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 on the Emerald Isle. While the majority of travelers to Ireland think quite a bit about what to pack, 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 : The Bags
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 to stow below the seat in front of you.
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. (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!)
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. It's just easier if it rolls….
For the personal bag by your feet I recommend a bag that has some sort of closure to keep items from falling out if the bag tips – no one wants to crawl around on an airplane floor after lost items (or leave things in the TSA bins!)
Also note: each airline varies in allowed size for carry on bags. Be sure to check your airline's requirements!
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.
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- around you.
Earphones or ear plugs. In conjunction with the eye mask. If you want to get any rest on your flight you'll need these.
Refillable water bottle. I love airports that have water bottle refilling stations. Fill up before you get on the flight.
A cardigan, pashmina, or long sleeve shirt. Airplanes can be chilly and that little blanket they offer doesn't cover much.
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. I love
Also 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.
Three Things to NEVER Put in Checked Luggage
It goes without saying, but you still see stories about people having these items stolen from their check bags. Always keep these 3 things in your carry on luggage:
Electronics and camera
What are your carry on necessities? Have I forgotten anything you can't travel without? Share in the comments!