Travel: Every Fly Girl’s Quintessential Must Haves

This comes from someone who struggles with what to pack during travel. Ha!

Believe me, I am well aware what to pack and carry during travel for the most part, but my indecisiveness just kills it. So I end up with everything I need and don’t. Y’all feel me?

There is a reason your flight ticket comes with baggage allowance. To enable you check in those items you do not immediately require. The hand baggage is specifically for those other little things that facilitate your ease, comfort and convenience during your flight.

Ever spotted a passenger pulling pieces of baggage and still have a hand luggage and duty free shopping bags to the flight? One is only left to wonder how they ever get past all the checks before the boarding gate and eventually into the flight. In as much as some airlines and travel agents give you an option to purchase cheaper tickets excluding check in baggage allowance, the hustle of having to save a coin and end up being an inconvenience to yourself and others, is simply not worth it.

Going by your travel requirements, decide how much you intend to carry and get a ticket that tailors to those needs.

Well, welcome on board. The wonderful news is that you really can make it easy to board your flight with less to

  • Avoid Loss. Let’s face it. The more busy your hands are, the more likely you are to lose your valuables to theft or carelessness.
  • Avoid begging fellow passengers and staff to help you carry your luggage through airports.
  • Being charged at the boarding gate for carrying more that your hand luggage allowance allows.
  • Leaving other passengers on board with less space to store their hand luggage.
  • Ease the work of crew on board the flight to see you through to your seats seamlessly and
  • Depart for your destination on time.

During packing, Classify what you need in your checked bag and hand luggage. Something many people ignore before travel.

I have tried this and it works. A week or few days before travel, begin to put together your travel pack list. You could choose to jot it down on paper or on your phone’s ‘reminders’ or ‘notes’ list.

Categorize your pack list as follows:

1. Important – Passport, vaccination, foreign currency, itinerary, driving license, emergency contacts and so on.

2. Clothes.

3. Appliances.

4. Hygiene.

5. Accessories.

The list above will aid you to further single out specific items on each category. Proceed to distinguish what goes into your check in bag and hand baggage. Ideally depending on the flight time and destination, you might need fewer or more items. Always check the weather of your intended destination on google ahead of time to avoid packing light clothes during winter or heavy during summer.

With time, I have discovered the Secret to effective packing. Planning.

The following are some bare basics:

  • Neck pillow – I cannot count how many times I have bought, lost or forgotten one at home during travel. I now know better not to.
  • Lip balm – Am obsessed about sufficiently oiled lips so would never go anywhere without it.
  • Headphones – If you like to enjoy some good music on your phone, laptop, ipad, tablet while airborne. Send or listen to audios, podcasts, watch movies from your gadgets and so on. Do not forget to have them on flight mode unless instructed otherwise. Safety first. Always.
  • Water bottle – Not a must if you can drink water off the usual plastic bottles. Unless you insist and cannot trace them after your trip.
  • Reading and writing materials – An iPad, book, pen and notepad are personal obsessions. Flying gets my brain wired to an overwhelming need to write endlessly. Strange coming from someone who is not a fly fanatic.
  • Pair of socks – Am one of those species of humans that would need to have warm feet and ears before I could catch on some sleep. So, yea, extremely necessary.
  • Eye mask – Not for me. I sleep with lights glaring at me the entire night. If you do not then this may come in handy.
  • Mobile Phone and Chargers/Power bank – Very importantly, invest in a good universal travel power adapter that allow a multitude of plug options. I learnt this from experience. Out of all the places I have been to, Lisbon was the one country where we got spare power plugs offered. Self-sufficiency is key.
  • Wallet – Need I say more? This is self-explanatory.
  • Toiletries: menstrual cup, sanitary towels, tampons, body and hand lotion, Vaseline, panty liners, sanitizer, wet wipes, make up, comb, toothbrush and paste, perfume, sunscreen, deodorant, nail clipper and make up remover.
  • Shawl, Leso or Khikoy – Mama always said situations come up. One slip and fall could leave your clothes stained and you need to cover up. It might suddenly get cold and need one to keep warm. No hand bag of mine goes leaves home without one of those.
  • Sunglasses – Save yourself than unnecessary squint.
  • Snacks – Throw in some nuts, biscuits or bites of your choice. You never know when you might need them in case your flight gets delayed, on board service takes a while or you starve in the middle of the night and cannot find an open eatery.
  • Painkillers – I do not advocate self prescription when it comes to drugs. But there are times when it might be the one thing that saves an otherwise ruined day. Hello toothache! Period Pain. Exactly.
  • Spare top or dress – Stuff happens. Spills, unexpected slits, stains, last minute mind shifts. You dig? Carry some extra pocket cash if you prefer not to carry a spare in case you need to make a purchase.
  • Safety pins – Ever popped a button and spend the better part of your trip uncomfortably trying to hide it? Then you know. These are a must for me.

Top Tip: There is a variety store I can confess that comes in handy when it comes to enabling me better organize myself in terms of storage and packing. They stock all sorts of organizers and a variety of pouches to suit your needs, both at home and during travel, at very affordable prices. Check out Daiso, an original Japanese franchise made up of large 100-yen shops stocking a range of over 100,000 household, cleaning and kitchenware products and you can find them on

Did I leave out anything? Please feel free to share or add on to my list.

Have a fabulously light fly.

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