We seem to be on an airplane kind of theme this month, don’t we? Not to worry, as people on planes and tips for traveling on planes are pretty much the only two topics I conceive of to put into this category, the next post is bound to have something to do with food or a mistake I’ve made.
But for those who are making an international flight for the first time or for people who like to read lists, this post will hopefully present at least one useful tidbit of information.
As delightful & individual beings, everyone has their own sort of travel routine/”style.” From the people who bring their own dinners on board (genius, economy food leaves something to be desired, mainly nutrients) to those who like their own headphones for the movie/TV/music/game playing to some select individuals I see wearing compression socks (should we all be wearing them?), when making a long flight, thinking small for big comfort is the way to go.
Tip #1: Dress comfortably. I don’t mean you need to be in sweatpants (although the majority of Americans are traveling this way now) but know you’re going to be in the same clothes for just about a full 24 hours. My personal choices have been dresses with tights, drapey sweaters with leggings, or jeans with layers. Know that on those big planes, you generally do not have the capability to change whatever air is being pushed around the cabin so you need to create your own opportunity for modifying your body temperature.
Tip #2: If you’re not wearing socks, bring a pair with you. Know what’s not comfortable? Hanging out in your shoes while you attempt to find a niche your legs can stretch out in. You might feel self-conscious (or you might now) but I fully recommend taking off your shoes once you’re at cruising altitude. Naked feet are gross though, so put some socks on those things.
Tip #3: Pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on. My luggage has been lost or put on a later flight 3 times now. The first time it happened was when Rich and I first arrived for our big move. We didn’t think to follow this tip and ended up wearing the same clothes for almost three days. It’s a good thing we love each other. Do yourself a favor and have a back-up outfit, especially if you think your connection is tight. Have you seen these international airports? If you have to take a bus and a tram to get to your next gate in 45 minutes, odds are your bag will be joining you 9-15 hours later than expected.
Tip #4: Pack light. When you’re in a foreign country, nobody knows you. You can wear the same outfit 2-3 times and no one will say a thing. And if they do, it’ll most likely be in a different language and you won’t know they’re talking about you anyways. You’ll want to buy fun things that remind you of your trip and in order to get them back home, you’ll need some space in your luggage. Plus, you know what’s not worth spending money on? Overages on luggage. Save your money for important things, like wine and fancy treats.
Tip #5: Keep the following items in your carry-on…
- An empty and reusable water bottle. Airplanes are known for dehydrating the system anyways but being on one for longer than five hours means your body needs some serious aqua. Once you pass security, drink a bottle before you board and then fill it up again before boarding. Any time the flight attendants come around with water, take it. I know I sound like a crazy Mom but you’ll feel weird and unfortunate if you dehydrate on the plane and then your vacation will be off to a negative beginning and nobody wants that.
- A little freshen up kit including these. Halfway through your flight and even once more before you’re due to land, a little face washing and somewhat decent tooth-brushing will make you feel like your quality of life has somehow increased 10 magical points.
- Hand sanitizer, travel tissues, aspirin & nasal spray. Alright some of these items are a given. Who doesn’t travel with hand sanitizer any more? But the aspirin people, remember the aspirin. Because if you can’t sleep (and let’s be honest, who can when you’re wedged in a small seat in a constant upright position), you’re going to get a headache. Cue the aspirin. Nasal spray may sound weird but noses get dry up there…I use bacitracin because of a history of nose bleeds and people probably wonder what I’m doing with a q-tip up my nose at varying intervals of the flight but, nose bleeds are unpleasant. And gross. And if we can avoid dangerous bodily fluids in small areas, we most certainly should. So if you get dry nose, bring nasal spray.
- A travel umbrella. Small and mighty, the travel umbrella means you don’t have to pack a rain coat (hello space saver) and can easily be squeezed into one of those gaps that are hard to fill around the perimeter of your suitcase.
Tip #6: Some misc. thoughts. Know where you’re going. If you don’t plan on going to a fancy restaurant, leave the fancy clothes at home. Doing a lot of walking? Give up the idea of coordinating your shoe choice to your outfit and wear sneakers. You’ll thank me later. Leave the hair dryer, straightener, curling iron, and other hair things at home. Countries outside of the US run on different voltages. Running higher voltages can not only burn through one of your plug converters, but could ruin your hair tool as well. Make sure you have a few plug converters if you’re traveling abroad. This way here, if you lose one, one breaks, or you just need to plug in more than one plug, you’re prepared.