There is a lot of flying. At least nowadays since we’ve outmoded the bus. The annual trips back home which swallow up 24 hours or more. (Yes, an entire day of our lives on a plane or spent in a layover). Or the short jumps within Asia (always with a layover). In any case, we like to have some essentials with us to keep us a little saner and decent.
I pack too much, always. My beach suitcase is just as big as my snow suitcase and I am fully aware that it makes no sense. It’s probably my inner girl scout that keeps me overly prepared (what if there is no hot sauce? I should bring three…), but I’m not sorry about it. I am the one with a bag of cookies in her rolly bag, you are going to want me around.
As for my carry on, I try to scale it back a bit so I don’t get back problems and look like a crazy lady (too late). Heavy carry ons suck the most but no matter where I am going, I have a few items that are always within reach.
1. Ole Henriksen Cleansing Cloths
These little wipes are great, and while they will set you back a few more dollars than the standard baby-wipe option, they leave you feeling clean and less like you have been sitting in an flying cable car full of other peoples’ sweat and old breath.
2. Bumble & Bumble Invisible Oil Travel Kit
Shampoo in hotels is basically water and dish soap as far as I can tell. The last thing I want to think about when I am sailing or climbing or eating is my hair. I bring a long a set of high-quality hair condiments when I take off, mostly because I am lazy and don’t want to deal with my hair, and because it smells awesome.
3. Caudalíe Hand and Nail Cream
Airplanes destroy my hands because I worry too much about the spread of disease and I wash them 16 times each flight. It’s dry at 30,000 feet and my paws get rough without some help. I like this cream because it smells like heaven and people love it when you smell good, and also because it calms down the hand situation and lets me re-focus on the new teen adventure drama I have only seen 4 times.
This specific scarf is not called that, but it should be. The requirements for the perfect plane scarf are three fold. 1) It must be giant, like a twin sheet. 2) super cozy 3) not to thick, because it must be able to serve as a beach blanket, sarong, shirt, large male diaper, pillow and scarf.
5. Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream
No matter where you are, get up in that SPF. This is a great one, and never feels heavy or greasy, but do let it sink it a bit before getting in the water or you look like the guy who works in the pit of despair.
I am the total opposite of Cait when it comes to packing. Things tend to get rationed in my checked baggage since I know I get a little crazy when it comes to shopping in new and far flung locales. But that carry-on bag of mine is packed with a bunch of stuff I like to have close with me for security issues (read: expensive technological accoutrements I don’t wish to lose). Thus I wind up looking like Quasimodo. Computers notwithstanding, I do like to have with me a few essentials to keep me comfortable when I’m traveling.
1. Lo & Sons OG Bag.
This bag absolutely keeps me so incredibly sane. Little compartments for everything from my passport, to all those various chargers I carry, an extra pair of shoes perhaps to boot. I’ve been carrying it on every single flight I’ve been on for the past two years and it can take a beating. Plus it fits perfectly under seat. I call it my Mary Poppin’s bag.
2. Kiehl’s Moisturizers and Lip Balm
Everything gets so dry when flying agh! Since university, I’ve been a member of the Kiehl’s cult. So when I’m traveling, an absolute must is a tube of their Lip Balm 1 (in fact, you can probably find this in all of my bags) and a small bottle of Ultra Facial Moisturizer in SPF 30. I’m not great at putting on sunscreen since I’ve been blessed with a complexion that’s not akin to burning. So I feel like this particular moisturizer gets me at least a modicum of sun protection. After one nasty visit home versus dry cold winter winds that turned my face into a roughshod desert, I said never again. Thanks to a a super friendly Kiehl’s staffer, I loaded up on their Ultra Facial Moisturizer with Intense Hydration. And last but not least are their samples! Kiehl’s samples are the best for traveling. Particularly their Ultra Facial Cleanser.
3. Lemlem Scarf
Cotton scarves, whatever the brand, are my ultimate accessory when traveling. And always a nice luxurious cotton or merino blend like this Lemlem Kulkulu scarf. They are great for sopping up sweat in tropical locations, keeping warm under mighty air conditioners and covering up if I happen to find myself in a mosque or sacred place.
4. The Outfit. Lululemon Scuba Hoodie, Uniqlo Leggings, Tonlé Sina T-Shirt Dress
I basically look like the spectrum between ground of going to (read: excited and clean), and coming back (read: exhausted and sweaty) from a yoga class when I’m traveling. Comfort is my absolute first priority. And I don’t care what those fashion police say about black leggings. So long as I cover my butt with a tunic or Tonlé T-shirt dress, I’m cool. And to cap it all off – the Lululemon Scuba Hoodie. Say what you will about the company, that hoodie is durable (it lasts years) and is the perfect thing to keep me warm when the cabin temperatures drop.
5. Tiek Ballet Flats and travel socks
When I’m in the terminal, I like these Tiek flats to look a little cleaner and polished. Plus if I’m running from gate to gate, their non-slip soles prevent any butt first tumbles from happening. And when I’m on the plane, travel socks to keep my extremities from freezing off are pretty useful too. I’m a cheapo and I usually keep the ones that I’ve gotten (thank you Cathay Pacific!). Or maybe I’ll bring a pair of Roots wool camping socks with me. In any case, my toes are nice and snuggly.