…the plane. After many flights and hundreds of hours on planes, I think I’ve finally nailed down my essentials for air travel. I tend to go light (one bag, no carry-on suitcase) when I travel internationally. I usually am going to be gone at least 2.5 weeks and will making at least 2 flight transfers, so I don’t want to be bogged down with bags. Everything else I need gets checked. Here are my in-flight must haves:
A reusable 1 quart bag for liquids: I was tired of having to replace the Ziploc one I used to use every other trip. I don’t actually have the one on this board (mine was a freebee from a conference) but this one seems good. I usually fill it with any make-up that’s essential (mascara, blush and eyelash curler), mini deodorant, hair bands, lotion and lip balm.
Crest Wisp brush: This is no substitute for a real brushing but using one of these will work in a pinch.
Pills and Pill Case: I bring all the medications I’ll need, including aspirin, with me on the plane. You don’t want to be without them if your bag doesn’t arrive.
Face/baby wipes: 10 hours on a plane, 2 hours layover and another 8 hour flight will make you feel grimy. A few wipes go a long way to helping you feel a little less disgusting.
Toothbrush and toothpaste: self explanatory.
Kindle: I am a convert – enough said.
Camera: I don’t have a DSLR, just a small point and shoot which I don’t always bring. I know, I’m bad.
Noise canceling ear buds : Micah swears by these so I bought a pair and they are amazing. These drown out the noise of chatter, crying and engines really well and are comfy even after 10 hours.
Retractable iphone charger : I have an iphone, again self explanatory.
Laptop : I wish I didn’t have to bring this but little work would get done without it.
International All in One Adaptor: This is a must have. Unlike other continents, Africa seems to use any number of plugs. Sometimes the outlets are British, sometimes European, sometimes from the Middle East. I cover my bases with this baby.
iPhone: This is my alarm clock, camera, phone in an emergency, calculator, source of entertainment and access point to internet when wifi is available. I don’t know how I ever traveled without it.
Card reader: This is a must have if I do bring my camera. It also works as a standard flash drive.
Compression socks: I’ve noticed my feet and legs swell up more than they did a few years ago. I wear these on any flight over 4 hours and they really help. I have this exact pair in this exact color.
ExOfficio travel underwear: I always bring a pair of these quick dry underwear in my carry on. I don’t want to be stuck wearing the same pair for more than a day if something happens and I have unplanned overnight or my bags don’t make it.
A scarf: This is a must have and the one I use is the Bamboo Ruana in black by Echo Designs. It’s big enough to use as a blanket but versatile enough to be used as a scarf or shawl. I’ve also used it as a pillow. I love it.
Columbia Armadale dress: I love this dress. I have it in black and teal and it comes on every single one of my trips. It’s really versatile. You can dress it up with some nice shoes, a necklace and a wrap. Dress it down with flip flops and a light sweater. Wear it to work with a blazer, flats and some jewelry. It’s quick dry (so you can wash it in the sink) UV repellent and very flattering. I carry this dress in case my bag doesn’t make it.
A Magazine: You know that period right before you take off and right before you land when you can’t read your Kindle? That’s when a magazine (preferably Sunset) comes in handy.
Kids Clif Bar: Let’s be real, airplane food isn’t always edible. I carry a few bars just incase I can’t bring myself to eat what’s served. I like the kids Clif Bar because it isn’t as sweet as Luna Bars.
Ginger Candy: This perfect when you are feeling a little nauseous for what ever reason.
Pens: Yes, that’s obvious but having 2 pens is essential. You are bound to lose one and it’s always good to have a spare just incase your seat neighbor needs one.
Collapsible water bottle: I love this bottle from Playtipus. I fill it up after I go through security and hydrate as needed. The best part is that when you finish the water, the bottle takes up almost no room in your bag.
The bag: I used to use the market tote from Timbuk2 but after a few trips, I decided I needed something more professional. I still bring my Timbuk2 bag with me on side trips but this bag (in grey) by Kristen Bell (of Veronica Mars Fame) for Erica Anenberg is perfect for all my needs. I can fit everything on this collage in the bag and it’s still comfy.
For the most part, I pack all of these things with me on a trip. Obviously, I always carry my passport, international immunization card, cash and a credit card in my wallet. If it’s a domestic trip, I’ll leave things like the international travel adaptor. If I am traveling for pleasure and don’t have to telecommute, my load is lightened by getting rid of the laptop.
I hope this is useful for everyone. Links to all these products are available through Polyvore so just clink on the collage to get there. What are some of you must haves when traveling?