Travel Essentials: How to Get From Here to There

I am heading off to Switzerland for the month of July and I couldn't be more excited! I was born there and we moved to the states when I was six. My family has a farmhouse in the Northeastern part of the country, that was built by a relative back in the 1800's. So I have been fortunate enough to have spent all but one of my summers in a beautiful country that I call home. Because of this I have had a few years of practice packing for a whole month (and for the long flights to get there). So, I thought I would share what my flying essentials are that I carry with me on the plane. They may change a little each year, but for the most part stay the same.

If I had to name just one thing that I can’t fly without, mine would probably be headphones. (Let me know in the comments below what your must have item is!)

1. Neck Pillow: after all these years of flying I just now purchased my first neck pillow. I guess I have been too cheap in the past, and they do take up space that I usually don't have to spare. However, I am determined to sleep through the night on my flight so that I arrive semi-refreshed.

2. Eye Mask: this is also a new purchase for my attempt at actually sleeping through my flight. I tried this out the last few nights and I have to say, I was impressed. I had an easier time falling to sleep than I normally do, and I didn’t wake up as often.

3. Ear Plugs: ok I might have taken this sleep thing a bit too far, but having headphones on for 6+ hours usually hurts my ears so I was looking for another way to block out the loud noises from the airplane (and loud passengers).

4. Compression socks: I swear by these! I never noticed how swollen my legs would get during flights until I started wearing them. They help keep blood flowing and you don't find yourself struggling to put your shoes back on once you have landed. Also, my feet tend to get cold very easily and I find these help.

5. Headphones: Flying without headphones sounds tortuous to me. How else do you fall asleep or spend the time? Also, movies! I don't plan on watching any this flight, but I still get giddy when I board a flight and find that I have an endless supply of movies and shows to watch for free!

6. Books/Magazines: Even if I don't plan to read on the plane, having a book or magazine while waiting to board is a great way to spend the time. You don't have to worry about a lousy internet connection and I often find that time goes by much faster when I am hooked on a book.

7. Phone: This one probably should have gone first, but really does anyone fly without one anymore? A source for all my music, I would be lost without it! The phone is also great for tracking your flight (and delays), as well as keeping up with social media. Oh, and of course for calling family members that are running late picking you up once you have arrived (I’m looking at you Mom).

8. Toothbrush and toothpaste: My flight is a late one, so I thought it might be nice to board the plane with freshly cleaned teeth for the flight over. Also, if your luggage ends up getting lost you don't have to worry about being stuck with stale breath all day!

9. Essential Oil Towelettes: I don't know about you, but after a long flight I usually don't walk off feeling my freshest. I thought I'd give these Herban Lavender Towelettes a try for a quick and easy way to feel clean once I arrive (and to help me wake up a little).

10. Portable charger: I haven't had to use these yet, but figured they might come in handy in case my phone suddenly dies while I'm listening to music with still 3 hours until arrival. Make sure they are fully charged before you leave! You wouldn't want to find out later that both your phone and the backup charger are dead.

11. Random essentials: Hand sanitizer, mini deodorant, chap-stick, eye drops, and hairbrush are things I always like to have on hand. Planes are not the cleanest places to find yourself, and anytime so many people are jammed in together somewhere, germs are sure to be everywhere. Also, how does one go anywhere without chap-stick! Deodorant and hairbrush help make me feel a little less gross upon arrival. Last but not least, I tend to get dry eyes which only get worse on planes, so I make sure to always have some on hand.

Remember: When you are running around the last minute trying to make sure you have everything, the only things that you must have with you are your passport and phone (and chapstick!.. Oh, and headphones!..). Anything else can be bought or lived without. I try to remind myself every time I start to feel stressed that I am forgetting something!

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