags around the airport, and I like to have a browse around the shops for some last minute necessities. (obvs) so over the years I’ve got my handbag packing down to the bare minimum. Here’s my hand luggage flight essentials…
WHAT TO WEAR
I can’t stand people who wear tracksuits (or worse still, pyjamas) to the airport. Sorrynotsorry. Dressing comfortable-yet-smart is key, especially if you’re hankering after an elusive upgrade, layers are essential and I always add a cosy wrap over the top. Not only does this keep me warm travelling to the airport, let’s face it this is the UK, but it’s big enough to double as a blanket in-flight and ward off the pesky cabin aircon. I love this reversible wrap from Great Plains, currently reduced to £42.
Anyone who’s a long-haul flight regular will dread the airlines own eyemasks. They seem to be designed to inflict the maximum amount of crease marks possible! Not the best for looking glamorous and holiday-ready when you step out of the airport. I always carry my own eye mask, and for a luxe touch silk is a must! I love the tropical patterned eye mask from House of Hackney, £28, for a touch of holiday fun!
As above, airline socks are, well, yuk. I have no idea if they are washed and reused or new each time (anyone know?!) but the thought is pretty gross. I love my White Company cashmere socks, £35, and there’s always a pair in my hand luggage to prevent my toes getting cold.
I love my iPad, it’s perfect for travelling – I can upload my favourite movies, music, books and magazines for plenty of inflight entertainment (and not just re-runs of Friends and dodgy edited-for-airlines movies!). If you can’t stretch to the iPad Air, £399, go for the iPad mini, £319, – it’s the perfect size especially if you’re squeezed into an economy seat for hours!
There’s nothing worse than stepping off the plane ready to share your first #holidayselfie and realising your battery is flat. I think portable phone chargers are amazing, a small one can fully charge your battery in a couple of hours. The pretty patterned chargers from Free People, £20, top my list!
We’ve all been there. Whether it’s other people’s darling children, the noisy snorer, the one with the annoying laugh or the guy who just won’t stop talking, being crammed in a metal tube for hours on end is not condusive to a quiet, relaxing, pre-holiday experience. I don’t travel without a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, and the QC25 by Bose, £269, are quite frankly the best. Pop them on, flick a switch and peace is restored once more. Bliss.
We all know airline food sucks (except for the biz class afternoon tea on BA, that’s YUM!). Longhaulers from Heathrow can pick up an onboard picnic from any one of their 118 food outlets, including Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food. If that’s not an option, put back the crisps and chocolate and pick up some energy boosting nuts, dried fruit and popcorn to nibble on. I love Propercorn, from 75p a bag, with flavours from fiery to sweet there’s something for morning, noon & night! I also pick up a big bottle of water from the airport to stay hydrated – those tiny cups they hand out on board hold nothing!
If you’ve spent weeks preparing your holiday skin, the dry air on board can be a real hassle, and that’s before you factor in the woohoo-I’m-on-holiday glass (bottle?) of wine! On long haul flights always remove your makeup (why do you think I pack an eye mask?!) and apply a generous amount of super-hydrating face cream. This travel set from Eve Lom, £75, is perfect!
What are your travel essentials? Have you picked up any tips that you’d like to share? Leave us a comment below!