FREQUENT flyers have revealed the cheap items they always carry in their hand luggage which have transformed the way they fly.
Travel websites are full of pricey products and expensive gadgets that supposedly make a flight more enjoyable.
But some of the most useful things you'll need when flying are cheap, everyday items – like a 50p pen or a 60p water bottle.
Frequent flyers have shared their cheap travel tips to help you out when you next catch a flight.
1. A pen (or two)
Pretty much all travel documents can be accessed online now, so you'd be forgiven for thinking you don't need to take a pen with you when you go abroad.
But some countries require visitors to fill in a form when they land, and if you don't have a pen it can be a real pain as you have to wait for someone else to lend you one when they're done.
Frequent flyer David Brundle said he always takes two pens with him whenever he travels just in case he needs to fill out a form.
He said: "I always ensure I have two pens (blue and black) in an easily accessible side pocket of my carry-on, to be able to fill in those landing cards that some countries require as soon as possible.
"I always have a smug chuckle at the people trying to fill them in while in the immigration line or begging the cabin crew for a pen to fill in the forms."
2. Spare undies
If you're catching a long-haul flight, chances are you might want to freshen up during the journey, so a change of underwear could come in handy.
Spare pants could also be useful if you have an accident during the flight, or if your luggage gets lost, saving you some money.
Len Symss said: "My best travel tip is pack a change of versatile outfit, change of underwear, basic toiletries such as toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant in your carry on luggage when travelling particularly overseas or long haul flights.
"It will pay off if they ever misplace your checked in luggage, you have an accident in flight or just for peace of mind."
3. A pashmina
Planes are notoriously chilly so packing a pashmina is a sensible choice.
On top of that, they fold down small so if you take it off, it won't take up too much space in your hand luggage.
Bringing one in advance will save you from splashing out for one in the airport.
Carrol Flemmer said: "The best travel tip ever, which came from my late aunt, is to always pack a good quality textured cotton pashmina type scarf in my hand luggage.
"It squashes down to nothing, can be dressed up with a brooch, worn as a head covering, used as a blanket on the plane, draped around the shoulders or hips as a wrap or even used as a pressure bandage or a sling."
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4. An empty bottle
Although you can't take a full bottle of water through security, most airports have an option to empty your water bottle just before you reach the security line.
Once it's empty, you can take the bottle through and the fill it up when you get to the other side of the airport, saving yourself some cash.
Shanti Ekanayake said: "Carry a water bottle in your hand luggage, empty it when going through customs and fill it up at the next opportunity. No need to pay for water."
5. Beach ball
Airports can be boring places for kids, and it's useful to have something to entertain them while you wait to board.
An inflatable beach ball is a great toy as it weighs hardly anything, won't hurt anyone if it hits them and will help kids burn some energy before they have to sit still on the plane.
On top of that, once you're done with it you can let the air out and it folds back down to a tiny size.
Danielle Edwards said: "When travelling with children overseas, long waits at airports can be boring. To use up some energy before a long-haul flight pack an inflatable beach ball in your hand luggage.
"The kids can play at the gate with no fear of injury or damage and cure their restless legs. The ball deflates and goes away until the hotel pool."
6. Power bank
Most short-haul flights don't have charging points for phones or laptops so it's useful to pack a power bank to keep your gadgets from dying on the journey, which could be stressful if all your travel documents are on there.
Elisa Toome said: "Always carry a power bank in your carry on luggage or handbag. For the small cost of about $20 this device allows travellers to keep phones, tablets, Kindles etc. always charged."
7. A little bag of essentials
Being prepared will make your flight much less stressful, as you'll have everything you need at your fingertips.
Frequent flyer Jane Cormack revealed she always carries a small bag of essential items she knows she might need onboard.
She said: "When travelling on a long flight, I have a small material pouch (sandwich bag size) with all the things I might need for the flight including eye mask, ear plugs, mints, nail file (cardboard as metal not allowed), earphones, headache/ingestion tablets, cotton buds/pads (to clean up make up) and little travel sizes of hand cream, lip balm, facial mist spray, hand sanitiser gel, tissues, toothbrush/toothpaste.
"I can easily grab this small pouch from my carry-on bag when I get to my seat and slip it into the seat back storage for easy access."
8. Instant noodles
If you're a fussy eater, bringing your own food is a sensible choice to avoid being hungry on the plane or having to fork out for snacks in the airport.
A cup of instant noodles costs less than £1 and you can ask a flight attendant to bring you some hot water to make an immediate meal.
Frank Guarnaccia said: "If travelling for the first time, or you have small children and are not sure about eating plane food, pack some noodles in your hand luggage.
"I always pack the ones that come in a plastic cup with a plastic fork. Just ask the flight attendant for some hot water."
9. A little spritz
Travelling can be exhausting and there might come a point on your journey that you need a little pick-me-up.
A spritz of water can help perk you up a bit for the rest of your journey.
Pauline Olson said: "In hand luggage a small bottle of Evian spray or get a cheap spray bottle and fill with water.
"Great for when you wake up all sleepy eyed and there is a queue for the bathroom. Along with it a small face cloth."
10. A hand puppet
Keeping small children entertained on a long flight is hard work.
Kind frequent flyer Deborah Hayward said she always takes a hand puppet with her when she flies to help keep any nearby children entertained – and to save their parent some stress.
She said: "When I travel on long flights I always bring a hand puppet with me in my carry-on luggage just in case I get stuck near any small children who can’t seem to settle on the flight.
"Distraction is nine-tenths of the law and giving little kids something extra to play with not only helps mum but it helps everyone to enjoy their flight more. And it feels good to leave the child with a little gift of a puppet when you leave the flight.
"That way, there are no tears and everyone enjoys their trip."
11. Copies of your important documents
Lastly, and most important, make sure you've got copies of all your important documents, such as passport and credit cards.
Having copies will help you feel more at ease and can reduce some of the stress of travelling.
"Trish Ferguson said: Scan all your important cards (back and front) such as credit cards, drivers licence, passport, visas.
"Email a copy to yourself and print it out. Keep a copy in both your hand luggage and checked luggage and give a copy to travelling companion. Invaluable if you lose your wallet."
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This article was originally published on Escape.com.au and has been reproduced with permission.
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