Hand luggage
Hand luggage

So you’re all set for your holiday, your taxi to the airport is booked, your suitcases are packed to bursting, your passports are ready and waiting, but what about your hand luggage? This normally consists of you then grabbing a bag and running round the house chucking in anything and everything you can think of, and often not the things you most need. Just like your suitcase you need to think about what you need to pack in your hand luggage and ensure no essentials are left at home.
With airport security getting stricter each year it’s difficult to know what you can and can’t take, particularly when it comes to liquids, so here’s a few things you need to know before packing your hand luggage:
Hand Luggage Allowances:
First things first, you need to check what allowances you’re allowed with your hand luggage. There will be both size and weight restrictions so you need to check with your airline as to what these are.
Liquids and Security:
There are a number of restrictions regarding the amount of liquids you are allowed to take in your hand luggage so it’s important you pack what you can into your suitcases. If you are taking liquid in your hand luggage then these are the rules:

  • Each container you take with you must not contain more than 100ml of liquid.
  • You should ensure that containers are no larger than 100ml, even if they’re only part full they won’t be allowed through security.
  • All containers must be in one single, transparent bag and you’re only allowed one bag per person. The bag should ideally be around 20cmx20cm in size and hold no more than 1 litre in liquid.
  • The contents must fit easily inside the bag so it can be sealed

The types of liquids included:

  • Drinks
  • Cosmetics and toiletries
  • Gels
  • Pastes
  • Sprays

So What Should I Pack In My Hand Luggage?
Depending on how far you are flying, your flight could last anything from two hours to 20 so it’s important you have all your vital items as well as a few things to keep you entertained, here’s your essential hand luggage checklist:
Crucial Items:

  • Small moisturiser: To keep your hands and face hydrated throughout the flight
  • Lipbalm: To keep your lips moisturised
  • Contact lens solution: As well as drying out your skin and lips, the air-conditioning on a plane can also make your eyes feel dry and sore so it’s a good idea to pack solution, a spare pair of contacts or your glasses.
  • Flight socks or compression socks: These can help reduce your risk of getting deep vein thrombosis (DVT) whilst on a long haul flight. Class 1 stockings are ideal and they should be worn throughout the flight.
  • Toothpaste and face wipes: If your flight is going to be a long one, take a few home comforts so you can freshen up before you land.
  • Passports, driving license, credit cards, foreign currency: Make sure you have all those vital documents and of course your spending money for the trip.
  • Sweets: These will not only help to keep the kids quiet, sucking sweets will also help to keep ear popping under control during take-off and landing!
  • Mobile Phone: Although this needs to be turned off or switched to flight mode whilst you’re in the air it’s better to have this with you as opposed to being tucked away in your suitcase.


  • E-reader or books: For many people, on holiday is the only chance they get to read so load your e-reader full of new e-books or treat yourself to a few paperbacks, just be wary of any weight restrictions
  • Tablet or games console: Take your iPad, your tablet or even your Nintendo DS so you can keep you or the kids entertained for a few hours
  • Pen and paper: A long flight is often the time where those old school games such as hangman and nought and crosses  will help you while away the hours in the air and the pen and paper might also come in handy during your holiday

So if you’re lucky enough to be journeying to sun, sea and sand this summer make sure you follow our guide and pack your hand luggage with the same precision you would pack your suitcase, make a list and plan carefully to ensure you have everything you need to make sure your whole holiday is a success.
This post was written by Meredith Watts, being at risk of DVT she always makes sure she packs her FlySafe compression socks from HJ Hall whenever she has a long journey ahead of her