Packing 101: Tortillas, Baby Wipes and Other Travel Must-Haves
Packing for a worldwide adventure isn’t rocket science. However, there are a few trusted travel tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way that should give you a step up on your fellow traveler.
Most of us have experienced that common packing predicament – too much s**t and not enough space. Insert #packingfail hashtag here. The last thing you want is to show up at airport check-in looking like a pack animal.
Now, I’m not suggesting you saw off the end of your toothbrush to lighten your load (that’s a separate lesson in minimalist backpacking), but I am suggesting you attempt to find what I like to call the packing sweet spot – a healthy balance of “I have everything I could possibly need” and “My whole life is not in my suitcase”.
The golden rule – pack only what you can carry! Sorry, no helpful airport push carts allowed. For me, that means: 1 large duffel or roller bag (to-check), 1 backpack and/or 1 small duffle (to carry-on). If my calculations are correct, your load should look something like this: duffle over a shoulder, roller bag in hand, backpack on your back (where else!). You’ve got a point of contact with all of your luggage which means you are in control. Rock on! Come away feeling every bit the confident, self-sufficient world traveler that you are.
Read on for a few of my go-to travel essentials for long haul flights. You might be surprised what makes the cut…
En-route Essentials (a.k.a. are we there yet?)
- Hygiene. Two words – baby wipes. Laugh now, but don’t leave home without a pack (or two). They are your saving grace after 30+ hours of flying. And bonus! They come in handy in-country too. Sticky and sweaty from a day in the great outdoors? Wipe the grime! Gotta do your business, but no bathroom in sight? You get the picture. These small wonders are my go-to, don’t-leave-home-without, magical cleaning device.
- Snackage. Tortillas. Very forgiving when stuffed in a pack and they don’t need to be refrigerated. Just what the tum tum needs when the hunger pains start.
- Hydrate. Bring a reusable water bottle that you can fill up at an airport drinking fountain (ah hem, after security). In my experience, staying hydrated helps you avoid the dreaded jetlag.
- Entertainment. Avoid in-flight boredom. A combo of solid tunes, movie options and a good read should do the trick.
- Sleep. Airplanes are not ideal nap time environments, but you can up your chances for getting some zzz’s with the following items: Eyeshade. Mimic nighttime when that pesky seatmate refuses to lower the window shade or turn off the reading light. Neck pillow. Avoid neck cramps when forced to sit in the middle. On that note, try to request a window seat for long hauls. For me, sleepy time outweighs bathroom accessibility.
- Warmth. A pair of comfy, cozy socks are just the thing to keep you warm on a chilly flight. If you’ve got room, pack a travel blanket too. Those flight freebies just don’t cut it. On the same “comfy” thread, always wear loose fitting clothes to travel in and pack an extra pair to change into when you land… so you feel human again.
Voila! Time to go and explore this big, beautiful world. Don’t forget the wipes!