My Carry-On Packing Guide from Summer to Winter

We are heading over the water for a white Christmas, first visiting friends in Switzerland and then heading onward to Canada (so make sure you follow me on Instagram to catch it all).

It goes without saying that I am jumping out of my socks with excitement. But it has also been tricky to prep for the cold winter, with freezing temperatures that we never see this side of the world.

It’s important to start with the right carry-on luggage to ensure you have everything you need for a comfy plane ride, and so that you’re sorted when you land in sub-zero temperatures.

Here are a few tips on packing carry-on luggage going from summer to winter. You’re allowed one piece of hand luggage and an accessories bag, like a handbag or backpack, so I’ve put together a quick guide for both.

Backpack


I love travelling with backpacks instead of handbags as a matter of convenience. I found this one by Lipault, which is actually a laptop bag but easily works to carry all my travel essentials. It has plenty of soft padding to protect tech, and interior pouches to separate items.

Let’s kick off with skincare needs. I always pack plenty of hydrating and soothing ingredients, and barrier repair balms that will protect my skin during the flight, as well as the harsh winter climate.

Packing Guide Carry On Luggage 9Lives

I recommend you pack the following (the products are just suggestions, but I do love them)

  • Cleansing wipes: Johnsons Daily Essentials Extra Sensitive Face Wipes R44,95, select supermarkets and retailers.
  • Hydrating serum: SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Hydrating, Soothing Fluid R935, skinceuticals-za.com
  • Moisturiser: Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance R1300 for 100ml, dermalogica.co.za
  • Eye Cream: Dermalogica Multi-Vitamin Power Firm R890, dermalogica.co.za
  • Face Oil: Bio Oil R39,95 for 25ml, Clicks and select pharmacies.
  • Barrier Balm: Dermaceutic Panthenol Ceutic R500, dermaceutic.co.za
  • Sunscreen: Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50 R517 for 50ml, dermastore.co.za and skinmiles.co.za
  • Lipbalm: Lulu & Marula Naartjie Lip Balm R65, luluandmarula.co.za
  • Roll-On: Dove Original Anti-Perspirant Roll-On R19,95, select supermarkets and retailers. 
  • Perfume: Lush Cardamom Coffee Gorilla Perfume R695 for 30ml, za.lush.co.za
  • Hand Cream: Filorga Hand Absolute R400 for 50ml, Edgars and Red Square
  • Compact Hair Brush: Ikoo Pocket Brush R350, scarhair.co.za
  • Hair tie: Invisibobble Traceless Hair Ring R80 for pack of 3, select salons and everythinghair.co.za
  • Toothbrush (or these nifty toothy tabs): Lush Dirty Toothy Tabs R125, za.lush.co.za
  • Contact lense water and holders to remove lenses for the flight. You can get these travel-friendly sizes at most pharmacies.

Remember that all liquids have to be stored in zip lock plastic bags, and you’re not allowed to take anything over 100ml on board. It’s also smart to squeeze any air out of your bottles, which will prevent them from exploding when the altitude changes.

Now fill the rest of the bag with all the other essentials like your wallet, sunglasses, spectacles and makeup.

My top tips:

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Download books, movies and series on your phone or iPad instead of travelling with books.

Wireless earphones are a dream! These are the Skullcandy Inkd 2.0 Wireless In-Ears (R699, luksbrands.com) and I’m loving them!

Take your own eye mask (the ones at Typo are amazing!)

Get good sleeping pills from a doctor to knock you out.

Pack some gum and chew it when you’re landing to make your ears pop

I always have band-aids at hand, especially when I plan on walking a lot. Stop any blisters right in their tracks.

Keep these and your essential beauty goodies in your backpack to put at your feet during the flight.

Carry-On Luggage

Choose a bag that is light, which will allow you to pack more before reaching your weight limit. My bag is my Lipault and made from fabric, so it’s super lightweight, and the soft case means that I can shove quite a bit more in. It also has swivel wheels that make it easy to manoeuvre.

What have I packed in my carry on?

  • A change of clothes from summer to winter: Stockings to wear underneath my leggings, and warm socks with boots.
  • Thermal tank tops and long-sleeve tops that are compact but work a charm to keep you warm.
  • Warm leather boots that have been waterproofed for the wet, snowy streets.
  • Thick felt-lined gloves, a felt-lined beanie and a scarf.
  • The warmest coat I could find to tie me over until I am in Europe, where I’ll probably buy a new one. Most of the jackets and coats we have here are just not sufficient for real freezing temperatures.
  • My camera. Obviously.

Do you have any other recommendations? Pop your travel essentials in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you.

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