(It’s currently 25-hrs before I check in for my flight from Australia to LA.)
For me, the actual travelling part of travelling is not so fun.. It’s full of queues, public toilets, people with oversized cabin baggage, and if you’re unlucky, you’ll also have a person who sits behind you continuously tapping the back of your seat (you know what I’m talking about).
To make this necessary task a little bit more bearable there are some mod cons and accessories that I take with me whenever I’m on a long-haul flight. If you see someone sleeping under a gray shawl on a flight somewhere it’s probably me – do not disturb.
A light weight cabin case with wheels. I usually take my cabin size case with me every time I fly. This is because I usually take my laptop with me wherever I go – which is quite a heavy beast. One time I made the mistake of taking my laptop and everything else I had in a shoulder bag. On the other shoulder was my wedding dress. My shoulders were aching from the straps digging into them, and I was utterly exhausted by the time I walked a mile in the Dubai International Airport (in transit from the UK to Australia) and was so very very envious of all those clever people who had wheels on their bags. Lesson learnt – if I travel with a heavy bag, the bag must have wheels.
I’ll also mention that my cabin bag is a light weight bag. Depending on who you get at the airport, that 1 kilo could make all the difference! I did have an experience in Vietnam where my cabin baggage was too heavy. Okay, I’ll admit it, it was over the 7kgs allowance! But it wasn’t a big case (this was smaller than the allowed cabin size case). To make matters worse, the staff member that wouldn’t let me through let another lady through with a GIANT case that was obiously too heavy (as there was an exchange of heated words which I couldn’t understand). There wasn’t much I could do, but I took of my old shoes, threw them out and put on some chunky black sneakers I bought for my nephew. They were a pretty good fit. I had a jacket in the case which I had tailored which I casually flung over my arm… but not before putting a small but heavy stone carved box and digital camera in my jacket’s pockets to take some weight. I had some cute notepads that I ended up just giving away, and by then I was ready to go through. While it wasn’t a lot of stuff, everything added up very quickly (I also learned the stone boxes aren’t the best gift to bring back home – even if they are tiny). Which finally brings me back to the importance of having a light-weight travel case – it might just save you at a time it really matters.
Noise-cancelling headphones. Have you ever used noise-cancelling headpones on a flight? If not, you don’t know what you’re missing out on! That loud hum from the engine becomes a very faint hum. As soon as I turn the headphones on and the loud hum is drowned out, I feel like I’m in my own bubble. It makes for a nicer, and more relaxed experience. (They’re not cheap, but if you’re a frequent traveller I think it’s an investment worth making.)
A Shawl. I’ve had my gray shawl for almost 4 years now and it has given me some extra comfort while travelling. Apart from its obvious use of wrapping it around your shoulders or using it as a scarf, there are two other ways I like to use my shawl. First, when I go to sleep on a plane.. I’m pretty sure no one is looking at me sleep, but I don’t like the idea of sleeping with my mouth potentially being open for the whole world to see… so I sort of drape it over my head and shoulders giving myself some privacy. Second, on occasions I’ll use it as a make shift bag. As I don’t want to waste time in the aisle getting my lip balm, head phones, etc from my case onto my chair before packing it in the overhead compartment, I’ll just chuck it in my shawl before I get on my plane and get seated quickly. That shawl of mine also saved me from having to sleep directly on a dirty train station floor in Milan, Italy (that’s another story).
Moisturiser and lip balm. I need not say more (unless you’re my husband and I have to explain again how I get dry lips and that I need, yes need lip balm).
Feed bag. I can’t remember on what trip we were on, but my husband and I discovered how much the Feed bags rocked (we already think the quality of the bags are awesome by the way)! We had our jackets in the bag and used it against the window as a pillow. Score! It was like having a giant pillow on board, and it was probably the most comfortable I can remember economy being (except for the times I’ve scored whole rows to myself). I should also point out that when I’m off the plane, I usually put my Feed bag into my case unless I have something that can’t fit into my cabin bag.
Eye-mask, inflatable neck-pillow & ear plugs. These are there just incase. Just incase all I feel like doing is sleep for the whole flight. Then I need to get really comfortable and settle in. (I recommend the design GO pillow in the photo. It has a flat back which doesn’t push your head away from the back of the seat, and gives you support on the sides of your neck where you need it.)
Travel Wallet. I love my travel wallet! It’s so handy. It always has my passports, frequent flier cards, pen (for filling in forms) and foreign currency. Mine also has handy pockets to store my itinerary and boarding pass. I’ve never been in a panic about finding my passport because I know it’s always in the same place – what can I say? I highly recommend!
Hopefully you can take something away from my list of recommendations to make flying a better experience. Is there something that you do/use to make flying that little bit more comfortable? Do tell!
(It’s now 14 hours until check in time and I still haven’t packed, and I need a good night’s sleep.)
Speaking of, I r e a l l y need to start packing!
—- Guess what? I’m actually already here! I didn’t have time to spell check this post before I left! So all the way from the US, here’s to posting my first post on SPW on American soil!—