8 Travel Essentials You Should Always Carry in Hand Luggage

There are two motivations to this post and two reasons why you should always carry these 8 travel essentials in your hand luggage. Firstly, because bus, boat or plane journeys are never particularly comfortable, so it’s always nice to carry your essentials with you to make the journey more pleasant. But secondly, because there’s always that slim chance your luggage may go missing, which is an annoyance that we all wish to avoid when we’re away.

My rucksack recently got lost during a connecting flight between Cambodia and Borneo, and since the airport had no idea which direction my bag had taken or if it had even got on the plane in the first place, I was preparing for the worst. Fortunately, luck was on my side and my bag was sent over within a couple of days, and I’d packed a few practical hand luggage essentials to keep me going along the way.

Here are my top travel essentials you should always carry in your hand luggage to keep you comfortable whilst travelling and prepare you for all travel scenarios.


Whether we’re travelling on boats, buses or planes, my MacBook is the one item that I never part with. A) because it’s an expensive accessory to lose, and B) because my laptop is my lifeline in many ways, whether it’s for skyping, blogging or even just catching up on our favourite series. We always make sure we’ve got enough episodes of Breaking Bad at hand to occupy our time and make the journey fly that bit quicker.

Tip: Always remember to carry your charger with you. If you’ve got a connecting flight you can always top up your battery at an airport charging station, and in the unfortunate event that you lose your bag for a few days at least you’ll have your laptop to keep you going.


A small selection of toiletries always comes in handy when you’re travelling. If you’ve got a long day on the move, it’s always nice to have some deodorant, moisturiser and a small travel toothbrush so you can freshen up along the way. It also comes in use if your bag gets lost, so at least you’ve got something to keep you going for a couple of days if you temporarily part ways with everything else.

Phone charger

With iPhone batteries being as poor as they are, it’s hard to last more than a day on one charge. It’s always nice to have contact with the outside world especially if you’re spending a lot of time around airports, and if the worst does happen and your bag gets lost, at least you’ll have a way of contacting your nearest and dearest back home.

Contact lenses

When I realised that my bag was missing, the first thought that crossed my mind was “I don’t have any spare contact lenses”. If you’re a lense wearer always carry a few back-up pairs just in case, as you’ll have great difficulty finding replacements especially if you’re travelling around remote destinations.


It goes without saying that your iPod should always be in your hand luggage. Whether you’re travelling alone or as a group, it’s always nice to have your iPod at hand to keep you occupied along your journey.

Something cosy

Even if you’re travelling around tropical destinations, carrying a scarf or jumper will always come in use when you’re on the move. Planes are usually heavily air-conditioned so after a couple of hours it can get pretty chilly, so having a scarf to snuggle into will always keep you warm particularly on long haul flights.

Light reading

A good read will forever come in handy when you’re travelling. If you’ve got a long flight ahead, it’s always nice to delve into a good novel to pass the time.

Your 1 ‘hate to lose’ item

Whether it’s your camera, beauty essentials or favourite bikini, always take that one thing that you couldn’t possibly bear to lose. I’ll usually pack my favourite bikini in my hand luggage, especially if we’re travelling to a beach destination. This way, if all does disappear, at least I’ll have a bikini at hand which can also double up as a spare pair of underwear, just in case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *