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February 24, 2020 5 min read

13 essentials you need, to pack the perfect carry-on.

One of the Shoes for feets team is off overseas for a couple of weeks and it's gotten us talking a lot about the dos and don'ts of carry-on luggage. There are so many schools of thought on how and what to pack; there are those who love to take the whole mini-suitcase and heave that into the overhead compartment, and there are those who like to take nothing more than a book and a bottle of water, with a phone in the back pocket. Then, of course, there are many of us who are in-betweeners and like to have the essentials at hand, close by at our feet under the seat in front.

So that's the one we're looking at when we're talking packing the perfect carry-on, and quite honestly, there's no better than the Pacsafe collection, and for this article, we're talking about the Pacsafe Vibe 20L Urban Backpack, because it's undoubtedly the most practical travel bag on the market - so that's what's going on the long-haul flight this week!

There are so many ideas and theories on how you should pack your carry-on and there are so many products that claim to solve your packing woes. BUT what do you really need? Let's lay it all out ...

  1. Travel pillow. Some say no, but we say yes! Especially for a long-haul flight, arriving with a cricked neck is the worst! Invest in a good one, and make sure you can carabiner it onto your bag so it doesn't have to take up space inside. 

  2. Journal. Sitting still for a really long time, means you're bound to come up with some insightful wisdom you'll want to jot down. Kylie's taking a notebook inside her Leather Journal Notebook Cover because she's literally journalling obsessed. But interestingly, not until after she read this blog post we wrote on why journaling is good for your health. 

  3. Eyemask. A 14-hour flight to the States means all kinds of mess-up with your sleep-zone, so an eye mask makes kipping on the flight that much easier. Splash out and grab a silk one if you can, your eyelids will thank you for it!

  4. Compression socks. Years ago they were known as nana's-flying-necessities but nowadays anyone who's going to be sitting in an aeroplane seat for longer than four hours will really benefit from the added circulation in their legs, and of course, a major bonus is they help to prevent blood clots. They don't even look any different to regular socks, so grab a pair at the airport on your way, if you've forgotten!

  5. Pods. Headphones. Earplugs. You'll want to cancel out the noise on the plane when you're on a long haul, so make sure you invest. Download a podcast and pop your pods in, or put earplugs in to just drown out upset children, general chatter, trolleys banging up the aisle, and the like. 

  6. Entertainment. Long hauls are rather gruelling and even the most avid readers will want to put their book down at some point and do something different. Prepare your trip in advance and download a number of movies, audiobooks, podcasts or episodes of your favourite series. Mixing it up is important, to ensure you don't go stir crazy!

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  7. Portable chargers. Even in 2020, most airlines aren't providing us with charging capabilities, so take your best portable chargers. Nothing worse than being in the last 15 minutes of an epic film and your iPad battery dies! 

  8. Sanitiser. I was going to also include a MASK, but there's a lot of info going around telling us that masks aren't as effective at keeping bugs and viruses at bay, as good old hand sanitising. Whatever chance you get, wash your hands thoroughly, but for in-between times, especially after you've held a doorknob, use an antibacterial hand-santiser. Portable pocket-sized ones are fantastic.

  9. Toiletries and change of clothes. Some might say this is overkill, but we've all been there - when you've made it to the other side of your very long flight, and then you wait around the carousel waiting, waiting, waiting ... and it doesn't show up. It's lost. The struggle is real. So while you wait the hours or days to be reunited with your luggage, feel pleased with yourself that you packed some mini's; toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, shampoo, conditioner, soap at the very least. Oh, and remember spare underwear, a fresh top/t-shirt, and maybe even some extra light pants to help freshen you up when you're in transit, transferring, or delayed. The Vigilante travel brand has some awesome shorts for the guys ... but for the gals, we strongly recommend leggings. Easy to wear, easy to pack a spare pair. 

  10. Travel documentation. Have a copy of your passport, drivers license, travel insurance etc on hand. Just in case. You never know. 

  11. Travel adaptor. While it's tempting to pack this in your suitcase, take our advice and keep it in your hand luggage. Remember if your luggage gets waylaid, it's better to be able to charge your phone than not.

  12. Slip-on shoes. While it may be nice to sit in your seat with some cozy fuzzy socks on, it won't be nice wearing those same cozy fuzzy socks to the toilet! Pack a pair of slides or slip-ons and just slip your swollen feet into them before you get up to find the queue to the bathroom. We recommend the Teva Men's Katavi 2 Slide/Sandal for the men, and for the women the super stylish Olukai Women's Kea Sandal which not only feel great and are super practical, they also look gorgeous, too. 

  13. Water bottle. Even though you can get water on the plane, it's incredibly frustrating for those around you if you're forever ding-dinging the bell to call the flight attendants to fill your cup of water, or worse yet - clambering over your sleeping neighbours just to get out to get another refill of water. Do yourself a favour, take an excellent water bottle and you'll find yourself using it the entire duration of your trip! We recommend the Camelbak Hot Cap Insulated Vacuum Stainless Steel Bottle.350L because it's great for cold and hot drinks, so it's really versatile! If you are a great water drinker, head straight for the Camelbak Chute Magnetic Water Bottle - 1.5L

When it comes down to how to pack, it's all about the KISS theory. Keep it simple, sweetheart! Only pack what-you-need, because the what-you-want (all the rest!) can go in the large suitcase which is checked in. Prepare for emergencies. Make life simpler for yourself.  Enjoy adventuring!

Are you following us on our socials? Connect with us, and be sure to tag #sff when you're wearing our gear, or #urbanadventuring to share your adventures.
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