13 June 2017

My International Flight Carry-On Essentials

I like to consider myself a seasoned traveller. In my mind, that means I've become pretty good at using planes to transport myself to different time zones and most often to better weather. However, this hasn't always been the case.
On what must have been about my 8th flight to Greece, I remember the stewardess calmly pacing up and down the narrow airplane aisle, offering tea and coffee. Although 18-year-old Steph would have jumped at the opportunity of a cup of tea, 10-year-old Steph was content without the caffeinated diuretic in her body and called it a day. With an empty table tray, Steph reclined her chair only to hear the loudest and most unexpected shriek come from behind.

You see, although 10-year-old me thought that I was an expert resident of the skies, I didn't understand physics. My chair went down and the lady's brewing coffee went down with it. Did I mentioned that this was only the start of an 8 hour flight.

I like to think I've come a long way since that flight. I learnt several memorable lessons that day: Firstly, never recline your seat whilst coffee, tea or food is being served and always carry spare clothes on board.

As I mentioned in this post, I'm off to Greece for two months. What I didn't tell you is when I leave. Well, the answer is tomorrow. This will be my last post from what is no longer a Sunny South Africa. In its place will be posts straight from the shores of the Mediterranean Ocean. I don't know about you, but I'm not complaining about the change in scenery.

The contents of my carry-on bag is layed out in flat-lays at the moment...but that's a Blogger's life, I guess.

I wanted to share with you what I'll be taking with me on board, to ensure comfort, entertainment and that I get to Greece with no interruptions.


  • Passport: Because without it, I'm not going anywhere.
  • Money (change and notes): I always like to have the currency of the country that I'm leaving so that duty free and myself get acquainted. Obviously, I'll have euros with me to spend in Greece, but I like to have change for a trolley at the airport on the other side, because this gal over packs for a two month trip.
  • Valuables: I take things like my camera, laptop and cellphone on board for reasons such as entertainment but also piece of mind.


I'm rather embarrassed to admit this, but thanks to Netflix, Youtube and other *cough* streaming platforms *cough*, when I get on board a long-haul flight, I've usually seen most of the movies- serves me right, I guess. Because of this, I need some extra entertainment, and these come in the form of:
  • Magazines
  • Notebook + Pen
  • Laptop:
  • iPad:
  • Earphones
One never knows when inspiration might strike. If a handsome devil sits beside me, I'll jot down all the details of our trans-oceanic connection and I'll be sure to let you know all the details- but don't count on it.


Tomorrow's game plan is as follows: 8 hour flight followed by a 1 hour waiting period (which may just turn into a sprint across a foreign airport from one gate to another) to catch the second flight, which I think is 3-4 hours long to Athens. I have quite the journey ahead of me which can only mean one thing- comfort is of the utmost importance.
  • Jersey: You know that experience and expertise I was telling you about earlier? It comes in handy for this one. When you're 37 000 feat above the sea, it's bloody cold- never mind the air con that quite annoyingly adds (and not positively) to the already cold cabin. 
  • Socks: This one ties in well with the one above. It's all about keeping warm up there.
  • Deodorant: You need that Deo so people don't smell that BO. You have to be careful with this one, because it falls into the 'L' of 'LAGs' (liquid, aerosols ad gasses) which are prohibited on board. 
  • Make-up remover: I suffer from acne (which I've written about HERE) which means that I won't be taking off my make-up at any point- bad, I know. I may decide to take off my eye make-up just so I don't wake up resembling a raccoon more so than a human. If for that reason only, I'll keep the wipes in my bag, just in case.
  • Chapstick: I'm heading out of what so far is quite a mild winter. Although it was a gentle start to the cold season, my lips have been a casualty. They need some extra TLC. So, my trusty 'Lipice' is coming on board with me.


  • Hair brush: To continue with the theme of looking like a human rather than a raccoon when disembarking the plane. 
  • Small tooth brush and tooth paste: Some airlines provide these two, some don't. I personally have to brush my teeth before sleep.
  • Moisturizing cream:
  • Change of clothes: Remember the story I  mentioned earlier? Well, if karma works I'm due for some coffee in my lap soon.
  • Bottle of water: I tend to get super thirty up in the clouds. Sometimes, I get too afraid to ask for water from the air hostesses so I end up feeling like a flower in a desert. This time, I'm going to come prepared.
  • Neurofen: A stomach-ache is the worst feeling on the ground, when you're in the comfort of your own bed. I'd hate to imagine what it must be like thousands of feet up in the air. I'm not going to take chances. In case, I always travel with some Neurofen, and tomorrow won't be any different.
  • Pads/Tampons: I'm not due to get my period for at least two weeks, so I won't have any pads with me on board, but I put this here so that you wouldn't forget it.
  • Official documentation: I didn't put this under 'necessities' because this requirement won't be essential for all travelers. But, you should carry important documentation and relevant information for customs officials when travelling.
Well, with that, I bid a long and simultaneously welcomed 'good-bye' to South Africa. The next post will be written in Greece- or in midair- but I'll let you know.

