How to Pack Your Hand Luggage Like a Mason Jar Salad

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Colour is key when it comes to layering your salad or your luggage (even though no one will see it or care)
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Colour is key when it comes to layering your salad or your luggage (even though no one will see it or care)

You might have thought the Mason Jar salad was cooked up one day by a pretentious  blogger, who had a surplus amount of mason jars left over from a fake country themed dinner party photo shoot? You're probably right and despite these salads crushing your soul with their hipster sensibilities, there is something we can learn from them - even though they were obviously created with impracticality in mind. It's time to use their layered schematics to aid you, when packing your hand luggage for this year's holiday, here's how: 
Star fish is an optional extra
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Star fish is an optional extra

Step One: Dressing on the Bottom

Anyone who has ever packed a Mason Jar salad will know you must put the dressing at the bottom otherwise your mixed leaf, rocket, raw vegetables, variety of nuts and some sort of strange seed, you can only find in the deepest darkest depths of the health food shop, will get soggy. The same principle applies when packing your hand luggage. 

Start with your toiletries, lovingly wrapped in a Ted Baker toiletry bag that costs more than a season bus ticket into town, and ensure they are all closed securely. Ideally buy a completely new set of tiny 100ml toiletries for security reasons - and because you're one of those people, who just can't take half used bottles of shampoo on holiday and have a fear of them exploding in your suitcase.  Toiletries work best at the bottom of the bag simply because they weigh more and if they do leak they won't spoil anything else you've crammed in there. Here's what to pack: 
Tiny toothpaste is the best toothpaste
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Tiny toothpaste is the best toothpaste

  • Tiny shampoo - that teeny bottle is there in case you get delayed, end up stuck in the airport for days and have to wash your hair in the toilet sink. Or your bag is lost. 
  • Tiny conditioner - because if you're delayed you don't need tangles as well. 
  • Tiny toothpaste - garlic breath on a cramped flight is never good.
So tiny, so pointless
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So tiny, so pointless

  • Tiny deodorant - because smelling fresh needs to be cute. 
  • Tiny shower gel - use this as well as your tiny shampoo, while washing yourself in those airport toilets. 
The idea is to then shake up the Mason Jar to mix this dressing with everything else. But please don't shake up your hand luggage unless you want to ruin your favourite pair of spare knickers. 


You won't need these yet, but you should probably pack them anyway
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You won't need these yet, but you should probably pack them anyway

Step Two: Add the Base Layer

This layer in the salad is meant to consist of items that won't soak up the dressing. When it comes to hand luggage this is the perfect opportunity to add some flip flops to the mixture.

Those bad boys will not only separate your dressing layer from the next section to come, they will also add some structure to your bag. Genius, right? Although you probably won't need the flip flops until you arrive at your destination, but that doesn't matter. 
Everyone packs spare clothes they never need
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Everyone packs spare clothes they never need

Step Three: Pop in the Leaves

In this case, salad leaves is a nice metaphor for any items of clothing you feel compelled to pack in your holdall. This includes that cardigan for when you 'get chilly' on the flight, plus a bikini and spare underwear (because you're still paranoid you will be delayed and have to live at the airport or your bag will be lost when you arrive at your destination).

This layer will probably take up most of the room and is one that you never want to pack but know you probably should - like the reasonably tasteless leafy greens in a Mason Jar
Entertainment is key to surviving a plane journey
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Entertainment is key to surviving a plane journey

Step Four: Add some colour

Hand luggage definitely needs some entertainment thrown in there, how else will you distract yourself from the smell of the guy behind you eating bag after bag of cheese and onion crisps or the baby screaming for a solid hour in protest at being stuck in a compressed tube in the air?  

This is when a book, an iPad or a handheld games console come in handy and they sit quite nicely on the soft (leafy) layer below.  You should also squeeze in any chargers you need, plus your headphones. The equivalent in your Mason Jar salad would be some grated carrot, cabbage or some brightly coloured sweetcorn - all things most of us actually forget to add to a basic lunchtime salad. 
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Step Five: The Cherry on Top

Whether you're a tuna, chicken or tofu girl your salad needs some hearty protein thrown on top and in your hand luggage the meaty goodness comes with everything you need to get on that plane.

This means passport, boarding pass and purse all get placed in pride of place at the top of your bag, where they can be easily accessed. We would mention your phone but we know that is probably permanently attached to your hand.

Now joyous travellers, it is time to put these tips into practice. Pack that hand luggage like a Mason Jar salad and jet off into the sunset knowing that there will be no soggy clothing items when you reach your destination! 
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