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The Carry On is a monthly round up of our favourite travel items we’d happily haul from Stansted to Seville, Heathrow to Hydra. Be it a functional fedora or the latest in skincare science, we’ve probably got it in our luggage. Riffing on the adage: “If you can think it, you can be it”, we’re saying: “If you can jam it in your carry on… you can bring it.” Catchy.

Note: weight restrictions and other practicalities do not apply.

1. Biocol Labs Something For The Knackered, £17.90

The typeface on the front of Biocol Labs Something For The Knackered may as well read: “You look like death and at this stage in the game your eyes are closing in protest, not tiredness.” Flip the box over for words filled with a smidge more compassion: “Our lives can be pretty hectic nowadays, the last thing we want is to burn out.” Trust us when we say these plant-based remedies – we’re calling them viles of vitality – will bring you back from the brink. Containing magnesium, which helps with the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, as well as ginseng (also good), the ampoules are to be taken in the morning for five days. Drink pure, diluted in water, with a glass of OJ or stir into porridge. In cases of extreme tiredness, we recommend two packs, a good rest and perhaps a full review of your lifestyle choices.

2. Birkenstock, Arizona, £112

A German health shoe does rarely a fashionable footwear choice make. Yet against the slimmest of odds, Birkenstock circumvented fashion’s strict “no comfort, no practicalities” manifesto long before normcore, athleisure and ugly shoes du jour took hold. While dad trainers are dandy for a jaunt through terminal two, the slip-on, slip-off appeal of a pair of Birkenstocks at airport security is insurmountable. Built for comfort (all hail the cork footbed), Birks are as versatile as they are iconic, can be dressed up or down, and seem as appropriate to wear running errands in the city as they are for heading to the beach. These suede, two-strappers are helping us bring our holiday packing shoe count way down – and that is a major achievement.

3. Byredo, Gypsy Water (50ml), £95

The instantly recognisable Gypsy Water will turn heads as you pass through the Duty Free beauty counters and dismiss the doe-eyed spritzers in your wake, smug in the knowledge that you’ve already found “your” fragrance and no idle time spent in an airport can assuage you: you’re a Byredo loyalist. For travellers who are more about the journey than the destination, buying into Byredo founder Ben Gorham’s take on fragrance as “something which is more about the story than the scent” will feel pretty organic. Drawing inspiration from his exotic travels, Gorham’s fragrances are seducing and transporting.  Gypsy Water – an evocative scent inspired by the colourful romance of Romany life – is a story that opens with a vibrant burst of bergamot, lemon, pepper and juniper berries followed by a radiant heart of incense layered over green pine needles and orris. There’s a whiff of our summer 2014 escapades with a young, rugged Tuscan named Lorenzo to this eau de parfum. What’s more, at a compact 50ml, the bottle fits neatly in our carry on.

4. Normal People by Sally Rooney, £14.99

A good book is as important as a good travel partner; some would say there is no greater travel companion than a literary one. We’ve outgrown and outsmarted, lazy “holiday read” marketing and instead are using our travel time to get on top of our reading lists. Dublin-based writer, Sally Rooney’s highly anticipated second novel – long-listed for the Man Booker Prize – has been deservedly top of many people’s lists for a few months now. A girl-meets-boy narrative interrogating the difficulties of sincere communication in a complicated, post-ironic world, Normal People is a story about how a person can change another person’s life. Sally’s debut novel, Conversations with Friends, was the most popular debut in the 2017 end-of-year round-ups and with rumours for a BBC spin-off directed by Lenny Abrahamson gaining traction, it’s nice to be able to say you’ve read the book before everyone’s harping on about its TV transplant.

5. Margiela, Large Glam Slam Bag, £1,345

While we like to masquerade as perennially chic travellers, our post-boarding plane routine often ends up revolving around reruns of Friends, endless snacks and magazines we wouldn’t be caught dead reading on home turf. When we’ve tired of this, the next entertainment is usually trying to manipulate one of those grotty paper pillows into a comfortable shape – until it dawned on us that your handbag can double up as a cushion, that is. Well, not all handbags, but this practical beauty from Maison Margiela has changed our in-flight conduct to simply nuzzling a squishy, cloud-like bag, desperately trying not to drool on the ovine leather.

6. Heidi Klein, Carlisle Bay Lace Back One Piece, £220

We’ve had a spare swimsuit in our carry on since time immemorial – or at least as long as one-piece costumes have been back in fashion. While some more sceptical passengers might consider packing a “spare” swimsuit as begging for apoplectically bad weather, we think it’s important to be prepared for all eventualities. This Heidi Klein one-piece has a nautical vibe, perfect for days spent port side – or an unlikely water landing. Like we said, pack for all eventualities.

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The Carry On: October 2018

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