Let's start with the most important and essential items that can cancel your holiday in an instant if you forget them .. I haven't included these in my picture because these are actually sitting in Shauns carry-on bag right now. I'm referring to your passport and documents like boarding passes, car hire, hotel booking confirmations and transfer docs. Everything that you need in order to get to your destination. It's important to have everything to hand as rifling through your suitcase last minute is not a great move. Then there's the money. I always convert all of my money before going on holiday and before even getting to the airport as I've found that the rate is better. Do not forget to pack the monies! It's best to carry a little in your hand luggage and the rest in your suitcase.
makeup and toiletries
We all know the rules, at least I hope that we do .. no more than 100ml per container with no more than a litre in total and of course all contained within a transparent sealed 20cmx20cm bag, sound easy? Good job. I try to make sure that I only take the necessary liquids which mostly just includes makeup to touch-up during or after the flight. I also like to have moisturiser suitable for both my hands, body and mist for my face because the aeroplane air can really dry out my skin depending on the flight length. Other than that, a spot treatment stick, a headache stick, energy tablets, hayfever tablets and of course my contact lenses & drops I shouldn't need anything else for the flight so all other toiletries go in my hold luggage. (Which will is scheduled to be published on Sunday!)
I always try to make the most of my baggage weight allowance, especially on the way home from my holiday because I tend to come back with more things that I took with me - What can I say, I like to shop! My best tip to consider when packing a carry on bag is to put some heavier items in it that would unnecessarily weigh down your hold luggage. Things like shoes, books, some jewellery, technology - tablet or laptop etc, then additionally try to include any denim or heavy pieces of clothing in your hand luggage too, if you're that desperate!
I'm not one to sleep on planes, not sure why but during a 12 hour flight to Denver I only slept for 45 minutes so I require something to keep me occupied whilst everyone else is sleeping. I've mentioned tablets and books already because they're heavy but these are the perfect items to keep me occupied, that and my phone paired with some headphones of course. I always put my phone/iPad chargers in my hand luggage too which includes taking a car charger for them as we often use the Tom Tom app as our sat nav abroad - arriving with a drained battery and no sat nav would not be ideal.
Other things I like to do on the plane include playing cards either solitaire by myself or rummy etc with others and I always take a notepad with a couple of pens and pencils so that I can write, draw or play games like the dots and boxes game or hangman. - Speaking of which, if you know of any other good 'on paper' games like these I'd love to hear about them!
food and drink
I always take snacks like oat bars and a packet of sweets like Tangfastics or Wine Gums with me and a bottle or two of water or juice but I buy this in the departure lounge shops because you can't carry drinks through security. Plus it's much cheaper to buy things in the departure lounge than on the plane - unless all food and drink is supplied to you for free of course.
I hope that this post was helpful to you, I'll be referring back to it when we go away next year. :)