I have been on the other side of this planet twice so far. I’ve been to Japan, Malaysia and Australia (all beautiful countries by the way). I love traveling, but packing can be a real problem and I always feel like I’ve forgotten something, and then there are all those rules on what you can and can’t bring on a flight! I’m also not always able to access my carry on luggage so, I’ve thought of some ways to organize my luggage to make everything easy and accessible to me while on a flight.
Let’s talk about checked luggage first. Usually, this is one big bag. In here, you are going to want to pack all of your clothes, toiletries, your makeup, shoes, swimsuits, an empty purse. DO NOT pack your laptop. You’re not allowed to lock your baggage and with all those hands making sure it gets to your destination, I wouldn’t put anything in there, that I didn’t want to lose. Let me put it this way. If Kris Jenner can have things stolen from her suitcase on the way to Vienna, there’s no promise your stuff won’t get stolen too.
Carry on’s are tricky. You can bring a purse or computer bag, and then a small piece of luggage you can store above you. My husband and I usually pack one pair of clothes (in case our checked luggage gets lost. He will usually claim this bag along with his laptop bag. For me, I will usually claim my camera bag (because I’m a blogger) and my computer bag. I usually pack my empty purse on my checked luggage as stated above and I turn my camera bag, or my laptop bag into my alternative purse. It’s not cute, but no one is going to care on a transatlantic flight. I promise. On a side note, I saw a girl during my 14-hour flight dressed to the nines, wearing heels, false lashes and a body con dress while flying economy. There’s nothing wrong with doing this, but I did want to ask her how she didn’t go screaming down the aisle four hours in ripping everything that was uncomfortable off.
Okay, so here’s where the tricky stuff happens for your carry on. For American standards, all liquids need to be limited to 3.4ounces (or 100ml) travel containers. Also, all liquids, gels, and creams all have to fit in a 1-quart sized resealable bag. So hard choices need to be made here. For example, I wear contacts, BUT on a flight, I will wear my glasses the same goes for that expensive perfume you might wear. This might not be a bad thing anyway, because while that perfume might smell good to you, or even nice to others for a bit, it may actually cause nausea and headaches for those who are sensitive and there’s nothing worse than being forced to sit next to someone who is making you sick for 18 hours. Also, don’t forget the full-size bottle of sunscreen.
I also pack a medical bag. This is a separate gallon bag. It contains ibuprofen, birth control, feminine products, bandaids, Niquil and Dayquil in pill form (be careful about these since some places like Malaysia actually ban them) and a few packets of Airborn that can be mixed with water, Pepto Bismol, gas-x (yeah, you’re welcome), Dramamine, I also store any doubles of anything that we will need on our return flight.
Here’s what I do. I pack a gallon bag for my husband and I. This will be pulled out and stay with us, while on our flight, so we don’t have to keep getting out our carry on from the 1 quart bag will also fit in here, so everything is together and can be easily removed during a TSA check.
For the liquids bag, I pack the following: lotion, hand sanitizer, 1-2 nip size alcohol bottles (again you’re welcome), eye drops, toothpaste. chapstick. This should be able to fit snuggly into your Gallon size bag.
Your gallon size bag which will hold the following: toilet wipes, body wipes (not quite a shower, but it’s nice to freshen up a little on a layover, or in the micro bathrooms on the plane), travel unscented deodorant, cheap earbuds (because nothing is worse than realizing that the ones you packed broke and you don’t have any spares except whatever dubious ones are provided by the airline). Hydrating face masks (yes people are going to be looking at you. Should you care? No…because deep down, they are wishing they had thought of that.) travel size tissues, gum, earplugs, toothbrushes,
and the stuff you want to take with you, but put in the overhead compartment will be:
If you’re bringing your computer instead of a purse, You can pack the following: Computer, charger, phone, charger, music, books, journal, sketchbook, guided meditation, A game that doesn’t require the internet ( like Stardew Valley), and electric converters.
I usually include a card in the bags as well listing all the things I packed in case TSA wants to get stupid about it. It also makes it easy to tell if what you’re looking for is in the big bag or small, or if you put it in your check luggage and you’re screwed.
So, in theory (or at least it’s worked for me), when you’re in line for TSA, you can pull the gallon bag out of your take on luggage, and remove the liquids container and everything is nice and easy. If you’re looking for some fun extras to bring along to make your trip even more comfortable, I’ve included a final list with links where you can read more and make a purchase if you wish. Some of these are affiliate links which means I will get a small commission if you decide to purchase anything.
: My husband bought this unique neck pillow for our flight to Australia and for the first time ever he was able to get a little sleep. It works by bracing your neck so that you aren’t leaning on the window or your seat neighbor and it is machine washable and comes in a bunch of cool colors.
: I usually use the blanket airline gives me to sit on and add a little extra cushion to my chair. However, it gets cold and this poncho style blanket won’t slip down while you are snuggled under it. I also love the idea of a zippered pocket and stuff sack so that if I do have to get up, I don’t have to move a TON of things first.
: If you’re not into using your airplane blanket as a seat cushion, this self-inflating seat cushion has excellent reviews, packs down into a tiny travel size, should make your travels a lot more comfortable.
: With music and books all contained on my phone, one of my biggest fears was that I’d drop it and it would go under my seat and that almost happened a couple of times! This little thing fits on the back of your phone and will “pop” out acting like a tripod so you can prop your phone up on your little food tray, OR you can place it between your fingers and hold it knowing if there’s turbulence it’s not going to be dropped very easily.
: You may not be in first class but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a little fantasy. These cute Cocktail kits come in a little container with everything you need to make delicious drinks (and that’s why I suggest you pack a few nips for yourself so you don’t have to wait for meals to get something fun). It has many varieties of mixes from Margaritas, Moscow Mules, and classic Gin and Tonic, each comes with a mix, stir spoon and even a cute little napkin.
: These socks are amazing. I actually bought a pair for my flight to Australia. Wearing shoes on a transatlantic flight can be painful for me so putting these socks on not only keeps my feet from freezing, but they’re also slip proof which means I can wear them into the restroom. They’re also machine washable and extremely well made.
: Coloring isn’t just for kids, and considering that plane flights can often create anxiety in people, this is a small packable coping technique that I have learned. The Enchanted Forest makes absolutely AMAZING adult coloring books, but they’ve made something travel size! These are colorable postcards. I’ve also used these markers as well and they’re fantastic. These are also compact enough that you won’t feel like you’re crowding your neighbors.
: Speaking of soothing, aromatherapy is always a wonderful way to calm the nerves. In such a cramped area though it can be very difficult to use aromatherapy without it affecting your neighbors. This aromatherapy bracelet is a way to just keep the smell isolated to you and you can hold it to your nose without it looking odd. Just be sure to pack your essential oils in your liquids bag!
I hope this post helps you and even gives you some fun extras to look forward to! Just because you have a long flight ahead, doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. Don’t forget the standard entertainments to such as books, audio books, movies, and music, I also suggest throwing in some 8-hour “sleep through” meditations and that you start listening to those a month before your flight. This will start to program your mind that when you hear the meditation you have chosen that it’s time to sleep and it might make things easier. However, if it doesn’t you still have fun things to occupy you. -Heather Astaneh