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Planning a trip? What you need to take in your hand luggage

Planning a trip? What you need to take in your hand luggage

As travel starts to open up, you may be planning to take a trip by plane for that longed-for holiday.

Given the restrictions over the last couple of years, it’s understandable if you’ve got out of the habit of knowing what to take in your carry on bag.

So read our guide to make packing your hand luggage a breeze. We’ll advise you on essential items as well as what not to take in your hand luggage to get you fully prepared for your trip.

Essential documents

Way before you even think about packing your passport, locate it and make sure that it is up to date. Do this as soon as you book your holiday so you have plenty of time to renew it if necessary.

A few days before take-off, gather your passport and other essential documents like your travel itinerary, visas and vaccination certificates and place them in your hand luggage. This will save you a last-minute panic searching for your paperwork just before you set off for the airport.

Hygiene items to keep you safe

Hygiene items like hand sanitiser are invaluable for a quick freshen-up when you are travelling. Make sure you opt for bottles of no more than 100 ml so that you comply with airline rules on travelling with liquids in hand luggage.

You may also want to pack some antibacterial wipes so you can clean surfaces or your hands while you are travelling.


It always feels good to freshen up while you are travelling, especially if you are on a long flight, so pack a small washbag with your most-used items to take in your hand luggage.

Remember that any liquids, aerosols or gels should not exceed 100 ml per item and should be stored in a clear, sealable plastic bag.

Face masks

It’s a good idea to take a supply of face masks so that you can change them regularly throughout your journey and have plenty left for your holiday too.

Disposable face masks are convenient for travellers. Buy a pack of 10 face masks to keep in your hand luggage to see you through the journey.

You can also pack some small bags to store used face masks in until you are able to dispose of them properly.

Entertainment and communication items

Nowadays, your phone is your most essential piece of kit that holds the key to your day-to-day life. Having it in your hand luggage is a necessity!

The same goes for chargers and headphones so you can keep connected and entertained as you travel.

And you will need to carry any power banks or batteries in your hand luggage rather than your checked-in cases to comply with airline rules.


If you take medication, ensure you have enough to last you for a few days in your hand luggage.

And make sure you check rules around bringing in medication to your destination country.

If you are living with a long-term condition, consider taking a medical condition ID and wallet card. These will give vital information about your condition, medications and contact details should you have a medical emergency.

A change of clothes

If you’re travelling on a long flight or connecting to another destination, you’ll feel more comfortable if you have fresh clothes to change into. It’s also a good idea in case your baggage gets delayed once you reach your location and will save frantic clothes shopping at the destination airport!

You may also want to include items like a cardigan or hoodie and cosy socks, as it can get pretty cold once you’re in the skies, thanks to aeroplane air conditioning systems.

What else do I need to know about hand luggage?

You’ll need to check your airline’s rules before you pack to know what not to take in hand luggage. In most cases, your hand luggage:

  • Must fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead locker
  • Must not exceed your airline’s allowance
  • Must not contain prohibited items

Check with your airline for their list of prohibited items for hand luggage. These may include bleach, butane cartridges, lighters, insect sprays and party poppers, amongst other items.

You will also need to check the permitted dimensions of your hand luggage. Most airlines provide containers near their check-in counters for you to see whether your hand luggage fits.

Stock up on health and well-being products from our collection

Now that you’ve read our checklist, it’s time to start looking forward to your holiday.

Stock up in advance on items like hand sanitiser spray and gel, face masks and wipes from our collection of health and well-being products. They’re all designed to keep you safe and hygienic when you’re travelling or just for everyday use.

For our final tips, make sure you allow plenty of time to pack both your checked-in and hand luggage and make your way to the airport in good time for a stress-free start to your much-anticipated holiday!

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