HOW TO PACK YOUR CARRY-ON BAG IN CASE YOUR CHECKED LUGGAGE GETS LOST [WITH DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST]

While the situation is improving, 24.8 million bags were mishandled by airlines globally in 2018 and many of the issues are due to bags not making it to the connecting flight or simply the wrong bag being picked up by baggage handlers. Now that you know this, don’t you want to pack your carry-on bag to minimise the disruption this could cause you?

During Lulu’s recent trip to Cape Town, she found herself delayed by almost 24 hours because her first flight left too late to make her connecting flight in Doha. Yes, the airline put her up in a (questionable) hotel and her bag wasn’t lost but she could freely skip the trouble of claiming back her larger suitcase and checking it in again because of how she had packed her carry-on bag:

We haven’t always been used to this practice, and like many newly formed habits it was born from disaster – that one time Abi’s checked bag never left London on our trip to Ghana for a wedding. The airline sent it to her on the day we left Accra back for the UK!

So what should you pack in your carry-on luggage to save you from any baggage mishaps on your travels?

1.       Pyjamas

This is really important so they’re at the top of the list but put them in your suitcase last. This way, they’ll be right there when you open your carry-on and you don’t have to go looking for them!

2.       Underwear

If your bag doesn’t arrive where you’re going, at least you’ve got your panties!

3.       Medicine

These do not belong in your checked bag, beloved. If your suitcase is lost by the airline, the least fun activity of your travels will be hunting down important medication you need in an unfamiliar place.

4.       Toothbrush and toothpaste

Buying routine things abroad is not cute. Going without a toothbrush is not cute. This definitely belongs in your carry-on, and even if you pack a larger toothpaste in your big case there is no harm in packing a travel-sized tube (under 100ml) in your carry-on. Besides, who doesn’t love a mid-flight teeth brushing session on a long haul flight?

5.       A change of shoes

If you are travelling for work, but your airport outfit means you’re heading to the boarding gate in your Air Maxes you will need a work-appropriate pair of shoes in your carry on! Alternatively (to the ladies), if you plan to dress up because you plan to head out one evening, pack a pair of heels (unless you’re already wearing them because you’re part of the elite that like to travel fancy!)

6.       A change of clothes

Again – if you’re travelling for work but have travelled in casual wear, pack some work appropriate attire! If you know you’ll have evening plans while you’re away, pop something in your carry-on that says ‘I’ve made an effort’.

7.       High value or irreplaceable items

It’s one thing if your bag is accounted for but just hasn’t made it, however if it’s lost completely you are going to wish you hadn’t packed your laptop with a lifetime’s worth of memories in there. Rare, special and irreplaceable items should also travel with you (provided they’re not on the restricted items list, of course!)

8.       Flip-flops

There’s one thing that we refuse to do, and that is shower in unfamiliar bathrooms barefoot. Pack your flip flops and save yourself!

Pack your cabin bag like a pro and download a printable PDF of our carry-on bag packing list:


There’s even space to add your own items!

Have you ever had your bags go missing while travelling? Have we missed anything out of our packing list? Let us know!


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