Packing for an overseas trip can be fun or horrible, depending on your approach. But one thing that’s never awesome is realising you have to fit 14 hours’ worth of toiletries into one tiny plastic bag. So here’s how you can maximise on space with your liquid carry-ons.
Know your limits
For international flights, each person is entitled to liquid carry-ons in containers no larger than 100ml. And those containers must be able to fit into a clear plastic bag that measures about 20x20cm.
For reference, 20x20cm is similar to a sandwich-sized Ziploc bag that you can get from your local supermarket. Sadly, it really doesn’t hold all that much and it can break quite easily if you try to force too many things in.
If you’re going to be taking more than one plane trip, it might be worth getting something a little sturdier for your liquid carry-ons, like a clear cosmetics bag from a department store.
Don’t be the pits
Take roll-on deodorant. I mean, you CAN take aerosol if it’s under 100ml but roll-on is a simpler and easier-to-find solution. And when you’re in close proximity to a bunch of humans, you don’t want to be the one wafting BO everywhere.
Wash your hands
Moist towelettes and hot face washers distributed by your cabin crew can help you clean up after a meal. But what happens if you get to the bathroom either on the plane or at one of your airport stopovers and realise that some absolute goblin has used all the soap? Hand sanitiser. Pack a small bottle and forget it’s there until you need it.
You shouldn’t need to be told this, but I’m going to do it anyway. Bring some toothpaste. (And a toothbrush, of course.) After-meal breath, morning-breath and plane-breath are bad enough. The after-meal-morning-and-plane-breath combo is the WORST.
If you have trouble self-monitoring your mouth-smell, then you’re going to have to use context clues. Take note when you’re talking to someone: did they just blanch a little bit when you opened your mouth? Did they stop making direct eye contact or turn away from you?
Unless you said something incredibly offensive, chances are they’re recoiling from you because your breath smells like you crawled out of a deserted well after 20 years. Get up and brush yo’ damn teeth.
All eyes on you
“But I never need eye drops!” Shut up. Non-stop air-conditioning. On a plane. With no escape. I’m going to tell you right now that trying to lubricate your eyes with regular tap water can be like stepping on a piece of Lego with your eyeball.
Grab some eye drops from the supermarket or chemist and practise before you get on the plane so you can adult up and use the eye drops yourself. OR you could have a friend/air hostess put you in a headlock and do it for you. Your choice, buddy.
Smooth things over
You probably won’t have the room to separate your hand and face moisturiser in a 20x20cm liquid carry-ons bag. And no, that doesn’t mean that you just combine them in one travel bottle. What do you take me for? An animal?
Pick one gentle all-over moisturiser, such as QV, and keep a little container of that on-hand.
Just like your eyes, your lips will start to get a bit dry after being in the air-con. Some lip gloss will do the trick! And if you pack some kind of paw paw ointment, it could even double as a moisturiser and give you more room in your bag.
Fix your face
Whether you go with basic face wipes or some kind of face wash, make sure you have a way to freshen up your mug. Humidity on a plane is usually hovering around 20 per cent, which means the top layers of your skin will be dehydrated and your oil glands will spring into action to try and compensate for the imbalance.
No one likes it when they do this, but oil glands don’t care what we like. So just make sure you have something on-hand to counteract your skin issues.
You may have noticed that makeup did not get a look-in on this list. That’s because I care about the rest of your personal hygiene way more than I care about your contouring. Tempting as it might be to look your best for a plane selfie, do you really want to ditch deodorant or toothpaste to make room for cosmetics? Don’t be that person. Take the obligatory photo of plane wings instead.