The Mammy's Guide to Packing Hand Luggage like a Pro

Mammy's back. She's heard about your upcoming trip and she knows what a nightmare carrying cosmetics in your hand luggage can be these days. Now, Mammy clearly knows what's best for you, but she can also be a little trigger happy when it comes to doling out advice, so always be sure to check the specific requirements of your airline*. Still, you seem to love your Mammy and she loves you (kind of), so here she is...

*opens front door tentatively*

Mother o' GAWD I thought you'd never answer the front door. Didn't I rear you better than that or were you dragged up altogether? That Mrs. Hinchy across the road has a daughter who's a DOCTOR, and she lives in FRANCE and she's MARRIED, and you're here dragging your feet answering the door as though you've time to be idling away and a bionic womb. Jaysus Mary and Joseph!

I heard you were going away for the weekend - from your sister of course, sure you tell me nothing - and don't even think for a minute I don't know you're going over to see that LOUT of a fella. But sure I won't complain; it might mean I'll get a grandchild before we're both dead of old age and mouldering in the ground.

Oh I like the new sofa there. Have you put up weight?

Now, you're a right eejit when it comes to organising yourself, so get a pen there and we'll make a list of what you need. Don't be looking at me like that! You are an eejit, but you've loads of other talents. Sure don't I still have that backwards duck you painted in fourth class stuck to the fridge!?


  • Muji Travel Pouch

That Muji place is only great. It has a lot of foreign words all over the place alright, but if you can get over that you'll find everything you need in there and the quality is brilliant. Sure don't they make a resealable airport regulation size travel pouch you can use over and over again? I took it to Lanzarote with your father's tablets and a small bottle of Benylin chesty cough medicine in it (just in case). Don't be stealing my freezer bags as though I'm made of money, and I out there in the garden growing parsnips to save up for a new boiler. You're fierce spoiled altogether. The Muji pouch costs around €7 and it'll last forever. Just give it a wipe out every now and again and don't be letting me down showing everyone a grubby travel bag full of smudges as though you were reared by a pack of wolves.

  • Muji Travel Bottles

These fellas are fairly handy, now. The one in the photo (above) is exactly 100mls. Those aul' fellas in the airport security are awful high handed. They should be grateful they're in a job. It's a miracle we can even leave the house with the property tax, let alone the country! You're only allowed to carry liquids in separate containers inside a resealable plastic bag, and sure doesn't each container have to be 100mls or less? Add to that the fact that you can only have one litre (or 1000mls/ten 100ml) containers max, and you're in a fix. Especially since the bag size doesn't fit ten 100ml bottles. It's like the Latin mass - confusing for everyone except the fella in the uniform doing all the talking. I can't be doing with that aul' guff.

Course you can buy your travel bottles anywhere, but I like the Muji one's because they're strong and they never, ever leak. Sure didn't I have a terrible incident back in '06 when my homemade jam leaked into your father's hand luggage and ruined his favourite Old Spice roll-on deodorant? I never lived it down. You try washing jam out of your father's underpants, and then tell me you have a hard life! The 100ml Screw Top Bottles from Muji cost over €3 which isn't cheap, but they're worth it to keep jam out of your underpants.

  • Use Your Feckin' Head Would Yeh?

Now, you need to be savvy about how you pack up the resealable bag. You have to be able to close it, but you want to cram in as much stuff as you can. If you stick to a compact or stick foundation you won't be taking up space in the bag with a whole bottle of liquid foundation, so use your brain and prioritise the skin stuff in the hand luggage. Women in our family are nothing if not well preserved (except for your Auntie Jean and we all know what happened there. What a MESS) so make sure to decant the amount of everything you'll need into pots and bottles. Don't be taking full bottles of cleanser with you when you haven't the room! And if I so much as hear that you resorted to face wipes I'll take a switch to you!

The 100ml bottle is brilliant for cleansing oil and can last weeks! A 50ml bottle would be enough for a week long stay and give you quite a bit to spare. A 50 or 30 ml bottle of facial oil is more than enough to moisturise skin with for a couple of weeks and the same goes for toner. Shove your favourite moisturiser in a 20g pot and either bring a small bottle of serum or decant some into a little pot. You'll have ample room left over for liquid makeup products and a small bottle of perfume or anything else you might need. Didn't I always teach you to plan ahead? Didn't I!?

You'll be grand. But if you can't get a ring out of that fella over yonder fairly lively I'd seek elsewhere. What'll I tell people!?

What's your hand luggage system? Share in the comments and don't worry; mammy won't come after you. I've told her that the couple down the street have chosen blinds over net curtains so she's totally occupied by the scandal of it. To the comments!


*Disclaimer: 50-80% of Mammy's advice is only relevant to the years 1978-1994, when planes were made of wood and were staffed by pipe-smoking air hostesses.

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