All of us at La Vie Partagee travel extensively, whether for business or pleasure. Our trips range from a short domestic flight to long haul flights around the world. I compiled a list of must have products and tricks from our editors and contributors to help you with your next travel adventure.
Short Haul (1-5 days trip)
I travel a lot on short overnight trips for work so I try not to bring much with me. My staples include the following:
1. Flip Flops / Travel Slippers:
Unless I am staying at a five star hotel where they provide slippers, I usually wear flip flops around the room. I do not know how well the carpet has been cleaned even in reputable hotels. A bonus is that when my feet get weary of heels, I can wear flip flops out casually.
I recently stopped by the Muji store at JFK and spotted these travel slippers. They are comfortable and compact. These slippers now has a permanent spot in my luggage.
2. Shower Gel and Shower Puff
Most hotels have decent shampoo and conditioners among other amenities that you may need. However, not all hotels have shower gel and a shower puff. I will always carry these two items with me. If I am going on an overnight trip and flying back the following day, I will try to get my hair blown out that day so I would not have to worry about my hair for an early morning meeting.
3. Long Thin Sweater / Scarf
The plane gets really cold or hot so I will bring a long thin sweater or scarf to layer.
4. Bring a Long Champ overnight bag.
What I love about this bag is that it is foldable and compact. I bring it all the time whether I am going on a weekend or a long trip. You never know when the gate agent will demand that you need to check your luggage at the ticket counter because it is overweight or oversize. My Long Champ bag has helped me out of sticky situations where I can unpack the bag and throw in whatever I need to get my luggage to my final destination.
5. Good luggage makes a big difference.
I swear by my Samsonite hard case. It gets beat up and still arrives intact. Additionally, I will go for colors that are not blue and black to make it easier to spot the luggage. Four wheels are also a must to weave in and out of airport foot traffic.
6. Lumbar support
As the seat become narrower and the incline becomes non-existent, lumbar support is a must. I love my Eagle Creek Exhale Lumbar Travel Pillow. I used this on every flight and my back is better for it. It inflates and deflates very quickly. You can buy this on Amazon.
Long Haul (5+ days)
In addition to the items listed in the short haul above, these are tricks for longer flights and stay.
1. I will pack a mini must have toiletries with me and a spare set of clothes that I will need for 2 days in my carry-on. My luggage has been lost before and having all the essentials and spare clothes were life saver.
2. On 10+ hours international trip, I will pack 1 extra pair of comfy pant and t-shirt to change into after the flight takes off. I do not want to appear like I just rolled out of bed at the airport, but it does not mean I can not get comfortable while I am in the air.
3. Have lip balm, a moisturizing face mask or thick moisturizer, hand cream, tissues and eye drops at your disposal on the flight. The air in the cabin is really drying so I am constantly reapplying lotion and lip balm throughout the flight .
4. Bring your own inflatable neck pillow, eye mask, inflatable lumbar support if possible, slippers or socks and ear plugs. Unless you are flying in a premium section, these items may not be given out on the plane. I use the airline issued pillow for back support while the neck pillow becomes my main pillow. This has helped reduce the back ache from long intercontinental flights.
5. Bring your own thermos so you can fill it up with hot water for tea before you board the flight. You do not know when was the last time the airplane’s water tank was cleaned. Drink a lot of water and refrain from alcohol and coffee as they will dehydrate you.
6. Get up and stretch. I will try to go to the restroom and stand in the galley area to stretch out. Blood circulation is key.
7. Bring a good hat to hide the messy hair and tired eyes. Everyone looks chic with a good hat and scarves after a long flight.
8. Be careful when you purchase normal size liquids at duty free. At certain airport, you may be force to go through security again prior to boarding and will be subjected to the carry-on liquid guidelines regardless if you purchased the item at the airport duty free. Check with the staff before you buy normal size liquids or you will be forced to throw it out.
9. Always carry a universal world power adapter and a luggage scale. These two items are must haves in my luggage. As airlines change their luggage weight guidelines, I find myself constantly having to repack my luggage to be within the restrictions.
For related articles, visit the TRAVEL page.
Author: Chau Hoang
Feature photo: http://www.soulsociety101.com/