I travel quite a lot both personally and for work and after just completing a 2-week trip to Southern Africa, I realized there are some great little tips to share with you guys to make your travels a bit easier.
1. Roll your clothes
Logically, it makes sense to fold your clothes in your suitcase but I have found that tightly rolling your clothes is the best way to fit more into your bag, reduce wrinkles, and be able to easily see the items you have packed. That being said, it is much easier to roll tops, summer, and workout clothes than winter ones. Heavy sweaters and bulky sweats/jeans are harder, so I normally leave these for the top of the suitcase and lay them flat or I try to wear as much of them on the plane if it’s possible to help reduce the bulk.
2. Quick-zip area in your carry on
In every carry-on bag I’ve had, whether it is a handbag or a backpack, I’ve made sure that the bag has a pocket on the exterior of the bag that is easy to get to and a quick place to store some of my go-to items. I like having it so that I don’t have to dig through my bag (especially if you are in the middle seat. #theworst)
That being said, some of the best things to store in this area are lip balm and hand lotion (nothing worse than that dry feeling). I also like having my phone charger there and since I wear contacts and sometimes they irritate my eyes on the plane, I put my glasses case here too for easy relief if needed.
3. Pack a scarf
No matter where you are going, a hot location or a cool one, having a neutral large scarf is THE BEST way to avoid being cold. On this last trip I packed one and used it about 90% of the time. Sometimes it’s because the plane is freezing, and I need a little warmth, other times, it’s a great accessory to add to an outfit. Either way, I highly recommend keeping one at the bottom (or for me, the top ) of your carry-on.
This one I didn’t do the best job of on this trip. I normally drink about 50-70oz of water a day. It helps me to feel energized and sparkling water especially helps me avoid some unhealthy cravings. It’s tough to always have water with you on a plane since you have to get rid of anything before security but if you purchase it on the other side or fill up your favorite travel water bottle, make sure you get that water in. On my way home from our South Africa trip, I relied on the water served on the plane and it left me feeling completely drained once I landed. Furthermore, it caused a bit of nausea that could totally have been avoided if I just had slipped a bit more on the plane.
My husband loves reading on a plane, but for me, reading is the #1 way to make me fall asleep within about 5 minutes. So, I love listening to podcasts on the plane. Another reason I love them, is because you can “subscribe” to shows on the podcast app on your phone and they automatically download when you are in a wifi zone. That way, when I’m on the plane, I have new, fresh content to listen to and and I didn’t have to remember to download it, which is HUGE for me since I always forget to download music from Spotify for the plane.
6. Long trip – carry on a fresh change of clothes
Along the same lines as carrying a scarf, carrying an extra t-shirt and underwear for a long trip is one of my go to things. On this last trip, we spent 40 hours traveling home and to say that you start to feel gross after the first long flight is an understatement. I like to keep a black t-shirt (cause it goes with everything) and fresh socks and undergarments in the bottom of my bag. Halfway through the long journeys, I see if any of the lounges in the airports have showers. A quick shower and change can renew a journey. If not, then a trip to the bathroom with one of the fresh wipes, and new clothes makes a big difference in your mood and energy.
7. EmergenC Packs
No matter how healthy you try to be, planes are a little bit of breeding ground for getting sick. Not only are you in a small space with lots of people (who may or may not be coughing) but also, the altitude that causes dehydration in your own body also makes you more susceptible to catching a bug. To try help with this, I love using the Vitamin C EmergenC packs. They are easy to pack, don’t take up much space and go a long way. I take them in the morning 2-3 days leading up to a flight, try take on the plane for flights over 5 hours, and then once a day on the trip. They taste great and help keep the immune system just a bit stronger throughout the journey while your other health habits may be a bit out of schedule.