Rookie to Expert: Travel Must-Haves for the Frequent (or Infrequent!) Flyer
The busiest travel season has arrived! If you're not traveling for work the next few months, you'll probably be traveling to see family or friends for the fast-approaching holidays (Thanksgiving is only 3 weeks away!)
Traveling can be a real drag if you aren't prepared. I've traveled for work often over the past three years and luckily I've been able to travel for fun several times this year alone, so I've put together this list of products and tips on how best to keep your time in airports and on planes as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
1) Headphones. Duh! BUT - the proper headphones. I thought my Bluetooth headphones would be awesome to travel with, and they were until I wanted to use the TV in the back the seat in front of me and realized I couldn't use the headphones I brought because they didn't have a cord and a jack. Now I just travel with two pairs. They don't take up much space anyway! Here are a few of my favorites:
MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs - Noise Isolating Headphones (perfect for sleeping OR listening!)
That brings us to our next must-have...
2) In-flight entertainment. My favorite part of any flight is being unreachable and having nothing to do except binge my favorite show or read a new book. If you're an avid Netflix user (who isn't?) then make sure to use their download feature so you can watch shows and movies without having to use data or be connected to WiFi!
If you happen to have a library card, check out the app Overdrive, where you can 'rent' ebooks and audiobooks using your local library membership!
3) Travel pillow. I resisted this for a long time because I didn't want to carry yet another thing onto the plane with me. But trust me on this...it's so worth it. Here are a couple I've tried that I really like:
4) External charger/charging cable. A MUST! Not all planes have outlets yet, and those can be hard to come by anyway when you're waiting in the terminal because they're a hot commodity. With an external charger, you never have to worry about being without means of communication or entertainment!
5) Light jacket. Nothing upsets me more than being stuck on a cold airplane with no relief. Most people don't know that not all airplanes keep blankets on board, especially if its a daytime flight, so you can't count on that. Even if you're headed somewhere warm, wrap a light sweater or jacket around your waist just in case!
6) Snacks! If I remember to think ahead enough to do it, I'm always grateful to myself for packing a couple of small snacks. Airport food is expensive and there aren't many options in-flight besides the standard cookies and pretzels. Food will never get taken away at security, so don't be afraid to fill up your bag!
7) Refillable water bottle. There are a few reasons for this. One I've already mentioned - airport concessions are pricey, even bottles of water. The second one seems silly, but it's a problem every time I forget my water bottle: I don't like keeping a cup of water or soda on my seat tray! I'm always worried it will spill, or if it's there I can't lay my head down right there. You can put a water bottle away, so it's much more convenient. Just remember not to fill it up before security, because they'll make you dump it out!
The Kleen Kanteen insulated bottle is my go-to!
8) Facial cleansing wipes and moisturizer. This might be a personal preference, but I always enjoy a fresh and clean face after being on a flight, especially a long one! Luckily, facial wipes come in small packs that are easy to bring along. Here a couple of my favorites:
According to dermatologist Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, most airplane cabins are about 20% humidity. If that doesn't mean anything to you, our skin is typically content at about 40-70% humidity! This can result in dry, irritated skin. Even worse, when our skin isn't receiving the moisture it needs, it will overcompensate with oil, and no one wants a greasy face.
My favorite oil-free moisturizer is Image PREVENTION+ Daily Matte Moisturizer. Best of all, it isn't so big that it won't pass security.
9) Hand sanitizer + PhoneSoap 3. I traveled a TON between March and May this year, including three international trips. I had spent so much time on a plane...and a lot of time in the doctor's office. After my third trip to urgent care in three months, my doctor helped me realize that all the viruses I was catching were likely due to all the traveling I was doing. She explained to me that when you're on a plane, especially for a long period of time, you're constantly breathing in the same, stagnant air making it easy for germs to attack. Her suggestion was LOTS of hand sanitizer (click here for travel-size bottles!) That being said, we can't forget about our third hand - our smartphone. The PhoneSoap 3 UV Sanitizer uses UVC light to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria on your device, keeping you as germ-free as possible!
10) Tide To Go Pen. Last but not least! I didn't add this to my packing list until earlier this year when I wore a white shirt to fly to London and spilled hot sauce right down the middle before the flight! Luckily, I was with a friend who came prepared and whipped out her Tide To Go Pen. The shirt survived. :)
EXTRA TIP! If you're traveling internationally, make sure to keep a color copy of your passport in case it gets stolen or lost. Crisis averted!
What are your travel tips and packing list essentials? I'd love to hear them below!