Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Packing hand luggage

I'm off to the UK tonight, my suitcase is packed full of gifts and wedding decorations and winter and water proof clothing. I'm flying with Emirates airlines as they have a very generous 30kg allowance.

As an expat, international flights are common, but this is my first trip back 'home' where I'm flying direct from Dubai. My trips from South Africa used to involve any thing between 2 - 9 hours stop over in Dubai and therefore I packed my hand luggage very differently to this trip.

For my latest flight I packed what I normally do, but didn't need two spare sets of clothes, shampoo, towel or as many toiletries.

I prefer a window seat and once seated I rarely get up, unless I'm desperate for the loo, I exercise in my seat following the instructions on the card in front and always purchase additional water prior to boarding and a few sweets. As I sit near the window, I pack my hand luggage with a separate bag inside containing everything I may want during the flight and if I'm doing a stop over I always buy my duty free allowance on the 2nd leg of the trip so I'm not dragging additional bags through security and around the airport.

All of this came out of my hand luggage, I took the photos as I packed, it also helps if I make a list in advance of what I need.

When flying out of Johannesburg, it is essential that all electrical items and items of value are packed in your hand luggage to prevent theft and your suitcase is wrapped in giant rolls of cling film to make theft that little bit harder. I still pack all charges and cables in my hand luggage and additional jewellery as you never know and in case of my case getting delayed there has to be room for a spare t shirt, underwear and deodorant so at least I have one change of clothes on arrival.

Thankfully the airport in Dubai is air conditioned so I arrived wearing winter clothing, boots and a coat, leaving me with more space and weight in my checked in luggage, although I did wear sandals for the trip to the airport, leaving them with hubby in a plastic bag to take home.

So in my hand luggage goes:

Laptop on top of bag so easily removed for security checks
Small clear zip lock with toothbrush/paste, face cloth (to be used as a small towel), deodorant, wet wipes, comb, hair bobbles, anti bacterial hand wash, tissues

Lap top charger and adapters

Head phones
Phone and usb cable
Notepad and pen
Camera and all related cables and charges
Jewellery pouch
UK bank and store cards, sim card and currency, Wallet
T shirt and underwear
Sun glasses in case
Eye mask
Socks to wear in flight
Neck cushion

Separate bag for removal during the flight containing the following items from the first list

Head phones
Phone and usb cable
Notepad and pen
Toiletry bag
Neck cushion
Bottled water and sweets (bought after passport and security checks)

No hair straighteners in hand luggage this trip, as I wasn't leaving Joburg I was able to pack them in my checked in luggage. I also packed my address book, diary and papers relating to the UK in my checked in luggage for this trip, but I was a little apprehensive about doing so. I've never lost a case but hubby and 2 of the kids have had their luggage delayed in the past and hubby has also had items stolen from his checked in luggage.


  1. Wishing you a very safe journey. It sounds as though you have everything sussed x

    1. tahdah I've arrived, however I wish i hadn't lugged the laptop charger and adapter plug with me, but if there had been a delay or suitcase lost I would have been stuck this morning, also i never read my book