Most of the time I love flying, but I can understand why many people don’t. There’s the boring layover where you don’t have enough time to explore the place you’re in but still have over an hour to kill, so you buy overpriced chocolate, a trashy magazine and pay six dollars for a bottle of water that you end up sculling before your next international flight.
Then there’s the joy of getting off a long haul flight with cankles the size of rockmelons because no matter how disciplined you are with your stretches and walking up and down the aisle, twelve hours on a plane can still leave you with peripheral oedema. When I got off the plane from London to Singapore, my feet were so swollen I couldn’t even do my shoelaces up. My legs ached so badly. Not caring what anyone thought of me, I decided to lay on the carpet outside my gate and used one of the chairs to elevate my swollen legs. It got a bit awkward when people started sitting on either side of me, but I shoved my nose in a book and pretended it was perfectly normal.
Then there was the time that I spontaneously booked a flight to New Zealand for Easter. The day before I flew out, the weatherman reported that a cyclone would be hitting Auckland. Just my luck! Fortunately my plane still departed Adelaide, but it wasn’t until I boarded my flight from Melbourne to Auckland that I was told my luggage wouldn’t be coming with me; it arrived the following day. I didn’t have a change of clothes but fortunately I had my makeup, which taught me a valuable lesson: always pack your carry on so that you can survive a day or two without your luggage.
So since I am flying to Hawaii next week, I decided to make a list of my most valuable travel companions in preparation for my twelve-hour flight to paradise.
These are my absolute number one travel item. For my first overseas holiday to Vietnam I used sleeping pills to sleep on the plane but they just made me drowsy. On my next holiday I discovered earplugs and now I can sleep anywhere with them! They are AMAZING especially since planes are damn NOISY. Bye-bye screaming baby, hello sleep.
This might seem obvious, but socks are always a lifesaver for getting warm and cozy on a chilly flight. I have a couple pairs of amazing knitted sock-shoes that I always take travelling with me. They’re horrendous but, surprisingly, everyone always comments that they wish they had a pair! Sometimes comfort outweighs style.
Makeup & toiletries
This shit is expensive and frankly I don’t want it getting lost! I always take a toiletry bag with the following: toothbrush & toothpaste, make-up wipes, roll on deodorant, face moisturizer, sunscreen, hand sanitizer and tissues. Before my flight I go the bathroom at the airport and wipe my whole body down, brush my teeth and moisturize my face. That way I feel fresh and ready to sleep on the plane.
Change of clothes
I like to wear warm, comfortable clothes on the plane but of course if you’re travelling to a warm climate you’ll need a set of clothes ready to change into as soon as you land. Always pack three pairs of knickers- you never know what could happen- and a bikini if there’s an airport pool or nearby beach.
A Necessities Case
I bought this great bag from Kathmandu for my trip to Europe last year. I was sick of taking backpacks that zipped open from the top making everything fall out. This bag came with a removable case, which I use to hold my passport, bankcards, plane tickets, USB cable, earplugs, earphones, gum and a pen. Before I stuff my carry on into the overhead compartment I remove this so that I have everything I need for the flight in an organized case.
Something so simple can cause so much frustration when you don’t have one! Don’t be that person searching for a pen to fill out their boarding pass card.
I haven’t found a brilliant one yet- do they exist? I use a blow-up neck pillow from Kathmandu and I like that I can have it super firm or a bit softer if I deflate it. I find the best way to sleep is to book a window seat and use it pressed against the wall of the cabin rather than around my neck.
Mini first aid kit
I am notorious for getting sick on holiday and from experience it can be difficult trying to find basic medication in countries with a foreign language. I also trust western medication far more after I was once given black panadol in Vietnam. My simple kit is made of panadol (white), ibuprofen, berocca effervescent tablets (fabulous for hangovers), Lucas Paw Paw ointment and strapping tape. This last one might seem strange but it comes in handy particularly for blisters that develop after walking a lot.
There you have it: my list of simple, glorious items that turn a long, boring flight into a fun sleepover party in the sky. Since I am twenty-five now and need to keep my skin in good condition, i’ve decided to go a bit extra and pack a sheet mask to use on my twelve-hour flight to Hawaii. Imagine turning around to see this. Ha!
Me in six days, except 1000 times less glam. Photo courtesy of Go-To Skincare.