20 December 2007

Must Have Items For Long Haul travel

After over a decade of flying, I think I have finally started to perfect what to bring onboard for work or holiday travel on long haul flights. This research has been very hit or miss, with alot of money spent on useless items . The following items are those that are in my carry on luggage as a crew member or a passenger on long flights.

  • A travel pillow. Not just any pillow, I have found for me the ones filled with buckwheat are too noisy and the inflatable ones, well, deflate. I went to a travel show several years ago in London and came across a booth selling JetRest pillows. They aren't cheap, Boots chemist makes a knock off but their style is the best I have come across. It is a little wedge that fits next to wither side of your head to give you the nap quality of leaning against the window, even if you are in a middle seat. I have run through over a dozen travel pillows and this is the BEST.

  • A ziploc bag filled with tea bags and hot chocolate packets. If you prefer sweetener to sugar, throw these in as well. Not all carriers provide anything but caffeinated tea,but all can provide you with hot water to make the drink of your choice. These are also handy in a hotel room/hostel to make you feel homey.

  • A pashmina. Yes, I realize that fashion wise they are so 5 years ago but they are invaluable for travel. If you are cold they are your blanket. Pillows and seats of dubious cleanliness are covered with it as well. When off the plane, they serve as an extra blanket, a tablecloth for a picnic or a makeshift pillow on a bus or train.

  • Hot water bottle. I am ALWAYS cold on the plane, when working or as a passenger. I carry a tiny hot water bottle and fill it to keep warm. And crew will be happy to oblige a request like this. They pack away to nothing and can also be used to warm a chilly bed with hot water from the tap. If you forgot a hot water bottle, you can create a makeshift one by using an empty water bottle. If you do not have one, ask the crew if they have an empty water bottle that they can fill with hot water. Wrap it with your pashmina (I told you it was handy!) or an airline sock so as not to have hot water against your skin.

  • A crappy paperback. I never travel with reading material that I intend to bring home . When you are finished with that junky novel, leave it for the cabin crew on the plane(in the magazine rack) or in your hotel/hostel for the staff or another guest. Be cheaper still by buying them at a salvation army or Goodwill/oxfam store, books are CHEAP there.

  • Postcard addresses on address labels or a piece of paper. I feel it is too risky with my forget fullness to actually pack my address book, that stays home. I write out labels for all the postcards I intend to write,when they are posted, you have nothing filling your bag,nothing to loose.

  • Earplugs!!! A necessity in economy class or in a noisy hotel (yes you noisy 'Swedish ' hostel in Jerusalem, I am referring to you!)
  • Lavender oil. Covers the funk of the cabin or a stale hotel room and also helps you to sleep.
  • Saline gel for your nose. I use the brand Ayr, but any are fine. They keep your nose moist in the cabin which has a humidity level of a desert ( seriously). Also great in dry climates and high altitudes like Colorado.

If anyone else has other suggestions, please post them, I am always on the hunt for new ideas!!

1 comment:

Heather said...

Absolutely invaluable knowledge! It's been some time since I've read your blog and I cannot tell you how much I've missed out on. Thanks for the great insight and funny passenger stories!