Carry-On Packing List

last update: 14 March 2020

Packing - practical details

I've tried to compile a useful check-in packing list, and I've inserted some comments (in italics) based upon our winter trip of 53 nights to Thailand and Dubai, through London.

We put
all our personal belonging and valuables in hand luggage (i.e. passports, tickets, visas, money, essential medication, etc.).

I took
photographs of all luggage, including during packing. It helps also when you have to unpack and repack during a stopover.

Also I prepared
packing lists for both check-in and carry-on. I also had copies of all important bills, proof of purchase, etc., just in case.

I labelled all bags inside and out with name, destination address, email address and mobile phone number.

I used
suitcase covers and a colourful security strap. I also use TSA-approved locks.

Remember when flying, you should avoid powders and aerosols in hand baggage, and liquids, gels, and creams must be in small qualities (each less than 100ml) and placed in
a single, transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of up to 20 cm by 20 cm with a total capacity not to exceed 1 litre (1,000ml).

All the liquids, creams, etc. must fit in the hand baggage, and the
plastic bag should be taken out to be screened separately.

Many carriers explain that
medicinal tablets and capsules can go in checked baggage or in hand baggage, but must be accompanied by a doctor's prescription.

One suggestion I saw and followed, was to ensure that all electronic equipment was charged and could be switched on if asked.

I also kept separate Zip-loc bags for jewellery, keys, watch, and all contents of our carry-on baggage. It just makes it easier going through security control.

I also travelled in a simple jacket with zipped pockets. So I could put everything in the zipped pockets and dump the jacket in the tray for security control.

For a complete list of everything we take with us, the carry-on list needs to be used along with the check-in list.

There are a lot of packing lists on the Web, and I have used the following lists to try and isolate what needs to go in carry-on:-

'Carry-On' Packing List:-

One can include lots of things in your carry-on baggage. But we will focus on what you
must put in you carry-on, and not in the checked-in luggage.

Always carry with you:-

  • Passports, visa's, money and credit cards, tickets and travel documents,… (the message is don't leave anything valuable or that can not be replaced in checked-in luggage)

  • Travel itinerary, emergency contact numbers, photocopies of all important documents

  • All essential medication

  • Laptop and phones with chargers and cables

  • Camera with charger and cable to connect to laptop

  • Jewellery/Valuables

  • House and car keys

  • Glasses (sunglasses and spares)

  • Compression stockings (if you have not already put them on)

A true optional, my wife took 2-3 decorative pieces but never used them

I took a €10 watch with me that failed after a few days, so I just use my iPhone

Money belt
I had one, but never wore it. However it was very useful for keeping all important stuff together in the hotel wall safe, etc.

Laptop, iPad, iPhones and chargers and cables
We took a laptop, 12" iPad, and three iPhones, plus charges and cables (and a separate charger and cable for my wife's Fitbit).
We never used the iPad. We each had an iPhone, and the third one was used with a SIM from a local carrier in Thailand.
We also checked-in a set of spare chargers and cables, but they were never needed

Camera with charger and cable to connect to laptop
I do wonder if you have one of the recent smartphones, do you need a separate camera?

Plug/Socket adaptors - I took three sets of socket adaptors (one in 'carry-on'), of which only one set was used in one of the hotels

Electric Razor - they can be quite bulky, and you can easily find wet-shave material anywhere

My wife tells me that a really essential carry-on is her 'eau de toilette', which were were able to find in small spray tubes.

What the airlines say

Before we continue with other stuff you might want in your carry-on baggage, let's have a look at
what the airlines tell us is allowed and disallowed.

Remember all cabin baggage must fit under the seat in front of you or in one of the overhead lockers.

Remember airlines often will implement very strict rules concerning the size and weight of carry-on baggage. For example, Emirates allows business class passengers to carry a briefcase (max. 45 cm by 35 cm by 20 cm) and a 'handbag' (max. 55 cm by 38 cm by 20 cm). Each item must not weight more than 7 kg.
We took great care to respect this rule, but noticed that other passengers did not respect the same rule, and that Emirates never checked the size or weight of carry-on luggage.

Carry-on extras

It's a great idea
to also include the following in hand luggage:-
  • Antibacterial hand gel (always use before eating on a aeroplane)

  • Antibacterial wipes (use to clean surfaces such as aeroplane tray table, remote controls, ….)

  • Chewing gum (used to ease popping in the ears)

  • In a toiletry kit it's a good idea to include a facial cleanser, toothbrush and toothpaste, and an instant stain remover (type 'Tide To Go' in the form of a liquid pen), tissues, lip balm, comb, etc.

  • Neck pillow - we didn't take them because we had flat-beds and pillows

Take essential medication as carry-on, and include
Aspirin, Diotame (anti-acid) and an antihistamine

Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off

extra Zip-loc bags

Can be useful to carry a light-weight
Cashmere wrap - we took one but the airline provided a blanket

To some people books, ebooks, MP3 players, headphones, tablet, etc. are essential, but to others they are optional

Always have some pens and paper

Remember you may need some local cash for porters, taxi, …

Keep with you vouchers, etc. that you may have pre-booked and/or pre-paid

If possible include a change of clothes in hand luggage (you never know)

And remember at entrances always go left, it is said that most people tend to go to the right….