Being an Irish girl who now lives in South Africa I am no stranger to long-haul travelling. I have spent a heck of a lot of hours in airports and in planes and with this comes knowledge of what items you should & shouldn’t pack in your hand luggage. Today I’m going to tell you all what I perceive as my carry on essentials.
Travel pillow Being perfectly honest, I travelled for a long time without a travel pillow because I didn’t really think that I needed one. Boy was I wrong. You don’t necessarily need them for short flights but if, like me, you can spend between 6 -11 hours on a plane at a time then it is an absolute essential to get a better sleep (if that’s possible in economy class) and to avoid a painful, stiff neck. I like to use mine not just on the plane but also on those uncomfortable airport seats if I need some rest on a long stop over. If you’re a woman who wears makeup while travelling opt for a darker coloured pillow a light colours will show up all of those unsightly makeup marks.
Sleep mask Is it just me or does my black sleep mask look like a bra?! This was a little cheapie that I bought here on eBay and it turned out to be a great purchase. It’s very comfortable to wear as it has a contoured shape around your eyes so that the mask doesn’t press against your eyes. Eye masks are a must if you intend to sleep on your flight and actually get a half decent sleep. Some people are too embarrassed to wear an eye mask for fear of looking like a ‘diva’ but I will shall continue to wear my sleep mask with pride.
Power bank This is such a handy little item to travel with if you’re going on a long distance journey. A lot of airports do have charging stations now but you’ll usually find it difficult to get a free plug in those areas as many people flock to them. Therefore it just makes sense to carry a handy dandy power bank with you to avoid queuing for plugs and to avoid your electronics going dead. No one needs that stress on arrival.
iPod This one goes without saying for a lot of people as many just can’t travel without music. For some reason I never listen to my iPod once I’m on the plane as I much prefer to watch movies and sleep once on board. I do however like to listen to my iPod while I’m waiting in the airport to make waiting that little bit more enjoyable.
Locks Now for the safety advice. (“how exciting” I hear you say!) On a serious note, locks are very important and you should make sure that you use them for both your checked in luggage and your hand luggage. Unfortunately a lot of theft happens in airports and it is important that you protect your belongings as best you can.
Lip balm When I travel I feel like moisture is being sucked out of every single inch of me so I cannot travel without my moisturising essentials. I always make sure I pack a lip balm and I apply it LIBERALLY approximately every hour to avoid my lips drying out & cracking. When I travel I am usually travelling home to Ireland to see my family. This means that I will have lots of cheeks to kiss as I greet my family so dry lips are a big no-no!
Face wipes I am one of those girls that will wear makeup (though it may be minimal) in the airport but when I get seated on board one of the first things I do is take it off. It is almost guaranteed that every time I fly I will find a pimple or two popping up on my skin within the couple of days following. Therefore I like to take every step to minimise this & taking off my makeup & making sure my skin is clean plays an important part in this. I use my beloved Nivea cleansing wipes (You can find more about why I love them so much in my Current Skincare Routine post) both to take off my makeup when I get on the flight and also to clean & refresh my skin before I get off the plane again.
Face Mask The pictured mask is The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask. I couldn’t find any of my travel containers to photograph but I always decant my face mask into one so that I can take it on board. When deciding on which face mask to take when travelling I opt for one with hydrating properties to infuse as much moisture into my skin as much as possible and I also like to choose a mask that is as subtle on the skin as possible.
Book I always add a book into my carry on luggage as travelling is a perfect opportunity to catch up on your reading both on board and in the airport. I always like to make sure it’s a book I’m going to love because there’s nothing worse than beginning to read a book and not enjoying it and as a result you’re left with nothing to read.
Cosy socks Aeroplanes are quite a cold place to be and I am a frequent cold feet suffer so it is an absolute essential that I bring thick, cosy socks to keep my feet as warm as possible. As soon as I get on board off come the shoes & on go the cosy socks.
Watch To some this may be an obvious choice but wearing a watch when you’re travelling is a must. This little beauty is a Fossil watch and is very comfortable to wear when travelling because of it’s leather strap. When travelling through airports it is absolutely essential that you’re on time to avoid being late and missing flights so wearing a watch is, in my opinion, just non-negotiable.
Headphones I do not like using the headphones that are given out on aeroplanes. Maybe I’m a germaphobe, but I just don’t like using them and not to mention, they’re really not that comfortable to wear. Instead I prefer to pack my own Apple headphones so that I can watch movies in the comfort that my ears stay clean & infection free.
Perfume Travelling is quite the unclean activity and when you travel long distances it is important that you try to keep yourself as feeling & smelling as fresh as possible. That is where perfume comes in. I like to clean my body with body wipes and afterwards finish off with a squirt of my favourite perfume to freshen up & make myself feel much better between flights and on arrival.
Water Travelling is a dehydrating business so I always buy at least 2 litres of water once through security so that I can sip it on board to avoid dehydration. It makes me feel so much better when I drink lots of water while I’m travelling.
Hand-sanitzer Aeroplanes and airports are full of germs and I cannot tell you the number of times I have gotten sick once I get back from travelling. Carrying hand-sanitzer or anti-bacteria wipes is a great way to keep your hands clean and reduce your chances of getting sick, while also avoiding a ton of trips to the aeroplane bathroom to wash them. This hand-sanitizer smells absolutely delightful and can be purchased here
The makeup bag travel essentials
Deodorant This one really doesn’t need an explanation – no one wants to sit beside the stinky person on the aeroplane so don’t be that stinky person. I always carry my Mitchum Solid Deodorant as it is my holy grail deo and I can rely on it to keep my under-arms smelling fresh throughout my journey.
Moisturiser Unfortunately I have just discovered that the featured moisturiser has been discontinued (sorry!) but you can find a similar one here. Moisturiser, and lots of it, is a huge must for me when I am flying to stop my skin drying out. I literally slap this stuff on when I get on board and every time I wash my face before arriving at my destination.
Eye cream There’s nothing like a good eye cream to give your under-eyes a hydration boost. Just like my face moisturiser I like to lather my under-eyes with eye cream so that they are as moisturised when I leave the plane as when I boarded. You can find more info on the featured eye cream in my Current Skincare Routine post.
Concealer Before arriving at my final destination I like to re-apply a little makeup to avoid looking like an exhausted mess on arrival. I like to avoid applying foundation straight after a flight as the dry air we’re exposed to on board makes my foundation difficult to apply. Instead I like to cover my under eyes and any problem areas with concealer. You can find out more about the featured concealer on my previous The Products I Can Trust post.
Lipstick I find that when you’re wearing very little makeup a subtle lip colour can go a long way. When travelling I like to apply my lip colour with a light hand & i always make sure to moisturise my lips first to avoid the lipstick settling into any lines on dry lips. Pictured is Rimmel Kate lipstick in 045 which is the perfect ‘my lips but better’ shade for carrying on board.
Mascara When I am wearing minimal makeup I just cannot go without mascara. Mascara makes my eyes look more awake and I like apply a light coat to avoid my eyelashes looking too heavy against a bare face. I normally wear waterproof mascara however I prefer to apply a non waterproof mascara when I travel to make it much easier and quicker to remove.
Eyebrow powder Just like mascara I cannot prevent myself from applying an eyebrow powder to my brows when I am wearing minimal makeup – my face just looks much better when my eyebrows are filled in! I prefer to use powder eyebrow products when I travel as I find that they look more natural against a minimal face. I love to carry my Freedom Duo Eyebrow Powder in my travel makeup bag as it is lightweight & provides good coverage while keeping my brows looking natural.
This turned out to be such a long post. I hope you made it to the end! What are your travel essentials?