In less then a month I am going on a trip to visit my family overseas. Spending 6 hours on an airplane is not exactly my idea of fun (I am not a huge fan of airplanes, but I do love travelling). In my lifetime, I have gone on at least one if not two or three trips a year. To celebrate this trip, I am going to do a little series on travel, packing and surviving jet lag.
When I was younger, I always grossly over packed my carry on, an excessive amount of books and CD's for entertainment. While technology has helped me reduce the amount of stuff I carry, I have also learned to ween it down to the essentials. With the rising cost of luggage fees and the lack of space on an airplane I am proud to say I have mastered carrying everything I need in my handbag, leaving room for me to stretch out my legs under the seat.
Airplane seats are super uncomfortable, I like to pack things that make the journey as comfortable as possible, such as headphones, a sleep mask and a neck pillow. I always try to get some rest on the plane, because I know once I land it is just go go go. Bringing headphones helps you from having to use the grubby headphones they give you for free, or worse make you pay $5, to watch TV or listen to your music. They also help with drowning out outside noises, such as crying babies, while you are trying to sleep.
I always try to take a nap and rest up on the plane. To make that more comfortable I love having a neck pillow for support, it is especially helpful when you are stuck in a middle seat. I don't require pitch darkness to sleep, but it definitely doesn't hurt to have. Sleep mask's help me from becoming annoyed from my neighbors light or woken up by the rising sun when taking a red eye. They also help to create a comfortable space to help you relax, I always like to carry them, even on short flights so I can take a little time to rest up.
There is a world of entertainment available on airplanes these days. You can watch movies, even play video games on the airplane. Since I am an avid reader, I always like to bring a couple of books while travelling. Bringing my Kindle (I have the Paperwhite which I love for low light situations, but there is also a great $69 version) prevents me from carrying a few heavy books to entertain myself. Plus if I don't like, I can always purchase new books on the go.
While travelling for long periods on an airplane, the cabin air always dries out my skin. I try to keep a rich moisturizer with me to help keep my hands soft and moisturized. My dry hands have been loving the Eucerin Intensive Repair Hand Cream, its rich and moisturizing but does not leave your hands feeling greasy.
It is important to stay hydrated while flying, especially on those long haul flights. Airports charge obscene amounts of money to buy water once you are trapped in the terminal. I always like to carry an empty water bottle with me to fill up once I am past security. Lately I have been eyeing the Vapur water bottle, the compact design does not take up much room in you luggage when it isn't full of liquid. I can't wait to order one for my trip.
Inevitably I always manage to get a headache on the plane, no matter how much water I have had. I like to keep some necessary remedies on hand such as Dramamine (I get motion sick so this is a must, plus it can make you sleepy which is great on a red eye), Advil and a few other essential drugs (decongestant or heartburn medication). There is nothing worse then being stuck on a plane for an excessive amount of time suffering from something that can be relieved with stuff you can get in the drugstore.
When travelling on long haul flights or even some domestic ones, I always add certain things to my travelling. On domestic flights I try to take a small carry on as my only luggage, but I keep these essentials in my handbag for easy access. On international long haul flights you don't pay luggage fees. My main luggage goes below the plane, but I will add a few things like a change of clothes and a few toiletries to my carry-on.
What are some of your essentials that you like to carry on with you when you travel?