What’s In Your Bag? Travel Essentials You Need

From long lines at check-in to sub-par airport food, air travel can be a bumpy ride. Luckily, switching up your travel essentials can make a huge difference. It’s the little things that can make your flight a lot more comfortable: be it a short distance or a long-haul journey.

No more red eyes on your red-eye

While red-eye flights are certainly convenient, they interfere with any chance of catching quality shut-eye. Carrying your own sleep aids is a good idea: Make sure to bring a neck pillow with memory foam and a sleep mask. Noise-reducing headphones and ear-plugs (don’t depend on airlines to have them!) can also be helpful in blocking out any disturbances. Several companies also produce travel sleep kits that include lavender essential oils, sleep-inducing pillow mists and sachets of chamomile tea.

Stay warm, stay calm

In order to be mentally at peace, you first need to be physically comfortable. Studies reveal that simply feeling cold can make us feel anxious. Compression socks are not only warm, but compression is proven to help with blood flow and circulation—meaning you won’t be sore after you land. Airplane blankets aren’t always the warmest or the most sanitary, so consider bringing a travel blanket that’s easy to pack and lightweight (think a plush fleece outdoor blanket). Finally, an ultralight down jacket or a hoodie is the best choice of outerwear on a plane: They’re more comfortable to sleep in than your run-of-the-mill coat and just as warm. Plus, the hood can be used as an additional pillow for head support.

Stretch it out

Lightweight sneakers with a flexible sole are the ideal shoes for travel, but don’t sleep on stretch clothing. Elevated sweatpants, stretch cargos and “airplane jeans” are indubitably cozier than regular  jeans, and in some cases, more stylish too!

Germ-free journey

For obvious reasons, planes are often regarded as a cesspool of germs. Be sure to pack a natural hand sanitizer, cleansing wipes and perhaps even an on-the-go shaving kit for longer flights. Several manufacturers create kits with a collapsible lathering bowl and silicone shaving brush to avoid any mess.

Smart Storage

We’re not opposed to fanny-packs, which can be helpful in reaching for your passport/boarding pass without scrounging through big duffel bags filled with carry-on clutter. But if this accessory is too ’80s for your taste, foldable and collapsible bags are another great option. If you’re checking in valuables, it’s beneficial to invest in a trackable baggage tag: They use the same technology as adhesive Bluetooth tracking devices for phones and keys, and these luggage tags contain a small chip that keeps tabs on your bag’s location wherever it may be.

Stay charged

Even if your flight doesn’t offer WiFi, it’s likely that you’ll be on your phone for long periods of time while waiting at the airport or on a ride-share app. Remember to carry twin charging cables and a small portable charger (most airlines will cap power banks at 20,000mAh while some will allow larger). Much like your phone, you need to be charged as well. Planes are notoriously dehydrating, so it’s recommended to drink 8 ounces for water for every hour than you’re on the plane.

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