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Air Travel Essentials Packing List

Are you planning a well-deserved break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? If so, the last thing you need is the stress of forgetting something important. Packing for a flight is a balancing act – you don’t want to overpack and risk exceeding luggage weight restrictions, but you want to ensure all your necessities are included. 

To guarantee the best possible start to your trip and avoid any airport panics, consider this checklist of air travel must-haves.


The single most important thing you’ll need for air travel is your passport. Without it, you cannot board a plane. Your passport must be in date and undamaged. Check your passport is valid with plenty of time to spare before the date of your flight – waiting times for renewals can be up to 10 weeks; however, fast-track options are available. 

You may want to purchase a passport case with a clip to secure it to your hand luggage. Some cases even feature a tracking device to put your mind at ease should it ever be misplaced. 

Money and Cards

It might be worth exchanging your money before your trip to avoid fees from using your cards and ATMs abroad. However, debit/credit cards are often necessary for identification purposes when checking into hotels, so make sure you include them in your holiday wallet. 

Comfortable Clothing

Lightweight, breathable clothing is a must for a pleasant flying experience. It can be tricky to dress for the varying temperatures of air travel – stuffy security queues and chilly air-conditioned cabins. Therefore, dressing in comfortable layers that are easy to remove will keep you cool when rushing through a busy airport and warm when you need a mid-flight nap. Slip-on, flat shoes without complicated buckles or laces will make security checkpoints less of an inconvenience. 


Having products at hand to keep you feeling fresh will make you feel ten times better when having to wait around for long periods of time. Including travel-sized toiletries and essentials such as a toothbrush in your hand luggage will be your personal hygiene safety net during long delays or in the unfortunate case of missing suitcases. Keep in mind that any liquids must be kept in containers that hold no more than 100ml. 

Snacks and Drinks

Food and drink purchased from airport vendors and restaurants is invariably pricey. Packing your favourite snacks will keep hunger at bay when your options are limited. Most airports now feature handy re-filling stations, so keep a refillable water bottle handy to avoid dehydration.

Travel Documents

Store your travel documents – including insurance, VISAs, boarding pass and ID – safely along with your passport. Most booking confirmations are sent via email. For example, if you’ve booked a space in the car park at Manchester airport, you can access details using your smartphone. Similarly, boarding passes can now be accessed via Airline apps, negating the need to print off your documentation. Note, this is not the case for every Airline, so check beforehand. 


If you plan to rely on your smartphone for access to vital documentation, don’t forget to pack a power bank and charger. You will be able to purchase replacements at the airport, but they are often overpriced. Not only is your smartphone a vessel for information, but it can assist you during your trip in many ways. Once at your destination, you’ll likely use your phone for directions, translations, social media and much more.


Enduring long flights and waiting around in airport lounges can get extremely dull. Having plenty to entertain yourself will help the time pass quickly and pleasantly. It may be an excellent opportunity to plough through some good books. You could even bring your tablet and earbuds so you can watch a film or listen to some tunes. 

Travel Pillow

Even on short-haul flights, it’s tempting to lay your head down and close your eyes. However, upright sleeping positions are never comfortable and can put a lot of strain on your neck and shoulders. To combat this, consider purchasing a travel pillow. These U-shaped pillows provide sufficient support for your neck, allowing you to catch forty winks wherever and whenever you need to.



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