I love travelling! It’s a huge part of my life and something I get itchy feet for every once in a while. Over the years I’ve had to travel back and forth between Australia and The Philippines due to my work and study commitments. In my younger days I was also able to travel with my family, which really solidified my passion for travelling to destinations all over the world. I love airplanes, while most people complain about cramped areas, sniffly noses and crap food, all I see is an adventure and a few hours that I get just to myself to explore beyond the clouds (literally even lol). One thing I’ve noticed over the years is how packing has become more and more challenging, what with all the new limitations for in cabin baggage such as liquids, baggage size and weights. So I thought I’d share my top picks for the perfect carry on bag, that helps to make a flight enjoyable and as comfortable as possible.
First things first, what is it with people wearing really uncomfortable tight clothes? You know you’re going to look like crap by the end of the flight if you’re uncomfortable the whole time. Underwear wedgies, bloated & swelling feet and loss of circulation in certain parts of the body can all be experienced when you don’t dress appropriately for air travel. The key here is to dress in loose fitting, flowing clothes. That’s not to say you can’t feel fashionable and sexy at the same time. Think draw string pants, and layering on the top. Comfy singlets, loose long sleeved cardigans, avoid things with zippers or big buttons on them, so that when you move positions you’re not leaning on them. A literal pain in the butt if you ask me lol. Another thing when it comes to your clothes is to avoid plain white and fabrics that crease easy. White colored clothes will draw attention to stains or creases made from travel.
When it comes to footwear, I choose comfy closed shoes such as Dr. Scholls or Hush Puppies (anything with some instep and shape in them) for all that walking around the airport and then when I get on board I take them off and put on some warm fluffy socks. Another good tip, is to keep your hair loose as well. Having your hair in a ponytail or having lots of clips in it for long durations can cause headaches.
Next, I choose my bag. I like to have two bags. One large one that will fit everything and a smaller one to carry the small essentials (passport, wallet, cellphone etc). The large bag, I prefer to be like a bowling bag, that can fit all the things I want to pack and provides easy access. I don’t like fumbling with zippers so I like having deep pockets that can lock with magnets (don’t keep anything of much value in there) in the front, and the middle to have zippers with areas to put documents in.In the larger bag, I put in smaller bags which separate groups of items.
In the front pockets I pack all items that are easy to pull out:
-A small bottle of water (bought at the last stage just at the gate) this is really important to stay hydrated and you’ll feel much better throughout the flight
-Eye Mask for getting some Zs onboard and not having to worry about the lights on
-A small bag containing Travel sized tissue pack, Vicks nasal inhaler, small tub of vaseline (under 100ml), some strepsils, a packet of vitamins B and C, all these to combat the sniffles and stay energized throughout the flight
– Hand Sanitizer (under 100ml bottle) for before and after meals, you never know what’s flying around the cabin
– Facial Moisturizer (under 100ml bottle) this can double up for hand moisturizer and will be soft enough for your face to use which usually gets dried out in the cabin
In the inside where the zippers keep the bag closed, I keep any items that are worth a little more value or are a bit larger in size that won’t fit in the front pockets:
-A small bag containing my iPod/mp3, soft bud inner ear earphones and my reading glasses
-A small bag containing my medicine (I have an autoimmune condition, so I separate each med by time to take them so I can remember to take them more easily)
-The original smaller bag I was carrying around the airport outside of this larger bag will also go in. I like envelope shaped bags that can carry my tickets, passport, wallet and other travel documents.
-A small bathroom bag for those quick trips to the comfort room. Inside I have my toothbrush & a small tube of toothpaste (but you can also get these items on board), facial powder, small lipgloss, hair comb, eyedrops and a small tub of eyecream to reduce bags under my eyes. I usually choose a bag that is see through as this contains the most liquids, so you can show the staff at the airport they are all under 100ml each and under 1L altogether.
– Travel Pillow to combat stiff neck and give you a soft place to rest. There are pros and cons to getting the window or the aisle seat. Sit in the window if you like to have a good view and have something more sturdy to lean on, this is a great place to put your travel pillow against if you don’t want to wear it around your neck. But the window seat can feel a little cramped and you’ll have to ask the person with the aisle seat everytime you want to get out. Alternatively, the aisle seat also has its benefits, you get extra leg space and easy access to get in and out of your seat. However, it can be annoying when the food comes through and it might bump your legs.
-Save some space in your large bag for a Scarf or extra clothing pieces for when you get chilly
Some Extra Travel Comfort Tips:
– Do a few basic stretches throughout the flight to prevent stiffness and pins & needles
– Walk around the cabin once an hour, either a trip to the bathroom or down the aisle, you can get a bit of circulation in your legs
– Resist alcohol, it dehydrates you really fast