Times have changed since commercial air travel first took off (pun intended, haha). We’re all so much more savvy, even blasé, when it comes to flying, and everyone has their tried and tested travel tips and strategies.
When I’m boarding a flight, I often think of the story my mother told me about the first time her grand-mother (my great-grandma Elsie) took a flight…
Great-grandma Elsie was a force to be reckoned with. The wife of a gentleman farmer, she considered herself quite the sophisticate. At the same time she was an incredibly strong woman as a result of living on the land in rural Australia, and she ruled the roost.
In the early 1950s, she took her very first flight. She was travelling from Melbourne to Tasmania to see her newborn grandson. She got dressed up to the nines for the flight, donning her hat and fancy handbag for the occasion. After the flight took off and the airplane was speeding its way to Launceston over the stretch of ocean between mainland Australia and Tasmania, great-grandma Elsie looked out the window. She took in the infinite expanse of clear blue sky all around her. Below, the ocean looked calm and endless. A little confused, she called the glamorous 1950s air hostess over and asked her, “Why are we stopped up here?”
I do love that story. I like to think I’m a little more savvy that great-grandma Elsie when it comes to travel. For me, travel is a passion. After years of frequent flying for both work and pleasure, I’ve got my travel routine down pat. So here are a few of my own travel tips for the perfect carry-on baggage, which you might incorporate into your next travel plans:
- Passport – ok, this might seem obvious, but I once left my passport at home for a flight from London to Madrid. I didn’t realise it until I was at the gate to board the flight. Try getting back through Customs at Heathrow Airport with nothing but an Australian drivers licence. Not easy. DON’T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT.
- iPad – stock up on podcasts, audiobooks, articles, TV series before flying. Don’t forget to take a charger and adaptors too, to avoid running out of power.
- Reading Material – magazines and books. At the moment, I’m reading “Strange Weather in Tokyo.” A beautiful and subtle story about human relationships, which also has me thinking about booking my next trip to Japan…
- Headphones – noise-cancelling headphones will come in especially handy if seated next to noisy children. I keep mine on when I fall asleep as they act as effective earplugs.
- Eye Mask – for taking a little nap, especially on those early morning flights. This eye mask (pictured) is a gorgeous lavender-filled, silk one from Holistic Silk – divine. Combined with the noise-cancelling earphones, you will not be disturbed!
- Cashmere Wrap – lightweight and so cosy (when the air-conditioning goes into overdrive). Keep an eye out for great options at both Zara and Cos which regularly do fabulous cashmere options.
Long haul flights require a little more planning. In addition to the above items, I always bring a few additional essentials:
- Hydrating Mask, Cleanser, Moisturiser – flying for so many hours dries out your skin. To care for my skin, I apply a hydrating mask (this one is Carita’s Lagoon Bath). I also take a muslin cloth to wipe my face clean. I also cleanse and moisturise my face half way to my destination or just before arriving, using Carita’s Progressif cleansing cream and lifting cream.
- Change of clothes – I always pack a long sleeve t-shirt, leggings and a change of underwear to change into either after takeoff, or half-way depending on the flight length. That way, I always arrive feeling fresh.
- Deodorant – no explanation needed. I also take dry shampoo for those long haul flights to Australia. Gives my hair a little zshouzsh before arriving.
I do wonder what great-grandma Elsie took with her in her carry-on bag when she first flew to Tasmania. Probably a packet of minties and a lipstick in a shade of peach.
If you have any other travel tips for the ultimate carry-on, leave them in the comments below!