With Christmas drawing closer and closer and many of us hitting the road for family get-togethers, I thought I'd share my air travel essentials with you, my lovely blogettes. Now, I'm no expert, but I've had a fair share of transatlantic flights in my twenty and some years of life, with even more to come in the future. For me, preparing for a 15-hour plane trip requires a bit of strategic planning: what to do the night before, what to wear, what to take with you, what to do during the flight, how to unwind afterwards. Most of you won't probably need to know all that if you're just hopping between cities (within the US or Canada) or countries (within Europe), but I hope you'll find some of the tips helpful.
Before the flight:
1. Make sure to thoroughly hydrate your body and moisturize the skin. It will prevent you from feeling absolutely crappy after the journey and also minimize the effects of a jetlag.
2. Dress in layers. In my experience, the air conditioning in the cabin is usually cranked up so high that I shiver even underneath the fleece blanket. I find that a warm wide scarf can be a lifesaver: you can use it as a wrap or make a bundle to use as a pillow.
3. Make a packing list to ensure you've taken all the important stuff like passport, medicine, mobile phone charger and so on.
4. If you're a contact lens wearer, wear your glasses this time. Dozing off in your lenses is not the best idea, plus your eyes will feel so dry from the air in the cabin that it's best to put up with your eyeglasses just this once.
What to pack in your carry-on:
1. A water bottle. I know that flight attendants are supposed to bring you water every time you ask them, but sometimes it's too much of a bother, like when everyone's asleep and you don't want to disturb. You can empty your water bottle before the search and then fill it again before boarding or even ask a flight attendant on the plane to fill it for you. I absolutely love my Camelback for kids!
2. A travel pillow. A must-have for those long overnight flights if you don't want to end up with a cramp in your neck. The one in the photo is from a Seattle-based company called Bucky and has a super soft, bamboo fabric, millet hull filling and a strap to attach it to your bag.
3. Warm fuzzy socks! Take your shoes off once you're on board and put warm, soft socks on instead. It makes a huge difference!
4. A good book (or two). No explanation necessary.
5. An mp3 player. I do need to take my music with me... I might even have a Christmas playlist on my iPod to put me in the holiday spirit.
6. A good lip balm. Absolutely indispensable and can be used on other parts of your body too. My favorite is still the Badger Creamy Cocoa Organic lip balm.
7. Moist towelettes and a toner in a small spray bottle. These two together get rid of the yucky feeling that settles in towards the end of the journey. You won't feel like something the cat just dragged in as your family gives you a warm welcome at the airport.
8. Dispensable tooth brush with a paste bead (e.g. Colgate Wisp). They don't require water or rinsing, so they're perfect on the go.
9. No matter if you're carring your toiletteries in the carry-on or check-in luggage, transfer your everyday necessities into smaller pots and bottles. Also, I collect different samples and travel sizes with this purpose in mind, like the Angel Face Botanicals Jasmine moisturizer, Clinique All About Eyes eyecream or the deluxe sample of Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume (however, check if you're not allergic to these products beforehand!) I'd also recommend taking the body stuff in a solid form if possible, like Lush soap bars or Massage Bars as body moisturizer; they won't spill all over your luggage!
After the flight:
1. Again, drink lots of water to rehydrate your organism.
2. Take a nice, not-too-long bubble bath and put a moisturizing mask on.
3. For the big differences in time zones, try to adapt to the new time zone from the first day. If you arrive in the middle of the day but it's nighttime where you're travelling from, don't go to sleep right away if you don't absolutely have to. Persevere and believe me, the jetlag won't last nearly as long.
Here you go, just a couple of quick tips from me for all of you world travellers! Let me know your air travel essentials, tips and experiences in the comments. x