Top tips for London hand luggage: flight carry-on essentials


When flying overseas to a location like London, it’s often challenging enough packing all you’ll need – from the right clothes to toiletry essentials – in your general luggage. But then there’s hand luggage too. What do you need to consider here? What can’t you be without when you’re in-flight…?

hand luggage

Choosing the right bag

First off, it’s wise to consider what sort of hand luggage you’re actually going to use. This will essentially depend on two factors – the belongings you want to have with you while in-flight and the luggage (or maybe in this case) the bag you own that’s suitable for this task. If, while you’re collating your list – written down or mental – of necessary hand luggage, you come to realise you don’t actually own the right sort of baggage for the job, then don’t fret; you should be able to buy something appropriate relatively cheaply – plus, you might want to buy something that can double as a bag while you’re and about enjoying all the capital’s sights and sounds. Something to consider, indeed.

Passports and documents

Needless to say (hopefully!), your passport’s pretty much top of the list of things to pack in your hand luggage. And, following this, you’ll need all other necessary supporting documentation (flight tickets, travel insurance details, medication documents and the like). Be sure too to make copies of these documents and to keep them separate from the originals – there’s little point in making copies if you’re going to lose both them and the originals at the same time!


The next most essential thing to have with you on a flight (overseas or otherwise) is any medication that’s essential for your wellbeing – especially if it’s a long-haul flight. Falling into this category is, of course, prescription medication, of which you can’t afford to miss specific doses at specific times. Beyond this, though, you might want to pack the likes of tablets for headaches, allergies and motion sickness too – people’s bodies react differently to air travel. Remember, though, you may well need supporting documentation for particular medication; check this out before flying.

Electronic devices

Probably taking up the majority of space in your carry-on luggage will be electronic and digital devices. Here then we’re talking the likes of a Smartphone, laptops, digital tablets, iPods and cameras – you never know when you’ll happen across a great selfie moment either in-flight or during a lay-over in an airport before you arrive at your accommodation (one of the hotels near Paddington Station UK perhaps – say, the Park Grand Paddington hotel London?).

Spare clothing

Not the most obvious ‘essential’ this one, but (while hopefully you’ll never encounter it), lost or delayed luggage is a reality – what’ll you do if you need a change of clothes? Packing a pair of pants/ knickers, socks, a shirt and a jumper or cardigan (the latter of which can double as a blanket on a flight) is always wise. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Comfort and hygiene

If you’re taking an overnight flight, you might well be grateful should you have the foresight to pack in your hand luggage an eye-mask – trying to sleep in an unfamiliar, in some ways peculiar environment isn’t always easy. To that end, noise-isolating earphones may help too – and should you be seated next to someone irritating for the duration! When it comes to toiletries, you’ll probably find you’re a little limited because of the UK restrictions on fluids in hand luggage (do your research in this area); that said, anti-bacterial wipes are always advisable – and, especially on a long flight, don’t forget your toothbrush!