Traveling by Air With the Greatest of Ease
Indispensable air-travel tips and gear to keep you comfortable, secure and organized in the ever shrinking aircraft seat.
When you're flying from place to place you'll need to keep some things in mind, especially if you'll be crossing international borders.
Generally each passenger is allowed a carry-on bag and a personal bag (such as a purse, tote, laptop carrier or camera bag).
In my case the "personal bag" is a large handbag in which I keep all items I might need quick access to during the flight.
Here's What I Pack in my Personal Bag
- Smaller purse with credit cards and cash
- One packing cube containing a complete outfit plus sleeping attire
- Flight tickets
- Notepad and pen (on international flights there'll be forms to fill out)
- Ear buds
- Lip balm
- Cell/Smart phone
- Neck pillow
- Tic Tacs - We all have our needs
- Phone numbers, addresses and directions
Air Travel Tips
- Pack minimally - I know, I know, you've heard this before but
it's the most important air travel tip. The benefits of packing light
can't be stressed enough,
especially in this day of the "dwindling baggage allowance".
The following tips will help and some smart clothing choices will make a big difference.
- Travel size your own products - Buy some tiny zippered plastic envelopes from a craft store like "Michael's" or order some from Amazon.
Dispense enough product to last for the duration of the trip.
Do this with shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hair gel, vitamins, cotton balls, toothpicks, powdered laundry soap, etc.
(label bags with contents if it's not obvious what's inside).
All of the envelopes that contain a liquid or gel should be kept in a
clear zip-lock bag in your carry-on bag to show to security staff if
you are carrying them on to the plane.
- Make your Park/Sleep/Fly arrangements - Some hotels offer parking for a week if you stay there the night before or after your vacation. What a great alternative if you live our of town. A shuttle service whisks you to the airport for your flight while your car remains tucked away at the hotel parking lot. Make reservations at a nearby airport hotel where hotel room, parking and shuttle
arrangements can be made as a package.
Check out the Park Sleep Fly
options near your airport. They've compiled lists of hotels that welcome air travelers.
- Carry salt and pepper - Sounds like a silly thing but I
can't tell you how many times we've actually used our salt and pepper.
When traveling you'll likely bring foods and local offerings back to
your accommodations from time to time. Having salt, pepper and other
(packed in those little zip bags) is just better.
- Carry an N95 mask - It never hurts to be prepared. Carry an N95 Surgical Mask (I like this one because it's wrapped individually, packs flat, weighs almost nothing and filters out pathogens)
for each person in your group. They take up very little room and can
offer protection from smoke, pollution and viral outbreaks.
- Plan to launder a little - Hand-wash a few items like
undergarments and quick drying fabrics to stretch your wardrobe and
decrease the number of things you
need to pack.
- Layers - Packing layers like t-shirts, strapless tops, a travel vest,
button in front shirts and a lightweight jacket
allows you to mix wardrobe elements in a number of ways. It'll look
like you have more clothes than you actually had to pack.
- Book aisle seats - We used to book an aisle and a window
and hope that no-one would get the middle because we always gave them
either the window or aisle and
one of us took the dreaded middle seat. Now we book aisle seats
across from each other. We like it much better and we don't feel
- Bring high energy snacks - Schedules sometimes get a bit
mixed up when you're traveling and mealtimes can be delayed, forgotten
or missed. Carry snacks like trail-mix, nuts and
dried fruit that are portable and deliver a nutrient filled punch
when you're flagging.
- Luggage carousel etiquette - Stand back from the luggage
Not everyone fits around the carousel, nor do they need to. Standing
back offers a much better view and makes it easier to spot your
bags and step forward to retrieve them. Those who crowd the conveyor
actually have a limited view of the luggage and make it difficult
for travelers behind them to get to their bags when they see them
- Print your boarding pass at home - Save yourself a wait in the long line-up. Most airlines provide the option of printing your
boarding pass within 24 hours of when the flight departs.
- Ear buds save sanity - Ear buds not only put desirable sounds in but they also keep undesirable sounds out.
Knowing you have everything is one thing ... being able to find it instantly whenever you need something, well, that's another thing altogether.
See a detailed carry on packing list here, to keep your belongings orderly and check out the latest in air travel accessories that'll make your flight a little bit fantastic.
The Art of Traveling by Air
Check our Mother of All Vacation Packing Lists for an in-depth list of vacation necessities.
A day or two before you leave on your trip, gather together everything you
intend to pack.
From these items select what you'll wear while you travel. Choose layers and the shoes that take the most room (so you don't have to find room in your luggage for
Stick to a matching color palette of garments and accessories to get the most mileage out of your gear.
Material makes a difference too. Choose clothing made of light weight, scrunchable fabrics that can be tossed in your bag and emerge, sleek and ready to party on the other end.
There are a lot of considerations when you'll be flying to your destination. Airline restrictions limit what you can carry on board as well as what's allowable in your checked bags.
Packing for Air-Travel
There's a definite trend toward "carry-on only" travel and a certain sense of pride among those who travel light and avoid the luggage carousel.
How do they do it? They start with a policy of needing less and they use some savvy travel and packing tips to get the things they DO need into a bag that's easy to carry.
Making Air-Travel Easier
Wear a pair of shoes that are comfortable to walk in, work well with
the items you have packed and will fill a purpose once you arrive.
loose, comfortable clothing composed of light weight, wrinkle resistant
fabrics. Pockets allow you to secure a few essential items that are
always with you.
The whole packing thing will be easier if
you select clothing that addresses a number of needs specific to the traveler.
Don't forget to check out the awesomeness of these air travel accessories that are putting the FUN back in functional.
Have your say about the "Airline Recline".
Do you? Don't you? What do you think about your right to recline your seat versus the rights of the person behind you.
Is paying it backward the only way to regain the space you paid for?
It's a touchy issue and it's not going away any time soon.
What Other Visitors Have Said
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