Thai Travel Series: My Carry-On Essentials


Holiday booked. Suitcases packed. In-flight entertainment checked. Excitement bubbling within you. You cannot wait to embark on your next adventure but then it hits you. There’s one thing that stands between you and your destination. It’s a nuisance but that’s just how the world. This nuisance, also known as distance, usually forces you to fly from one city to another. When you put it into perspective though, flying is much better than prior modes of international transport. I struggle enough on planes- I couldn’t imagine myself spending days, weeks or months on a ship. Nevertheless, those hours you spend on the plane can be a real nightmare filled with sore muscles and bones, ears doing weird things, your digestive system not cooperating and your mind trying to do whatever it can to prevent you from becoming insane. Depending where you’re going, the number of hours you spend in that pressurised cabin that flies above the clouds can vary from less than an hour to 15 hours. I think there are some flights that are longer than that, but I’m not game to try those out. Generally, most people only have one flight- a direct one from where they start to their final destination. Us Aussies though (and those making the trip Down Under) often need at least one or two stopovers if we want to get to most places.

For example, when I went to Croatia in 2015, I had a 14 hour flight from Melbourne to Doha and then after the drama, I had another 6 hour flight to Munich and then a further 2 hour flight to Split. That was just on the way there and didn’t include any waiting around. On the trip to Thailand, it was a 7 hour and 50 minute flight from Melbourne to Singapore, and then another hour and a half from Singapore to Phuket. On the way back, it was just the 8 hour flight from Phuket to Melbourne. I can already hear some of you still murmuring to yourself “just”.

Sometimes you have those flights that are super quick, others seem like they take forever (and take the lasting bit of sanity you have with it too). A struggle many of us have is what in the world to put in your carry ons and all things related to how to keep yourself preoccupied whilst flying. Hence, I’ve decided a good way to start my Thai travel series is to create the list of items I put in my carry on for Thailand.

I bought myself a decent sized backpack, having learnt from my trip to Croatia the strain a shoulder bag places on your shoulders, back and neck. I don’t know if I was more sore from sitting on a plane for 13 hours or from the bag. Probably everything to be honest. That’s usually the way with me. I also pack a lot of items, so I need as much space and comfort as possible.

I chucked in a hat (specifically my Red Sox baseball cap), which was basically in case my hair was that atrocious from the flight I could cover it and make myself seem sporty. I also bought myself an eye mask which I ended up not using but oh well. It had pug eyes on it too. Normal people pack a book or maybe buy one or two magazines. Me? I put in three books. Yes, three books. And not tiny ones either. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Paris for One by Jojo Moyes. Born to be riled by Jeremy Clarkson. In true Monique fashion, I got asked on the way back whether I had a book in my bag because they weren’t sure what the box shaped item was. Books are always useful to keep you occupied, unless you’re me who didn’t end up reading anything on any of my flights. Actually, I just watched movies and TV shows. I also brought notebooks and pens just in case I was in a writing mood. Of course though, I wasn’t.

I packed a bunch of makeup essentials, including moisturisers, lip balm and wipes. I also packed hand sanitiser. You can never be to hygienic or determined to take care of your skin.

After my first trip, I was grateful that I did a Pinterest search for tips on what to pack in your carry on. One of these particular tips was to pack in a spare pair of undies and a t-shirt. This was put to good use when we got stuck in Doha for 18 hours and helped me feel a little bit more refreshed and ready to take on the next leg of the flight.

Finally, I also chucked in a couple of snacks. Muesli bars, protein bars and jelly beans were my go to. Muesli bars are healthy and light. Protein bars are well, they have stuff in them that are apparently good for you and the ones I had with me were my favourites and filled me up enough to get through the flight. As for the jelly beans, I find they help with sugars and give me some energy when I’m feeling a bit bleh.

So I hope this has helped you in some way or another when you’re packing for your flight. Let me know what you think and comment what your carry on essentials are!


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