Next week we are taking off on our 6 week trip to London – I can’t believe it’s almost here! Since I’m right in the middle of packing and preparing for this trip, I want to chat travel today and share the essentials I bring with me on the plane and give you a peek into my in-flight routines.
Travel can be stressful, and long haul flights can be tiring. But I think it really depends on how you approach it, and there are certain things you can do and bring with you to make it more enjoyable – which is something I have purposefully worked on over the years. I actually now look forward to long flights as a focused and amazing time for self-care, learning, and relaxing!!
Before I share my essential flight items, here are some notes around strategy :
- Check everything. I try to bring as little as possible on the flight, because I think what becomes tiring is pulling and lugging things around, especially when you have kids! Some people swear by the carry-on-everything method, and I totally get it, and am really impressed by those that pull it off. But that’s just not me. It stresses me out to think of making everything 3oz and fit a carry-on, so I just check all my bags and only bring the essentials that I will need on the flight with me. I have never lost luggage (*sound of me knocking on wood!)
- Speaking of kids, you may be thinking “how the heck are you even able to get self-care, learning, and relaxation done on a flight with kids???” My answer is screen time. They get unlimited screen time and I have zero guilt about this. They love it, I’m happy, everyone’s happy. Add some snacks, coloring and activity toys, then some sleep, wake up to more food and movies and then – we’ve arrived! (Travel essentials for kids will be an upcoming post on it’s own!)
- HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE. I drink tons of water and cocoon myself with moisturizers. I don’t drink and even if I did, I would stay away from alcohol.
Ok, here’s what you cal literally ALWAYS find in my carryon bag!
MY ESSENTIALS FOR A LONG FLIGHT
Although I love my newer Airpods, these are my go-to headphones any time I travel. They are comfortable and muffle the noise of the airplane. I use them to listen to podcasts, relaxing binaural beats, or guided meditations. If you don’t have good headphones, I highly suggest these.
I always take off my shoes and put on comfy socks for a long-haul flight. Just like the infamous Barefoot Dreams blanket, these are the BEST cozy socks ever!
A must for travel is a layer to warm you up if it gets cold. Airports and airplanes are never predictable with temperature, so I always bring this soft cashmere wrap with me. I’ve used this as a blanket for the girls in a pinch, too!
My mission on flights is to travel with as little as possible, and so I put everything into one bag. This is the one I use, and then I use the pouches below to organize items like chargers, snacks, and the items on this list.
While this isn’t technically what I bring on the plane, I just wanted to show you the suitcases we have because I do get questions about them, and Russ will occasionally bring his on the plane or the kids will bring one of their kid-sized ones (especially when we needed to bring diaper and wipes, but we no longer need to!) We have a full set of both the pink and black ones. Yes, the pink does get scratched and marked because I check them all in. Now I know why most suitcases out there black!
I don’t like to wear makeup while traveling, but before I get off the plane, I refresh my face then add a little bit of color with this pot rouge. This thing lasts FOREVER – both as a product and on your face. I just dab a bit on my cheeks and feel instantly more alive.
I get hyper aware of germs and cleaning things during travel and I bring this spray bottle filled with my own DIY sanitizing spray. I fill it with rubbing alcohol and essential oils (thieves, which is an immunity blend, or lavender.) and spray down seats, trays, and hands with this. Oils can be really potent so I don’t go too heavy on them for flights (it can be bothersome to others sometimes, see wipes below.)
Air travel is so harsh on skin so I make sure to stay protected and hydrated on my hands with this lotion. It’s heavy duty but not greasy and does not trigger any eczema for me (which when I do have a flare up tends to happen on my hands.)
On long haul flights, I bring my skincare routine with me and wash my face before sleeping on the plane. I use travel sized containers from Target, ask for ice cubes from the flight attendants to ice my face, and use the time sitting on the plane to do a hydrating and exfoliating mask session with this pumpkin enzyme mask. I use wipes from Costco that I put in a zip bag (the Kirkland brand, which is Emme approved for face use) to remove the mask, then put on moisturizer, and the sunscreen when I wake up. This probably looks like a whole production to passengers but I don’t care – I’ll be the one with glowy skin when I get off the plane!
Again, hydration is the key when flying. I love this one for lips!
I use the smaller one regularly in my purse as a personal care products bag, and when traveling use the larger one for packing my skincare products.
I label these bags with a label maker and use them to separate everything in my tote, from kids’ snacks and chargers/electronics to my journal and magazines.
I double up on wipes and sanitizers but make sure not to use anything super harsh. I tried an all-natural one with lavender before but the smell was SO STRONG that I had heads turning on the plane when I used them (even for a lavender addict like me it was really strong.) So I switched back to these guys that have a neutral scent and use alcohol to kill germs, not Triclosan or bleach.
I like to hit up Whole Foods before a trip and prepare myself with some healthy snack options, because it’s so easy to grab unhealthy ones at the airport. These pack cacao and other superfood ingredients to make a healthier chocolate option for an in-flight treat.
Not too much to say about this – just good gum in cute packaging! Another pre-trip purchase from Whole Foods.
I love home, food, and business -related magazines, but don’t subscribe to them at home and instead save them as my “treat” for traveling. I really look forward to hitting up the stores by the gates before boarding and grabbing 3 of my favorite magazines, depending on which look best that month (or ones I haven’t grabbed yet if I’ve travelled more than once that month.) My top picks are Martha Stewart Living, Bon Appetit, Better Homes and Gardens, Inc., Real Simple, Time, Saveur, and Travel and Leisure.
I like to use my time on the plane to learn, because a long-haul flight is one of the only times I can get such a long period of time to focus without the distractions of everyday life. My routine is to bring my notebook with me and jot down notes from the podcasts I listen to in-flight and even what I read in the magazines above (that way I have the takeaways, but not the physical magazines to bring back or pile up in our home.) I seriously leave the plane feeling so inspired.
These are my go-to’s for SURE during travel. Their blends are beautiful and the size is perfect to fit into the sections of my wellness tower. I place a few drops into my (clean) palms and inhale : “de-stress” or “immunity” when I board the plane; “sleep” and “calm” when I sleep or sit back and relax; “focus” or “energy” when I’m reading or at the end of the flight before getting off. It’s just enough to have an effect on me, but waft through the air for others – although they could probably use it! You can use code MIKA at checkout for 10% off!
Do you have any long-haul flights planned this summer? Let me know where you’re headed in the comments below!