For many of us the flight to Ireland is long, includes at least one layover, and takes place overnight, ensuring a bright and early arrival to begin your vacation.
While the majority of travelers to Ireland think quite a bit about what to pack for an Ireland vacation, not as many think about where to pack it.
Simple truth- the items you pack (or don't) in your carry-on bags can have a huge impact- not only during your flight, but once you land, as well.
Carry-On Necessities for Your Flight
Let's begin with the basics: your carry-on bags. Most overseas carriers allow each passenger two carry-on bags- one to stow overhead and one personal bag or item to stow below the seat in front of you.
Tip: Be sure to check your airline baggage allowances as bag size & weight vary by carrier.
First things first… make sure one of your bags rolls.
I know this seems like it doesn't even need to be mentioned, but you have no idea how many people I see struggling with non-wheeled bags in the airport.
Between walking to your gate in the first airport, switching planes at your second (or third) airport, and then walking from the plane to customs in Dublin, that's a lot of time carrying a bag.
(Why do you think they sell luggage in the terminals? It's for people who don't fly often and don't realize just how heavy bags get when you carry them for a long time!)
Tips for Choosing Carry-On Luggage
Your personal bag should be roomy enough to hold what you will need during the flight, easy for you to access these items, and have a closure to keep your things from escaping and redistributing themselves around the airplane.
Look for a personal bag that has a smart sleeve or handle that will hold it securely on top of your overhead bag.
While I am a big fan of an underseat rolling bag, it isn't a great choice for everyone. Think about how much space you need for your feet to be comfortable.
Your overhead bag should close and fasten securely so nothing falls out in case of turbulence or shifting by airline staff or other passengers.
What to Put in Your Personal Carry-On Bag
Your personal bag should hold everything you will need during your flight. Though everyone has their own personal must have items I recommend adding these:
Your own entertainment. Sure, most airlines have in-flight entertainment, but I have yet to be on a flight where all the systems work. Chance favors the prepared and all that. I usually have a magazine or two, my Kindle, and a couple movies on my phone or tablet.
Earphones or ear plugs. No one wants to hear your games, movies, music, or audiobooks. And if you want to get any rest on your flight you'll need these to cut the noise.
An eye mask. Whether you go hi-tech with an eye mask/ headphones combo, or just use a comfortable sleeping mask, I highly recommend something to help you shut out the people – and their bright electronics- that surround you.
Refillable water bottle. I love airports with water bottle refilling stations. Fill up before you get on the flight – but not before you go through security!
A cardigan, pashmina, or long sleeve shirt. Airplanes can be chilly and that little blanket they offer doesn't cover much.
Need an easy way to add more personal carry-on space? SCOTTeVEST clothing has loads of pockets! Enough to shrink the size of your underseat bag and give you more leg room!
What to Put in Your Overhead Carry-On Bag
When packing your carry-on bags remember that you will have to lift the bags overhead to put them in storage, so make sure they aren't too heavy. With soft sided bags you want to be sure not to over fill the bag as ‘fat' bags often won't fit in the space provided.
In your carry-on bag be sure to pack at least one change of clothing, including another pair of shoes, and any prescription medications you will need – just in case your checked bags are delayed.
Packing cubes and a toiletry bag for necessities help maximize space. Don't forget to condense full size products!
Reminder: All liquids in your carry-on must be smaller than 3.4oz and packed in a single 1 quart size clear bag. One bag per person.
Don't forget to pack any personal toiletries and makeup you use in your morning routine- toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, cleanser… Working through a bit of your morning routine upon landing can go a long way toward fighting jet lag.
Four Things to NEVER Put in Checked Luggage
It goes without saying, but you often read stories about people having items stolen from their checked bags. Or the items are lost forever when the bags are misplaced.
Always keep these 4 things in your carry-on luggage:
- Electronics and camera
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