The holidays are drawing ever closer and many of us are heading off to visit family, friends or simply on a hard-earned end of year break. One of the least fun and time-consuming parts of travelling is packing. But we’ve got your back, just refer to this bookmarked checklist page the next time you’re in need of a PA to remind you of all your handbag travel essentials!

Image: Showbit


#1 Your passport

Honestly, it’s the most essential item on the list and the worst to forget, so make sure you have it before you lock your apartment door!  We’ve all been there, especially if you travel somewhere regularly or aren’t boarding a plane, it can almost feel like you’re just doing a routine journey, not an across-borders trip. Put it in a place you can always find it with an easily identifiable cover so you NEVER forget it!

#2 A warming cover-up

A pashmina is another essential, planes are like the office air con on steroids, so you don’t want to be caught without a chic cover-up and have to use the horribly static plane issued ones. See here for chic cover-ups or shop our favourites from Burberry here. 

#3 A really, really good book

As much as I love to catch up on my glossy mag reading whilst in-flight (make sure you’ve got the latest edition of Her World, of course) there’s nothing better than a really, really good book to while the hours away on a long haul flight and get so engrossed in that you forget about the snoring nightmare two seats away from you. My recommendation as a natural bookworm? Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, if you haven’t read it, it’s a total must before Lupita Nyong’o and Brad Pitt finish producing the movie, one of the most well-written books I’ve read in a long while! Download to your Kindle if you’re looking to save on space and weight.

#4 A portable charger

The WORST thing when travelling is being stranded without battery on your phone, I know because I’ve been there, at a Berlin airport when I travelled separately from my friends and had to make a guesstimated two-hour journey into the centre of town where our hotel was from the way-out-of-town airport with my very rusty German (all the while not being able to contact my friends to tell them I was safe). It’s not a situation you want to find yourself in, so if your phone always runs out of juice, invest in a good portable charger like a Xiaomi and always have it charged with your cable on hand. It’s a good idea to pop a plug in your bag too in case you ever have a chance to use a power socket or the plane has one by your seat. 

#5 A beauty pouch

Always keep a cute beauty pouch which you can easily find in your bag with your mini or decanted essentials in to adhere to baggage restrictions. Then follow this detailed in-flight beauty routine to ensure you wake up and disembark looking like you just had 8 hours of refreshing sleep. 

#6 A notebook and pen

Yes yes yes, we’re almost in 2016 but paper isn’t dead when you’re on a long, languorous journey. Often travel gives us a chance to reflect or allows crazy and potentially wonderful ideas to pop into your head, note them down with a physical pen so that as you inscribe those words, you can allow your game-changing ideas to take real root, or just write some old-school postcards to your best friends, there really is nothing as novel as receiving snail mail in this day and age! A black Moleskine is a timeless classic. 

#7 Wet wipes

To be honest, living in Singapore you should never leave the house without them (with hawkers and their delicious but messy food) and they’re essential in-flight too. If you’re a germaphobe, you’ll want to wipe down air con vents, your handrest, ecetera to ensure you don’t catch bugs from a long-haul airborne virus! Remember you should also always wipe down your phone, earphones and other heavy-contact devices to avoid bacteria build up which can lead to acne, see more advice here.

#8 Your sunnies

Okay, call us divas but we don’t mind looking like a paparazzi-ridden celeb when disembarking a plane if it means noone sees our bags before we have a chance to seriously recover from our jet lag. We take our tips from airport-pro Victoria Beckham who always has hers firmly glued on her face as she exits the terminal 

#9 A key, transport card and phone pouch

There’s nothing worse than touching down and being about to grab the subway/tube/metro to your place (this applies to returning back to Singapore also) to find that your keys or EZ-link card are buried deep in the depth of your double-padlocked suitcase. Pack your destination essentials: currency, transport card, keys etc. in a small, brightly coloured pouch in your handbag to ensure they’re to hand when you need them, not requiring the embarrassment of opening your suitcase to onlookers in the middle of the airport. 

#10 Download Google Translate

If you’re heading to territory where you ‘comprends pas’ (EN tr: don’t understand) you’re going to be in need of this app before you head to a land of no 4G without a high cost. It’s pretty amazing as you can type a phrase in your mother tongue and get it translated instantly, as well as hover your camera over text like signs, restaurant menus etc. and see things roughly translated, amazing! 

For tips on how to live like a local (not a stereotypical tourist) when you reach your destination, see here.