How To: Pack Essentials Into Your Carry On (Travel Part 1)

I love travelling - I mean, who doesn't? The excitement of being at an airport, are people coming or going, loved ones waiting, glossy magazines waiting to be bought, sitting alongside fat paperbacks for that guilty holiday read... I'm constantly getting bitten by the travel bug - so much so that I wrote three posts about travel products last year (you can find them here, here and here), and I am chomping at the bit again to travel. With that in mind, I'm running another series on travel - because, why not? 

We are starting at the beginning - flights and the essentials you need to have on hand to look presentable at all times. You need to be prepared for that might happen in transit, the delays between flights, and what to do in the event of lost baggage.

Let's take seat back, relax and chat - remember to bookmark this for the next time you go travelling!

Essentials for travelling:

So, I don't know about you, but between the sometimes questionable meals (if you get meals at all - I'm looking at you, FlyScoot to Singapore and Jetstar to Hawaii) and the dry air of the cabin, my skin, hair and cuticles get desperately crispy. As a result, I don't get on a flight without these necessities.

Water bottle - Budget flights tend to be a no frills experience, and as such, I can't be guaranteed a drink on my flight. To cut out the uncertainty, I always pack my own flat water bottle that I fill up at the airport. Big W carries some crazy affordable ones.

Travel pillow - Something I didn't need when I was a kid, these days, this prevents me from waking up with a sore neck. You can get really affordable ones from Miniso and Daiso.

Hand sanitiser - In close confines, you literally have no idea who has touched what, from your tray table, to headphones - this will be your buddy. Seriously, I'm no germaphobe, but in the air with a bunch of people, breathing on one another, I'm practically married to this stuff by the time I disembark. Consider traditional gels from Aqium* and Jurlique*, or sprays from Natrasan*.

Wet wipes - If you love the concept of hand sanitiser, but don't like the no-wash feel to it, wet wipes are necessary. Also, in a cinch, these babies will be the shower you're not able to have while trapped at an airport, waiting for your next flight. QV* makes them for sensitive skin (see below).

Dry skin/lips - Everything shrivels up when I'm on a long haul flight! I have friends that say they go the opposite way, and get oily, but I believe it's because it's so dry that the skin and hair overcompensate and produce more oil to help balance things out. Bit of an overswing, I think!

Enbacci* makes a Detoxifying Clay Mask that can help rejuvenate the skin. Best of all, this doesn't go on opaque, so you wouldn't be scaring people at all! Particularly make sure that you moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! Skin Food by Weleda* is particularly great for rough, dehydrated skin, and QV's* light-but-heavy Ultra Calming Moisturiser will leave your skin feeling smooth and soft.

Also, if your lips are anything like mine, then it's like the Sahara while you're trapped in that tin can! Harvest Garden* has a refreshing Peppermint and Matcha lip balm, while Natralus* has them in a variety of flavours.

If you need a little pick me up for the skin, or a refresher right after waking up, instead of a wipe, you can use a face mist, such as this one from The Body Shop*, or get your hands on something like this little cutie from Saturday Skin*. Hydration and rejuvenation!

Always remember that you can decant what you'd like to take in your carryon, so that it would all fit into a ziplock bag of appropriate size.

Food and Entertainment:

This category is pretty self explanatory. Imagine you're stuck in a foreign airport, and you're just a little too tired to figure out how much you have to pay for something that looks unappetising in a plastic wrapper, or you're broke after spending all of your dough on your trip. Well, thank goodness you packed some snacks! Pick things that travel well, and will still be appealing even when you've left the plane.

For me, I would pick something like Pringles, which is well protected in a can. To finish things off, a Twix bar would be a good idea - takes a bit for it to melt, and it remains tasty for quite a while. I know others that might pack things like trail mix or nuts, which isn't quite my taste, but as long as you're happy with it, get it!

As far as entertainment goes, a good old fashioned book won't quit on you, like electronics might. I also like that you can leave it behind somewhere, and someone else will get something out of it - it's the cycle of book life!

Emergency pack:

Wet wipes - See above. 

Paw Paw ointment - If you've been in Australia for longer than a week, then you'd know how ubiquitous the use of paw paw ointment is! Natralus* makes my favourite paw paw ointment in three sizes, the smallest being 7g, making this incredibly easy to slip in your bag. Fantastic for dry skin and grazes! 

Panty liners - My mom taught me this one! When travelling, a panty liner will help you feel 'fresh' downstairs. Replace it when you need to, or remove it, and it's like having clean underwear again! Helpful for long haul flights! These cuties by Kotex come in adorable packaging. Also, am I the only one who has about a million panty liners hidden in all her bags?

Sunscreen - Ok, so, it may not look like a necessity, but you'd hate to be able to leave the airport for a few hours without sunscreening in a warm climate. Otherwise, it's lobster time for you when you're back in your tiny seat. This also comes in handy, if your baggage gets lost on the other end, and you're not keen to shell out more dollars with the knowledge that your bottle of SPF is just about to arrive. I wish I had this when I went to Hawaii a couple of years back! Sunbum's* travel friendly packaging allows you to chuck it into your bag without taking up liquid space. Quick trip to the beach? Sign me up!

Clothes - When travelling, it's all about layers. I tend to pack underwear, a cardigan, an overlong top, leggings, bra and socks. These will be great for sleeping in, and will be acceptable in public under most circumstances, and take you through a range of temperatures. I have a black Merino wool cardigan by Portmans that takes me through cool temperatures nicely. At the very least, make sure you pack a fresh pair of underwear. Seriously, you never know when you'll need another pair.

Money - Cash is key. Make sure that you have a small amount of cash squirrelled away on your body, and you can do so discreetly with something like a card holder. The silver one pictured is from Debenhams*. Cute and easy to conceal!

I'm always looking to improve how I travel, and so, I asked some of my favourite blogging babes for travel tips, and here's what they came up with:

"Tape the lids of your beauty products shut before you go on a plane, because the low pressure can make the stuff inside expand and explode." - Michelle at Lab Muffin Beauty Science

"Minimize space by using travel sized products or sample sachets. We all receive them and don't always use them and they go to waste! Not only do you get to try a new product, but it will save on luggage weight." Marisa at Marisa Robinson MUA

"Be aware of your surroundings, be smart, but most importantly, enjoy yourself. Also, eat everything!" Loi at Loree Bloom

For more travel tips, travel products and travel inspo, stick around for parts 2 and 3!

*These products were provided for editorial consideration


  1. Love this so much! In fact there are a few tips I could have used on my last trip so definitely book marking for next time x

  2. Great post! I know next time I travel I really need to get snacks beforehand as you never know when you could be delayed. I had it happen twice to me on my last overseas trip & by the time I got to my destination, my arms were looking rather tasty! I also pack a spare outfit + underwear + my skincare essentials in my carry-on just in case my luggage gets lost. It's never happened, but I don't want to be caught out if it does!


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