“If stress burned calories I’d be a supermodel.” –Anonymous
Traveling can be stressful for anyone even in the best of circumstances. Most of us don’t have a private jet, personal assistants to plan our trips or money oozing out of our pores. The good news is that there is hope without you ever having to worry about finding a billionaire to marry you. After learning the hard and uncomfortable way I’ve found the best items that make traveling more comfortable and WAY easier. That’s my gift to you.
1. Neck Pillow
There’s a reason this is my number one pick for items that make travel easier. Sleeping on planes, in airports, on buses, etc is never comfortable. Having the window seat makes life easier, but it can never compare to that glorious bed of yours in terms of a good night’s sleep. Make life more comfortable and bring a neck pillow at all costs.
2. Noise Cancelling Headphones
Be careful you don’t miss your flight or any pertinent information while you are blissfully unaware of that screaming child next to you at the airport. The rest of us might give you the stink eye, but we will all be wondering where we can buy one.
3. 100mL Bottles For Liquids
We’ve all seen that person going through security with over-sized bottles of everything from shampoo to detergent (yes I’ve actually seen this). Unless you’re going to the moon your destination will have something similar to what you’ve been buying. Having the mini bottles lets you bring a little more luxury to your carry on. You have your full face wash, contact solution, mouthwash regimen with you instead of in your carry on. It will also be a great backup if your luggage is lost or delayed.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but there have been many times where I’ve accidentally thrown it in my checked bag. Being able to wash the funk off of your teeth will not only make your travel buddy happier, but you will feel more refreshed and ready for what’s next.
For most of us our phones are a lifeline and a way to kill boredom. When spending time at an airport the shops and people watching can get boring very quickly, so we start eating up the battery power as we explore the internet. Bring a charger along with you. Some airports have free charging stations, but many will charge you to use them. Bonus points if you bring a solar powered charger.
6. Foot Rest
I’m one of those people who find it hard to sleep in a sitting position. I’m forever trying to find a way to comfortably prop my feet up on a plane or bus without shoving my feet in another person’s face or contorting myself into a pretzel. They actually make footrests that hang from tray tables on planes. My heart did little somersaults of joy when I found out it existed. Buy one. You won’t regret it.
Planes are, more often than not, boring. Sometimes painfully so. Bringing along an iPod stocked with your favorite music or podcasts will help kill the boredom, make time go by faster, and block out the rest of the world.
I have a book with me no matter where I’m going just in case I have time to read. Traveling is no different and I’m usually trying to convince myself I don’t need to buy all of the books at the airport. They make time go by faster and also help to kill boredom.
9. Compression Socks
Sitting for long periods of time is not the healthiest thing you can do for your body. Having compression socks can help with blood flow and clot prevention. On the comfy side they are great for staying warm and let you take off your shoes and feel more at home while you try to find a good sleeping position.
Even if you’re traveling to the equator make sure you bring a sweater for the airport and/or the plane. I’m convinced they try to freeze more customers to death so they can sell more tickets or they are preparing us for a surprise visit to the Arctic. You choose. Regardless of what you chose, be prepared for the cold.
11. Reusable Water Bottle
There’s so many reasons why this is such a good choice to bring. It is better for the environment. You never have to buy water at your destination. It’s easy to pack. You can use it forever. Make sure it’s empty before you go through security.
12. Download Shows From Netflix On To Your Device(s)
This is especially true if you have kids. Beat the boredom and catch up on all of your favorite shows!
13. Wet Wipes
You can’t shower on a plane, but you can refresh yourself some with a wet wipe until you can make it to your hotel. These also work well for the dreaded airplane poo scenario. (They are much softer on the bum and leave you feeling fresh). Everyone deserves to smell and feel good on an airplane even though the reality is almost never true.
You’ll thank me; I promise. Don’t be the stinky person on the plane. We all love to hate that person. Don’t make me hate you.
15. Body Spray
Again, don’t be the stinky person. If you don’t want to bring a big bottle see #3 or go to the duty free section of the airport and spritz that expensive perfume and feel like a million bucks.
16. Scarf/Sarong That Can Double As A Blanket
Again, planes are cold. Be that fashionista who looks fabulous in their scarf and then makes the whole plane jealous when you convert it to a blanket. You will start trends.
17. Change of Clothes
Bags get lost. Travel funk is a real and serious condition. Day old undies are not a great way to start your magnificent trip. Having a change of clothes is a complete mood and game changer.
18. Lotion/Lip Balm
Planes adjust the humidity inside the cabin and the air is generally much drier than you’re used to. Bring a small bottle (see #3) of lotion and some chapstick to make life a little bit easier.
19. Eye Mask
Nothing says ‘please do not disturb’ like an eye/sleeping mask does. It can also help you get a better night’s sleep or nap by cancelling out lots of light.
20. Hand Sanitizer
Germs are everywhere. That kid who wiped his nose and then touched everything in sight? That happens pretty much every second at the airport and on public transportation. Bring a little bottle of hand sanitizer to make yourself feel a little bit cleaner.