Not everyone is a seasoned traveller. For some, the art of getting from A to B, with cocktail in hand, firmly ensconced on a sun lounger, can turn out to be an epic drama from start to finish, putting a slight mar on the whole experience.


If that’s you, and believe it or not, even after the large amount of travel I’ve done, I sometimes feel that way too if I’m going somewhere completely new, then a great way to take the pressure off is to make sure you’re as organised as you can possibly be.


I’ve found a good way to do this is to make sure you pack your hand luggage well ahead of time. Yes, your suitcase is important, after all, it contains the clothes and hair straighteners, but your hand luggage is arguably the single most important thing to get right – you can always buy a pair of shoes if you forget them, you can’t buy another passport; you can get your toiletries at the airport if you forget your shampoo, but you can’t get a copy of your tickets if you’ve got no access to a computer. See? Hand luggage is important because it holds all the vital ingredients for getting you safely and securely to your holiday destination.


As a general rule, your hand luggage should at least contain your passport, tickets, holiday insurance certificate, phone (with insurance company phone number in it), currency, back-up credit card, sterling pounds for airport and odd bits and bobs, earphones, charged up kindle, phone charger, paracetamol, tissues and mints.


That’s the contents of my hand luggage, well apart from the spare eyeliner, lip balm, and mirror brush, but I didn’t want to come across as vain. Try using an eBag to keep it all organized. This eBags coupon code will help.


You can never be too well-prepared, and a bit of research pre-holiday will not only make sure you’re calmer and more sorted, but you might even find out a bit of information you didn’t know before, which will enhance your airport and holiday experience. Check out information on Stansted departures pre-flight, and you’ll find out important things about your flight in particular, as well as the airport and when you can check in, all in real time, so it’s seriously up to date. If you’re heading from the other huge London terminal, Heathrow departures information is your go-to.


Another thing I always do, which may come over as being hideously organised, is have my travel documents organised in a plastic wallet, in the order I’m going to need them. Yes, it’s quite scarily ‘just so’, but when you’re in a rush or nervously trying to check in, you’ll be glad everything is in order and there when you need it.


Being organised isn’t a bad thing, and don’t listen to those fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants types who wing it and somehow always end up exactly where they’re meant to be! I like to be sorted out and knowledgeable about what I’m doing, and in my book, that’s never a bad thing!