Sunday, 12 February 2012

Hand Luggage - The Inflight Survival Kit!

No matter how comfortable they try and make those seats, or how fancy and shiny the in flight entertainment system is, I never board a plane for any length of time without my tried and tested hand luggage survival kit. It’s got me through long 9hour flights, delays, and when there are just no movies taking my fancy on board!

1. Bag in bag!
My usual hand luggage bag is a blue sports bag I’ve had for years. It has an adjustable strap, zip pockets on either end, one inside and sits nice and cosy a top my suitcase when I’m wheeling it around. But, inside my hand luggage is my real hand luggage bag. A plastic drawstring bag from a previous Virgin flight. It fits nicely into the seat back compartment, or tucks tidily under my seat. I keep my survival kit in this bag, meaning any extra goodies or layers can be left in the sports bag, up in the over head out the way. I have everything with me that I need in one neat and tidy bag and I don’t need to fight inside the over head with my sports bag when I’m looking for my headphones or a hair tie!

2. Essentials : Entertainment
    PRS300 <3
    Pre-e reader days, I would always treat myself to a new book in the airport, usually some thick tomb of a novel bought after check in so it will not affect the weight of my bag! Now I have my e reader, I will load that up in the days before the trip with a few good books, some old some new, and make sure to give it a full charge before we leave. A few magazines always make for a good read too!

  • Headphones are necessary. There is nothing wrong with those free ones they give you on the planes of course, when they have enough to go around and when both ear buds work! I like having my own, they work with the planes own IFE (In flight entertainment) system and I know where they’ve been! I like being able to listen to the music and podcasts on my iPhone, both during a flight and chilling out of an evening on holiday.

  • Speaking of my iPhone, I load it up with various podcasts, music, play lists (yes, there is a playlist on their called ‘traveling to the airport!’), games etc, it is my portable IFE! Just remember to put it on airplane mode before you take off!

  • You can’t beat a good word search, crossword or suduku, in fact, any of those little paper activity books you pick up next to Readers Digest in the WHSmiths for 99p, it easily passes some time on the flight!

3. Essentials: Toilitries
Remember, you can’t have anything over 100ml, but that’s more than enough for me! I keep all my toiletries for the flight in one of those little clear bags they have you use when passing through security. Simple things like a travel brush and hair ties, sanitizing gel, lip balm, tissues, perfume, hand cream or an all-purpose balm, etc really do make a difference on those long flights. It’s nice to keep yourself feeling fresh, and those trips to the bathroom to freshen up are a great way to stretch those legs! Other ideas to carry on board would be toothbrush/toothpaste and mouthwash, especially on an overnight flight!

4. Essentials: Medical
I always take a few painkillers and throat lozenges in my survival bag as the recycled air on the plane really dries out my throat no matter how much water I drink! If I’m unfortunate enough to get sat near the screaming baby (every flight has one!), then those painkillers come in handy too! Decongestants are ideal if the plane air leaves you feeling bunged up and stuffy and you can also buy some great dissolvable vitamins to give you a boost on board. If you suffer from travel sickness, make sure you pack some anti-sickness tablets!

5. Essentials: Snacks

Now this would improve an inflight meal!

Lets face it, no matter what they do to try and improve the plane food, until they start serving Dole Whips and Mickey waffles, the plane food is never going to be a totally satisfying meal! I always take a few sandwiches, crisp, sweets etc to snack on during the flight to tie me over before I can let loose at the Boma buffet!

6. Misc
To finish off the kit, I always pack a notebook and pen incase the creative muse hits me mid flight. I also like to take along a copy of our itinerary incase there’s anything amiss or we decide to change around (the planning never ends!). I sometimes like to take my Nintendo DS along too, I always get a craving to boot up an old Pokemon game when I travel!

So that’s it, basic really isn’t it? Nevertheless, it’s saved me from the boredom beast on several flights and will continue to save me in the future.

What are your hand luggage essentials?

Until next time,

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