My friends are often SHOCKED a the amount of stuff I can get into a carry-on bag. Or that I never seem to be missing something. How do I do it?? Luckily for you, I’m someone who spends lots of time flying and has the art of what needs to go in your carry-on bag down to a science. So what exactly needs to go in your carry-on bag for a long haul flight? And by everything that needs to go in your bag, I mean everything.
My necessities are:
- The first thing you need is a good-sized, durable and classy bag to carry all your goodies in. It should have a shoulder strap for longer walks to the gate and sturdy handles for carrying it down the aisle of the plane. We love the Longchamp Black Leather Trim duffel. It’s made of durable canvas material so it’s easily wiped clean yet is finished with leather around the seams. Plus, like all Longchamp bags, it can fold down to a small size when not needed. I bought mine in Paris and have never since travelled without it.
- Inside your carry on bag, you’ll need a smaller, see-thru plastic case to hold your toiletries and liquids. Although there are rumours that the TSA will stop screening all our liquids and we’ll once again be allowed to bring water on planes, for now you can’t bring any larger than 100mL. This clear bag is super helpful because it means you don’t have to pull out one clear bag for liquids and one for the rest of your toiletries. Get mini sizes of all your toiletries and fit them in one clear bag that’s easy to spot in your bag and when asked at security. Trust me, this will not only make you a star in the eyes of the security guards, but will also make you look like you do this all.the.time, Ms. Jetsetter. We like the purple clear bag from Flight 001 so it’s easy to spot in your bag when asked to produce it.
- In this day of viruses and superbugs, one can never be clean enough. I pack wipes that double as hand sanitizers and seat/surroundings sanitizers and wipe down the armrests, volume and channel buttons, touchscreen TVs, etc. as soon as I sit down. I also never travel without noise cancelling headphones, thanks Dr. Dre.
- I then take off my shoes and put on my cashmere socks (unless I’m already wearing them!) and wrap my travel wrap around my shoulders. I actually always travel with one of these as a scarf, so it’s always with me. I use it as a scarf, a blanket and sometimes a pillow. My favourite is from Theory.
- I always have my iPad with me, and carry a copy of a well-loved book, Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me. I’ve read the book thousands of times, but love to start from the beginning all over again on a long flight.
- I also always have a pen with me, preferably my favourites from Muji (handy for jotting down notes and filling out those pesky customs forms) Many of my best ideas have come at 30,000 feet with no distractions and they’re captured in Smythson notebooks
The Mini-Sized Beauty
- In your mini bag, put smaller sizes of your must-have products. We have two categories for these minis…
- FLIGHT PREP minis: make-up removing wipes to completely remove any trace of makeup that you may have on your face. Trust me, flying is dehydrating and pore clogging like nothing else, and not having makeup on will make your arrival face much much happier. You’ll then need a face moisturizer, a heavy duty hand moisturizer (Kiehls Ultimate Strength Hand Cream is my favourite), super strong lip moisturizer (Fresh Sugar Advanced Lip Therapy) and I always pack a cuticle cream. Somehow, sitting and staring at my hands for hours on end has a tendency to pick and bite at them – so I now use cuticle oil and rub it in multiple times as I fly.
- ARRIVAL PREP minis: About an hour before you land, start making your way to the restroom with your small purple bag. Spray yourself with your mist and wipe off all traces of airplane air. Yucky, dirty, germy airplane air. I pack a travel sized version of my favourite hair serum to tame flyaway strands and leave silky strands (BB Hairdresser’s Oil), a plastic travel eyelash curler (long story, but I once had a Shu Uemera one confiscated for being metal in Hong Kong) and mascara. Now, when I travel, I make a point of going to the hotel or destination first so that I can do a full make-up touch up once I arrive, so I just carry the basics with me on the plane. If you’re going directly to a meeting or being greeted by an ex-boyfriend, pack a small vial of BB cream, some blush and a tiny cream eyeshadow as well. Extra bonus points for a little bronzer – all available in teeny tiny sizes from Sephora as samples. I also pack a solid version of one of my favourite perfumes to make sure I smell fresh when I land (Diptyque Figuier Solid).
Are we missing anything in our carry-on bag list? How do you travel in refined style? A while back, we also shared our best tricks for avoiding jet lag – which we’ll re-share today. Happy and safe travels!
Links to all my favourites: