Creating an emergency carry-on

Font Size:

Touch wood, I have never had my suitcase lost for any significant length of time. This is partly because in recent years since living in London, I only fly with carry-on unless I’m going home to Australia and partly because I’ve been lucky thus far.

The topic has come up quite regularly recently, however, with many of my friends having the misfortune of being parted with their precious belongings at one point or another during their trips. Ranging from a day to a week or more, the tales of inconvenience are certainly scary.

And, while you’re somewhat at the mercy of airlines if you’re checking-in your bag, there are some precautions you can take. Aside from the obvious of naming and tagging your baggage – or even using a tracking device – your carry-on is paramount in the event of lost luggage.

As annoying as it may be to lug around extra items – it’s more than worth the hassle if you do find yourself without your suitcase. Here’s how to create an emergency carry-on.

Before packing:

  • gather all electronic devices you are going to take, such as mobile phone(s), Kindles / e-readers, iPads, laptops, headphones and cameras. Don’t forget their chargers or any cords they may need, as well as an international adapter
  • collect all travel documents, your passport, currency, cards, and so on, in a safe place such as a document wallet
  • makeup bags should travel with you – no one needs the nightmare and expense of having to replace every item in there – not to mention the expense
  • ditto for your sun/reading glasses, wallet and house keys.


carry on bag


While packing:

  • set aside any medications you are taking. If you don’t want to take the full packet make sure you have at least a week’s supply so you’re not caught without your pills
  • create a small subset of your key toiletries that you can’t live without. This should include small versions of any facial products, a deodorant, hairbrush, toothbrush, as well as moisturiser, dry shampoo and a fragrance if you see fit. I also never travel without tissues (helpful for crying over your lost luggage) and baby wipes – they always come in handy!

After packing your suitcase as you normally would for your upcoming trip, remove the following items:

  • any expensive or precious jewellery, it’s simply not worth the risk and is arguably much safer on your person
  • a pair or two of spare underwear. This will allow you to wear a clean pair each day while you wash the worn ones, giving you some level of hygiene/self-dignity.
  • an outfit change. This is dependent on where you’re going clearly. If like me, you travel in jeans and a jacket given the artic temperatures on planes, a simple black dress would be a good option. For males opt for a pair of shorts and polo shirt.
  • a pair of shoes. Given weight and space restrictions, thongs should be fine (and invaluable for hot destinations) assuming you are travelling in your more sturdy and heaviest footwear.
  • if you’re going on a beach break, your future self will thank you for adding a pair of bathers. At least you can tan away your troubles.
  • a scarf. Bonus points if it is a Turkish beach towel/sarong that can double as a scarf.

Last things last; don’t forget a decent book (there’s no better way to take your mind off the situation at hand than trying to work out who dunnit) and snacks. I refuse to leave home without an apple and protein bar at all times because, as Snickers points out, you’re not yourself when you’re hungry.

Have you ever had your luggage lost? What do you wish you’d packed in your carry-on to save the situation?

RELATED LINKS

10 things to always carry on

Here are 10 things SJ has (sometimes) learned the hard way to always carry in your hand luggage,

Four common packing pitfalls to avoid – from someone who knows!

Are you making these four common packing mistakes?

What not to do at airport security

Some tips on what not to do when passing through airport security

Written by SJ



SPONSORED LINKS

Sign-up to the YourLifeChoices Enewsletter

continue reading

Travel

Soothe your soul with these stunning images of Japan's cherry blossoms

It's sakura season, the perfect opportunity for locals to indulge in hanami, the traditional Japanese custom of 'flower viewing'. On...

Travel

Discover New Zealand's best winter attractions

To mark the start of the trans-Tasman bubble, here are some of the best things to do in New Zealand...

Travel

Check your passport's expiry date before booking

International travel seems to be slowly but surely returning. With the trans-Tasman bubble and talks of another bubble opening with...

Travel

Tips for getting a good night's sleep on holiday

Travel can seriously mess with our sleep. The jet lag that disrupts our body clocks may be the most obvious...

Travel

Tasmania's top spots for shopping and markets

The Margate Train offers shopping with a difference at Margate, southern Tasmania. Margate is 20 minutes south of Hobart (19km)...

Travel

What will it take for travel to get restarted again?

Maraid is encouraged by the travel bubble with New Zealand opening up and wonders what needs to happen before we...

Travel

The unbelievable software flaw that led to a major flight incident

When it comes to flight engineering, you would hope that every possibility has been factored in to perfection, but a...

Travel

Breathtaking views from the world's tallest skyscrapers

For centuries now companies and governments have obsessed over having slightly taller buildings than their neighbours. From St. Paul's Cathedral...

LOADING MORE ARTICLE...