How to Pack Hand Luggage

Are you getting excited? Your holiday is imminent, but wait! You still have to do the packing. I don’t know about you, but packing for holidays used to be the worst part about a holiday (although the unpacking and washing come a close second).


It’s hard enough trying to work out what to take at the best of time but the new restrictions on hand luggage make it even harder, especially when travelling with young children.

Here are my top tips on how to pack hand luggage to ensure a smooth journey;

Spare outfit for everyone

You always hope it won’t happen to you but you can guarantee the one time you fail to take spare clothing in your hand luggage will be the time your checked bags get lost or delayed. At the very least take spare underwear for everyone.

Fully charged tech devices (and headphones)

When travelling with children we have found their Kindles to be worth their weight in gold. Download a couple of new movies and games to keep them entertained and for the love of flying, make sure they are fully charged! Also, don’t forget the headphones if you don’t want to listen to Peppa Pig on loop or upset your neighbours or it will be a very looooong flight.

Travel Games and Stickers

This one is very much age-dependent but we found stickers kept a younger Albie entertained really well. If yours are too old for stickers then think about taking playing cards, Top Trumps or magnetic board games.

Books and Toys


If all goes well with the aforementioned items then you might want to take a book for yourself to sit back and relax whilst the children are otherwise entertained (who am I kidding??).

Take their favourite reading book too as well as a few small toys or colouring books in a Trunki Boostapak to make the onward journey even easier.

Boiled Sweets or Lollipops

The old tips are the best and this one isn’t going away any time soon. Sucking sweets or lollies will help to prevent the ears from popping at take-off and landing. A lollipop is ideal for younger passengers.

Multi-purpose balm for Face and Lips

Lip Balm

Air conditioning during air travel is notorious for drying your skin out so carry a multi-purpose balm to moisturise your face and lips and keep you feeling fresh.

Wet Wipes

As if you would travel anywhere without wet wipes after becoming a parent? Is there anything that you can’t use these miracle cloths for? I don’t think so!

Sanitiser Spray

Kids get their little fingers everywhere and will find the tiniest piece of food and debris left by previous travellers. Keep your travel area as clean as possible with a sanitiser spray to avoid nasty bugs in-flight.

Don’t forget

Children will generally get their own hand luggage allowance so be sure to take advantage of this when working out your allowance. You’ll probably end up being the one to carry it all but you’ll be pleased to have everything you need.


  • franbackwithabump

    July 18 at 8:29 am

    These are great tips. I always try and pack as light as possible whilst remembering all the essentials to keep 2 kids entertained! Liquids all together in just one bag is a must, along with electronics to avoid opening numerous bags at security!

    1. Sabina Green

      July 19 at 1:41 pm

      Packing light with four children is nearly impossible but somehow I manage to get it all in 🙂

  • Jon | The Money Shed (@themoneyshed)

    July 18 at 8:32 am

    Great advice here! Trying to pack as much as you can into hand luggage can be a nightmare at times!

    1. Sabina Green

      July 19 at 1:41 pm

      It takes some practice but it’s worth it 🙂

  • motherhoodtherealdeal

    July 18 at 3:39 pm

    Travel games and stickers are a must! Have to say I don’t usually pack a spare outfit for anyone but perhaps I am tempting fate there and should do in the future?!

    1. Sabina Green

      July 19 at 1:41 pm

      I came a cropper once without the spare outfits and it was not fun.

  • Kat

    July 19 at 10:39 am

    Wholeheartedly agree with all of these tips! Especially the spare clothes and having everything fully charged!

    1. Sabina Green

      July 19 at 1:43 pm

      It makes for a much more pleasant start to the holiday to be organised.

  • Lucy Mackcracken

    July 19 at 6:45 pm

    After being separated from our suitcases on a previous holiday, I always pack spare clothes and underwear in our hand luggage now.

    1. Sabina Green

      July 22 at 10:14 pm

      Sometimes we need to learn from our mistakes 😉

  • jennifuchs

    July 19 at 10:36 pm

    Ever since my eldest almost threw up on me on an airplane (don’t thing I’ve ever jumped up so fast in my life!) I now always pack spare clothes not just for the kids but for the adults too!

    1. Sabina Green

      July 22 at 10:15 pm

      Oh no that would be the worst thing ever! My daughter would have freaked out, nevermind me.

  • forkwardthinkingfoodinista

    July 20 at 2:28 pm

    Any packing tips are always welcomed. We travel so much and no matter what never seem to have enough room xx

    1. Sabina Green

      July 22 at 10:16 pm

      It’s not one of my favourite pastimes but I am getting better at it with practice x

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