Travel | Posted 12 Jul 2017

The world’s first successful manned flight was by the Wright brothers in 1903 and the plane was nothing more than fabric and wood. It was probably the most terrifying thing Wilbur Wright had ever done when he won the coin toss against his brother, Orville, to have a go at being the world’s first pilot. At the second attempt, Wilbur was airborne for 12 seconds before landing. He was now the first person to ever experience flying. 

Today, flying is a common occurrence as we hop on a plane to our favorite destinations. However, the wright brothers couldn’t have possibly envisioned the long airport delays or the leg swelling boredom of sitting on a 22- hour flight to Australia. Whether you are exploring Europe or going further afield you are going to need a carry-on, a carry-on full of entertainment and comfort.

With that in mind, take a look at Jurys Inn’s essential guide to carry-on luggage:

Carry on Essentials Image by twentymindsomething Goodwin / CC BY (image size has been modified)


The Rules

Baggage Allowance

The size and the amount of bags an individual can carry-on to a flight depends on the airport and the airline you are flying with, so check your baggage allowance before you travel. This information will be available via the airlines website.                     

100ml Liquids Rule

Any liquids in containers over 100ml will be confiscated at the security checkpoint. This includes:

  • All drinks
  • Cosmetics
  • Food stuffs (soups, sauces etc)
  • Pastes and gels
  • Contact lens solution
  • And ‘any other solutions or items of similar consistency’ – which means airport security may impose the 100ml rule on any form of liquids.

If you do pack any liquids into your hand luggage, it must:

  • Be in a container of no more than 100ml
  • All containers should be in a single transparent bag of no more than 1 litre in capacity (20cm x 20cm, approx.)
  • The bag needs to be sealed
  • Only one transparent bag per person is allowed 

Banned Items

You are not allowed to bring knives, chainsaws or crossbows onto a flight (unsurprisingly). But the list does extend to a range of sporting equipment and hardware tools, so for a full list of banned hand luggage items at UK airports, visit the website.



Long or short-haul, you will want to feel comfortable midair and refreshed for arrival. Even on shorter flights to European hotspots where you may have chosen a budget airline that charges you for ‘extras’, you may want to take a few things on with you:


Unless you’re sitting in first class where food and drink are complementary, you’re going to have to pay for your fluid in-take. So bringing on a bottle of water to stay hydrated is always a good idea. A good tip to by-pass the 100ml rule isto bring an empty clear bottle with you and once you’ve cleared security, fill it up at a water fountain to avoid paying airport prices for water.


It’s 25C where you are and 40C at your destination so you’re kitted out in board shorts, a vest top and sandals. But you’ve forgotten about the on-flight air-con. Most flights have an average cabin temperature of 18C and if you fancy a nap then you might want to get more comfortable, so keep a hoodie or a light jumper in your carry-on.

The JetRest travel blanket might also be a good idea if you’re on a longer flight, the plane can feel extra chilly, especially if you manage to get some shut eye!

Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Deodorant

The 100ml liquids rule will apply, but during a stuffy and cramped flight, nipping to the bathroom for a quick freshen up can make you feel more awake and human again- the Carex ‘pocket friendly’ refreshing travel wipes are good travel essential for this. 

Eye Mask, Neck Pillow and Ear Plugs

You probably had to get up at 4am to sit around in the lobby for your delayed 8am flight, and your travel companion wants to hit that museum about medieval agriculture as soon as you land ‘before it gets busy’, so you might want a nap on the flight.

An eye mask and ear plugs are essential for blocking out the rest of the world, but investing in some flight socks and a travel pillow will help you get cosy. If you are travelling with kids, the Lug Undercover Bear is a great pillow and blanket/cuddly toy.

Hard-boiled Sweets and Gum

Takeoff and landing can cause some uncomfortable pressure changes and there is nothing worse than being unable to pop your ears! Gum or hard-boiled sweets are good for helping you get that pop.


You’re sitting in one of humankinds greatest achievements, cruising through the atmosphere at around 550mph and you look out at the clouds and marvel at the technical feat of your fellow man. Then more clouds tumble past, then more clouds, then some more clouds, and then your travel companion starts talking about 15th century ploughing techniques.

It’s time to whip out your hand luggage entertainment:

Tablet Device

So now you’re sitting in one of humankinds greatest achievements while staring at another one of humankinds greatest achievements. This should blow your mind but you’re too immersed in some Jack Bauer action or crushing candy. Tablets are brilliant. Just remember to put it on flight mode.


On longer flights they may show an inflight movie and some airlines may charge for low quality headphones, so it’s always a good idea to bring your own.


If you do have a tablet, this could double up as your e-reader, but reading on a backlit screen for long periods isn’t advisable so a proper e-reader is preferable, especially as nothing beats a good book. We wouldn’t recommend tackling something heavy like War and Peace on your holiday though, bring something light and easy to read.

Cards, Puzzle books and Magazines

While digital entertainment can be a life-saver, sometimes staring at screens can get a bit headachy, especially in a pressurised cabin. Battery- life can also be a factor, so it’s always good to pack some good old fashioned entertainment.

A pack of cards can be good for entertaining kids and a puzzle book is always a fun activity, whether you tackle the brainteaser alone or with your companion.

While reading a book is a great way to indulge a couple of hours, sometimes it’s hard to get into, so having an easy-to-read magazine to flick through is always a good plan.

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