Every year that I have travelled I have never really known what to pack in my hand luggage. After being on two holidays this year I have finally found my hand luggage essentials.

Before we get into my 5 essentials I just want to say that I always, always, always take a backpack and never a handbag.

Water Bottle

When I traveled to Iceland we were taking water bottles with us for days out as you can drink the tap water there and we were planning to be really active. We then found out that as long as the water bottle is empty you can take them through security. At Edinburgh airport, you can refill your bottle as soon as you are through security. Coming back from Iceland there were water fountains after security too.

Again I took one when we went to Fuerteventura last week, even though you can’t drink the tap water there it meant we could just fill our water from the big 6L ones we were buying. Still using plastic but a lot less plastic than multiple small ones a day. We flew back from Lanzarote and there were water fountains there too, more airports are offering it and it’s so much better than buying over-priced bottled water.

This water bottle is only 450ml so depending on how long the flight is would depend on the size of bottle that I take.

Travel Pillow

I am really not a fan of flying so I try my best to sleep through most of the flight no matter what time of day it is that I am flying. Travel pillows can be really awkward to pack however this one I have is inflatable. This allows me to throw it in any bag and I just blow it up once I’m on the plane. The cover also comes off of it allowing me to wash it easily after traveling. The one I have was in a set from Primark that I got for my birthday but you can order them on amazon.

This is how small it folds up and it is just fabric so I can just throw things on top of it and it won’t get damaged.


This depends on where I am traveling too. For Iceland, I didn’t really need to put too much into my hand luggage as I was already wearing some layers. I think I kept my jumper in my backpack.

When flying back from Lanzarote we were traveling between islands and it was so hot! I only wore a bralette and shorts for the day. However, landing back in Edinburgh at 2am and having a 2-hour wait on the bus I knew this outfit wasn’t going to cut it. I chose to pack a pair of leggings, a jumper, and a t-shirt. I got changed in the airport before we even got on the plane as leggings were comfier than denim shorts.


This is very much a luxury item but for me, it is now an essential in my hand luggage. I can read books on it, watch movies, listen to music, literally everything to entertain me. Yes, I could do all of this on my phone but the bigger screen is so much nicer. It saves so much space as I don’t really need anything else in my bag for entertainment purposes.

Battery Pack

I have traveled with a battery pack for a few years now. There is nothing worse than running out of battery when you are traveling somewhere. This battery pack is pretty big but it isn’t that heavy and fits into the front pocket of my backpack easily.Β  It allows you to charge two devices at once whereas the other ones that I have seen sold only allow you to charge one device at a time. I think I can charge my phone at least 4 times over with this.

What are your hand luggage essentials? Let me know in the comments!




Posted by:everythingevening

I am a 22-year-old, student blogger based in Dundee, Scotland. I focus on Fashion, Travel, Food and Lifestyle all on a student budget. My blog started as I was learning about the city I was in and wanted to share it with other people who may be moving there.

24 replies on “5 Things to Pack in Your Hand Luggage.

  1. Love this! I always get stumped when it comes to packing any sort of bag so this list is great! I tend to forget a battery pack every time we go away lol definitely need to remember that. I never forget my ipad though, that thing has saved so many terrible journeys!

    Jordanne || thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk


  2. I have the exact same battery pack and omg it is such a lifesaver! A must for long journeys. I agree with all your picks, can’t forget your headphones! πŸ˜‰ I’m desparate for an iPad, already been asking for Xmas lol

    Lon x


  3. I always travel with a water bottle and at least a couple pieces of spare clothes with me in my carry on when I travel! You just never know what may happen on a flight. A spill? Change of weather? A long layover? An extra pair of underwear could make all the difference πŸ˜‰ and believe it or not, I’ve never had a travel pillow! I think it’s about time I finally got one, haha.

    Great post!

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com


  4. I always take a huge scarf I can wrap around me and use as a blanket because I’m always freezing, especially on the plane. I’ve never thought about taking an empty bottle through security because of the whole 100ml thing, that’s a great tip. I usually pack a mini inflight skincare bag too because my skin gets sooo dry on the plane x



  5. I’ve tried a couple of travel pillows but found the don’t hold their shape well or offer much support. Maybe I just haven’t found ‘the one yet. I always pack a scarf with me though in case I get cold on the plane, an eye mask and a resuable water bottle. I’ve never thought to take my power bank though! Lol. It’s usually in my hold luggage.


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