Following on from last weekend’s luggage issues at Gatwick Airport, a number of people have suggested packing all essential items in their hand luggage rather than risk putting these items in luggage destined for the hold.
We’ve compiled our list of essential items to place in your hand luggage whether it is for holiday or on business, so in the unlikely event that your luggage is lost you can get on with your trip.
Hand Luggage Essentials – Travel Specific Items
Keep all items related to your journey in a safe and easy to reach part of your hand luggage, as you want to be able to reach it when you need it to go through security as well as keeping it safe from any potential thief’s. Things to consider are:
- Local currency, traveller’s cheques, credit card etc.
- Driving license (if needed)
- Hard copy of your travel insurance with contact details for emergencies
- Flight booking confirmations / etickets
- Visa or other immigration evidence required
Hand Luggage Essentials – High Value Items
We would always advise keeping High Value items on your person or in your hand luggage, and not just high monetary value but things, which have a sentimental value and are difficult to replace in foreign countries. These might include
- Watches & jewellery
- Medicines for your entire trip (though be sure to check medicines comply with the country you are travelling to and you have the relevant prescription, and comply with all security restrictions)
- Laptops & electronic devices
- Fragile items (again ensure they are permitted to go through security)
- Contact details for the local British Embassy or High Commission in your destination
Hand Luggage Essentials – Change of Clothing
We always have a change of clothing in our hand luggage that is consistent with the destination we’re travelling to. So not t-shirt and shorts if travelling to Canada in the winter or a ski jacket if off to Benidorm in August. By having a change of clothing you can at least get changed after a flight and feel comfortable whilst you wait for your luggage to arrive. We obviously recommend taking as much clothing as you are permitted by the airlines hand luggage restrictions, as that way you can relax and enjoy your holiday without the stress of potentially losing your luggage.
- Appropriate clothes for the night, so you can get a good night’s sleep as after a stressful journey where your luggage has been lost you want to be functioning on a clear head after a good night’s sleep.
- Appropriate clothes for the day, so you can enjoy some of your trip and be in appropriate and comfortable clothes whilst you wait for your bag.
Hand Luggage Essentials – Toiletries
Whilst you’ll be able to buy a range of toiletries at your destination and even some hotels and apartments may have basic toiletries, we would advise at least taking your own toothbrush & toothpaste with you in your hand luggage. Some things are hard to get in new destinations so it might be easier to take these essentials items with you than try to find them in a new country or city.
Contact lenses and cleaning agent (again ensure it complies with security restrictions)
Suntan lotion, if appropriate for your destination. If you lose your luggage and you’re having to stay indoors during the first few days of your holiday, you may become frustrated. So by having suntan lotion, at least you can do the waiting for your luggage by the hotel pool.
Insect repellent, if appropriate for your destination. Again this allows you to enjoy your destination whilst you await your luggage.
Hand Luggage Essentials – Chargers
Given most people have a smartphone or even a tablet, it might be worthwhile including a charger and an adapter for any electrical item, as you may need to charge your phone when you arrive so that the airline can contact you to notify you when your missing luggage will be delivered to your hotel. You may also need your phone or tablet to check on your rights and contact relevant travel agents and insurance companies should your luggage go missing.
Hand Luggage Essentials – Entertainment
Not just for the flight, but also whilst you wait for news & developments at your destination, its valuable to have some form of entertainment, especially if travelling with children.
A simple pack of cards offers you a range of possible games doesn’t require electricity and is relatively easy to store in hand luggage.
Hand Luggage Essentials – Sundries
Some paper and pen are also handy to have as you may want to keep a log of what has happened, who you spoke to and what they said, in order to keep the insurance company and the airlines informed of the commitments and actions being taken.
Check Airline’s Hand Luggage Allowance
And before you leave for your trip, ensure that your hand luggage complies with the airlines allwance for hand luggage, otherwise you may be delayed at check in and pay a significant fee for oversized luggage. Just click on the airline’s name or perform a seach for the airline’s hand luggage allowances.
Enjoy your trip!