5 Hand Luggage Essentials for Overseas Trips

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If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from travelling to more countries than I can count (although I would like to count them one day soon), it’s that your hand luggage can make or break a trip.

Pack too much, and you’re left with a sore shoulder from lugging it around the airport for hours, and squashed contents from not being able to fit it into the overhead lockers. Pack too little and you either don’t get a good night’s sleep or you’re stuck in a line desperately thirsty. I have been in all of these situations, which is why I have now figured out the five hand luggage essentials for overseas travel.

1. Water

This is a tricky one because you’re not allowed taking normal-sized bottles of water overseas. What you can do, though, is make sure you have a bottle of water for the initial airport leg, and ask for one of those handy small bottles of water on the plane to take with you while you clear customs etc.

2. Neck pillow

It amazes me that anyone goes on a long-haul flight without a neck pillow. Do you know how this will change your life? And it folds down to nearly nothing! No neck pain, no weird crick in the neck, and as close to a good night’s sleep as you can imagine. A must-have.

3. Kindle / Book

I am a book lover through and through, but I also have a Kindle – purely for travelling. It simply can’t be beaten: hundreds of books on a tiny little device that’s lightweight but also a pleasure to read on (and has a batter life of two weeks!) Having my Kindle in my hand luggage has saved me from many boring queues and endless waits for buses or trains to arrive.

4. Mini fresh-up kit

And I do mean mini. Simply a few facial wipes, some scented body lotion, a comb and one of those fold-up toothbrushes can make you feel like a new person.

5. A travel wallet

Trust me, after many years of scrabbling for my passport and the relevant documents, I’ve learnt: buy yourself a good quality travel wallet, make sure you have a pen in it to fill in any necessary forms, and leave everything you need for overseas travel in one handy spot.

What are your hand luggage essentials?

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