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THE carry-on pack list.

[A three minute read]

I try to avoid checking in luggage at all costs. I spent weeks preparing for my month in Colombia [in 2016] so I could pack efficiently enough to only take carry on and I loved travelling light.

But there are times when it’s tricky to not check in bags – like spending a few weeks in a winter destination, especially when you offer to mule all the family Christmas presents in your luggage too.

Anyway, with years of travel my packing has become more refined and I now have a great packing list I use every time.

The less stuff and weight the better, but bring enough to stay comfortable. Some of this I leave behind for shorter trips, the below is based on an international long haul flight.

Here’s what and how I pack.

The carry on outfit. 

> 1 x pair of great pants.
Ones that don’t let the dry air in, comfy and stylish enough to say “I am willing and able to accept an upgrade”

> 1 x coat or pashmina in case the air con is set to Arctic mode.

> 1 x pair of warm socks for above reasons.

> 1 x pair comfy enclosed shoes, that will still fit your swollen feet once you land.

> 1 x pair hotel slippers to wear on the flight.
NEVER wear socks or go barefoot to the bathroom, you may catch an STD or something.

> 1 x pair of sunnies, in case it’s bright when you land.

> I always lay out my flight outfit the night prior so I can get out the door quickly, particularly for early morning flights.

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Entertainment. 

Sure the flight has entertainment, but what’s your backup if it breaks or you’ve already seen the movies?

I download a few backup movies onto my laptop [or use Netflix downloads on my phone].

I download Spotify playlists and podcasts in advance, and always take a book and / or magazine. Bring some good headphones, with the 2 prong flight adapter.

I bring a USB phone charger too, as most flights now have a USB ports.

Also remember to backup your devices before you leave.

Toiletries.

Remember to keep everything under 100ml for international, and pack all the liquids in a clip lock bag before you leave home.

> 1 x little tub of coconut oil, secured in it’s own clip lock bag in case of melting. This is the best in flight moisturizer.

> 1 x mini bottle of face mist. It’s refreshing and hydrating. I like The Little Alchemist brand best.

> 1 x hand cream.

> 1 x eye drops. [I have contacts and get zombie eyes on flights]

> 1 x lip balm.

> A few baby wipes in a clip lock bag. Never know when someone could spill something on you, or you want to clean your face before an in-flight nap.

> 1 x foundation. I always pack mine in carry on just in case my checked luggage goes missing. My foundation is a natural and Australian brand – Ere Perez – so impossible to replace overseas and I hate the thought of buying some toxic filled replacement. So bring on board anything you can’t easily replace on your trip.

> A few Nurofens and throat lozenges just in case.

> A few bandaids.

> A mini dental floss and / or toothbrush and mini paste.

Snacks. 

Airports are notorious for serving inedible things called ‘food’, as are airlines. Here are a few of my favourite *real* food snacks to pack.

Sometimes I’ll make a green smoothie the night before, decant into a leakproof glass jar and drink on the way to the airport. Then you can add the glass to recycling at the airport.

> Drink bottle, with a wide mouth so you can fill it at the airport water fountains. I usually fit it about 1/3 of the way the night prior, so you can hydrate before you go through security.

> Some herbal teabags. Lemon and ginger is my current go-to.

> Almond milk in a leak proof little bottle, then in a clip lock bag to be sure. I add this to coffee at the airport [for airports where they only have sugary soy milk] or in-flight.

> Keep Cup to avoid guilt when grabbing coffee in transit.

> Pre-cut chunks of cheese.

> Carrot or capsicum sticks.

> These amazing parmesan chia crackers I make in advance [image below].

> Protein Bread Co cookies – they aren’t crumbly and the high protein keeps you full and not bloated. I like to make them as macadamia + apricot, and the choc + walnut combo is ace too.

> Dry roasted nuts.

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Parmesan Chia Crackers

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Comfort.

> 1 x pair earplugs, in case of screaming babies.

> 1 x eye mask for nap time.

> 1 x of these spiky balls, for preventing my neck and shoulders turning to concrete.

I don’t bother with a neck pillow. Too bulky and most airlines have great adjustable head rests now.

The important / random stuff.

> Passport, with a photocopy hidden in your checked bag, and / or a photo saved in your phone.

> Locks for your checked baggage.

> A few credit cards. Check the overseas transaction fees first and hide an emergency one separately to your other cards.

> Your frequent flyer baggage tags if you have them.

> House keys for the trip home. You don’t want to be rifling through your checked luggage on your doorstep in the rain after a 20 hour flight.

If you’re going to be at the airport or in transit a while, check the facilities in advance. I just left Dubai Airport kicking myself I hadn’t bought gym gear to use the health club there!

Who else has some great travel tips? I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Over and out,
Grace.

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