What are your travel essentials? Have I left anything out?

Till next time-

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  1. Really enjoyed this post and will be referring back to it later in the year 😊 Have a great time in Greece 💖

    1. Ohh that means you'll be off on a trip somewhere! So exciting!

      Thank you!

  2. I can't leave without a chapstick, some face moisturiser and my favourite snacks! :) Hope you have fun in Greece! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

    1. Chapstick is always a good one to have. I can forego the snacks, surprisingly!

      Thanks Ariadna!

  3. Ahhhhh I can't believe you're jetting off tomorrow! I'm SO excited to see all your posts and pictures from Greece!
    This is a really great idea for a post and something that I need in my life. I'm absolutely rubbish when it comes to packing hand luggage and either under-pack or majorly over-pack. Like you though, I like to keep my laptop and camera with me, just for peace of mind, and a lip balm. All that air con in plane cabins doesn't half dry my lips out!

    Olivia - The Northernist x

    1. I've officially landed in Athens, Olivia. I'm so so excited. My first post from the trip is going up in abhor or so.

      I'm glad you like the post idea. The air con was definitely a battle on the way here. Even with the vents closed air was still blowing everywhere. How that works? I'm not really sure!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, as always!

  4. Travel posts are my favourites! I always carry a face mask if it's a long haul flight and one set of underwear and swimwear in case my suitcase gets lost! Have a lovely time in Greece! xx
    Nishi // www.nishiv.com

    1. Spare underwear is a really good idea.

      My bag got searched by customs at one point...so I'm glad I did't.

      Thank you, Nishi!

  5. Travel posts like these make me want to pack my stuff and leave immediately. Also because I love packing! Great post!

    Hannah | Stories Of A Telescope

    1. I'm not sure if I've met many people that enjoy the process of packing. I tend to love it when it starts and dread it when I really that I still have so much to pack.

      Thanks Hannah!

  6. Sounds like you're all ready to go to Greece for 2 months!! Excited to see pictures from your trip. PS - sometimes I bring ear plugs because airplanes can get loud and my ears pop. Also, noise cancelling head phones are a amazing.


    1. Thanks Hannah!

      My ears did a lot of 'popping' on my flight over here. Luckily, the airline provided ear plugs( and an eye mask which was lovely).

      Noise cancelling head phones must be lovely. At one point a passenger was shouting at a crew member which was scary to be jolted awake to; However, I like to know what's happening around me...

  7. oooh so nice to know that you will be in Greece for this time! As I said, I really wish to see the pictures you shoot and your recomendations, would be very nice ^^

    Related to this post, I never had a long flight, so I haven't many tips, but when I travel by car (Cross Spain by car lasts about 12 hours) I have to bring different things to read, as magazines and books, but I know that in planes the weight is limited and also in the cabin there are magazines. And I also enjoy watching from the window! It must be amazing fly above Africa!

    1. Pictures and recommendations are coming your way very soon!

      That's the nice thing about Europe- other countries are so close together.

      I hate reading in cars. I always manage to get a big headache. Weight in planes is limited...but there's always space for entertainment.

      At one point, the ground completely disappears and there's just sky. It's still pretty to look at though!

  8. So true how inspiration can strike at the most random times, I love carrying a notebook and pen with me. Also, yes to a hair brush! My hair is so easily tangled haha.


    1. Inspiration struck yesterday, at practically midnight on my flight. So, yes, inspiration well and truly strikes at any given moment.

      My hair was a mess yesterday! Hair brushes for the win!

      Thanks Katherine!

  9. I love reading these kinds of posts! I'll definitely refer back to this in the future!

  10. I LOVE this post! I cannot travel without headphones and my ipad!
    a life of a charlotte

    1. Headphones and a device are great!

      Thanks Charlotte!

  11. I just need to have a comfy pants, shoes and phone gadgets! // Have a safe trip! xx


    1. Thanks, Dabin!

      Comfy pants is essential. Your clothing has got to be warm and comfy for flights. Some people manage to strut their stuff in heels. That's a bit too much for me!

  12. Awwe this is a nice post Steph! I'm quite excited for your next posts :D Have a safe flight!


    1. I have safely landed, Fi!

      My first trip-related post is going up very soon!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Love your pictures!!!


  14. Magazines really do step up to the plate when it comes to long travel journeys, right?! They're great for providing entertainment when you've seen all the films haha ;)


    1. Magazines and books are great! They're great when the hundreds of movies just somehow aren't enough! haha

      Thanks, Gabrielle!


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