What’s in your Carry-On, Laura Billingham?

This edition of the ‘What’s in your Carry-On?’ guest feature is brought to us by the extremely well-travelled blogger, Laura Billingham. Her blog Stories From A Backpack is one of my faves so go check it out. You can also follow Laura on Twitter @Fromabackpack. Enjoy! 
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WIYCO Laura BillinghamHe who would travel happily must travel light.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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I think I’ve gotten pretty good at packing light – let’s just say I learned the hard way. Carrying a 20kg backpack along the Kho San Road in searing heat is never fun. I’m now proud to say I can travel happily, with around 13Kg on my back (including my hair straighteners of course!).
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However, when it comes to my hand luggage I am very precious. I have always thought of carry-on luggage as special. If I lost my main bag, if it got stolen or delayed, would I have the things I needed? On my first backpacking trip my hand luggage went everywhere with me. Anything that I would cry over loosing or that could not be replaced easily I carried in that battered blue bag.
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This got me into trouble when I arrived at the Taj Mahal and was told under no circumstances could my beloved bag be taken in. It could however, be left with the nice man supervising the unlock-able bag lockers for a fee (of course). And the fee was decided totally by the bag owner. Hmmm how much my bag worth?
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After some deliberation I handed over a ‘reasonable’ amount and by the look on the guys face it was perhaps higher than average for a dusty old backpack. Nevertheless is was tucked into a locker and kept very safe. Little did the guy know it was only my priceless photographs and letters from home that he was keeping safe.
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So my hand luggage has changed slightly from my travels in India but it does still go everywhere with me…
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WIYCO Laura - Picture 1.
THE COMPULSORY ITEMS
  • My Passport – I love all the stamps in my passport, I would be so upset if it lost it!
  • Travel wallet –  in this I have copies of my insurance/ passport/ flight details/ injections/ emergency contacts/ bank phone numbers/ address list for postcards!
  • Purses – I normally take two really small purses and have them in two different parts of my bag. Its great as a back up if ones gets lost/ stolen.
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ESSENTIALS
WIYCO Laura - Picture 2
  • My inhaler – I get really paranoid if don’t know exactly where it is all all times!
  • Paracetamol
  • My cheap berocca knock offs – I love these! I always take these on a flight and for a few days afterwards, keep all those nasty germs away!
  • Deodorant – Keep me smelling fresh!
  • Tissues
  • Face wipes
  • Hand cream
  • Suncream
  • Vaseline
  • Sunglasses – these hide my face after a red eye flight!
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TRAVEL NECESSITIES
WIYCO Laura - Picture 3
WIYCO Laura - Picture 4
  • A book – I’m not a fan of kindles. I like a real book with real pages. I like to highlight things and fold over page corners. I like to swap books and buy them on route. I love a real book. For this trip I was reading On The Road – Jack Keourac.
  • My travel journal & scrapbook – I always buy a new one for a new trip, but I start to fill it with my pictures, quotes and keepsakes before I even leave. For me, it is so important to take pictures with me and a brand new note pad keeps me motivated for writing.
  • My Gratitude book – this little book goes everywhere with me. I try and write down three things a day that I’m grateful for. It’s amazing when you look back and read it. The little things do really make a lifetime of big things.
  • Food – I am allergic to dairy so I always make sure I’ve got some emergency snacks in my bag.
  • My ‘Technical’ bag – This includes my phone charger, my camera, my hard rive, adaptors and ear plugs. I only take my laptop on certain trips.
WIYCO Laura - Picture 5
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MY RANDOM EXTRAS
  • Tea bags – (I’ve only just learnt this trick, it makes me feel bit cheap sometimes, but hey I’m on a budget.) I always carry some herbal tea with me, most airport cafes will give you hot water for free and you can add your tea bag for a pre flight treat without the cost! It’s great on planes too when you don’t want the caffeine.
  • Socks – I always get cold feet on planes (literally cold feet) a nice warm pair of socks helps me get comfy.
  • Cards – my pack of uno cards has been all around the world and has caused so many arguments! It is a great game to play in a hostel.
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Finally…
I am obsessed with ‘pack it cubes’ by Eagle Creek. If you haven’t seen these you should check them out! Pack it cubes changed my whole backpacking experience. They make living out of a backpack a dream! I always have one to help organise my carry on and keep everything neat!
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WIYCO Laura - Picture 6
Happy Travels!
Laura
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Thank you for your contribution Laura! Read more about Laura’s travels on her blog, Stories From A Backpack.
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If you are a seasoned backpacker and would like to share what’s in your carry-on, please get in touch! You can tweet to @HeelsInBackpack or email HeelsInMyBackpack@hotmail.com.

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