I’m somewhat of a ‘frequent flyer’ these days. Living abroad, living in Europe specifically, my ‘Before I’m 30’ experiment (more on that later), developing a keen sense of wanderlust, and constantly attending international weddings (5 THIS YEAR) all mean I’m in a perpetual state of preparing for my next trip. Years of international flying has also meant a I’ve learned to create a honed, well edited carry-on bag full of flight essentials.
W H A T ‘ S I N M Y B A G
(Besides a passport. Duh).
Clockwise from bottom left
| Compression Socks (for Long Haul Flights) and/or Cozy Socks |
My father (who’s a doctor) laughed at me for ages when I told him I now where compression stockings on flights. “What are you, 80 now?!” he said (thanks dad). But ever since I’ve been on the pill, I’ve wanted to make sure I’m as prevented from blood clots as possible. on long-haul flights Compression socks help to prevent swelling in your legs, feet and ankles and help prevent DVT. And yes, they are more known for being an ‘elderly’ person thing to have — and boy, do they look unglamorous — but it’s really worth it to make sure you’re keep swelling at bay when flying.
In addition to these, I always make sure I have a pair of cozy socks on the plane. Slipping those on as soon as you get on that plane is the closest thing you’ll get to feeling at home.
| Single Use Face Mask/Treatment |
Especially on long-haul flights, your skin is going through the ringer on those plans: stale air, bacteria, dehydration and whatever else a plane can throw at it. While you’re sitting there
watching a shameful amount of chic flicks reading, you may as well multitask and use a facial treatment. Sure, your fellow passengers may look at you weird, but so what? Or, if you’re like me and decide to bring a black charcoal mask onto the plane, at least wait until everyone is asleep and all the lights are off.
Budget tip: this is the perfect time to use those one-off free samples you get at various beauty counters.
Okay, so hilarious story about my last attempt to give myself an ‘in-flight mask treatment.’ While everyone was asleep, I put on my face mask, removed it with a face cloth and then sprayed my face with some Evian facial water. I then put on the eye serum (in a roller ball) that
| Noise Cancelling Headphones |
I will admit: these are technically Stag’s, not mine. However, ever since he bought them (and I tried them), I’ve been attempting to claim them as my own. Noise-cancelling headphones make such a difference on a plane; I can’t stress this enough. You don’t even realise how loud planes are until you put a pair of these on! If you have the budget, Bang & Olufsen make great worths in blogger-worthy styles. For a cheaper alternative, these AKG ones are sleek and purse friendly.
| B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Headphones |
| Facial Spray |
In case I haven’t said this enough yet, but planes are kind of the worst. Unless you’re in business or first class, and then they are the best things in the world. Regardless, they are even worse for your skin. You don’t even realise how amazing a facial spray is until you use it, and then you go “Oh my goodness my face was HOT AND DRY.” Sometimes I use the Avène Thermal Water spray , but recently — again going with the ‘improve my skin while flying’ theme — I’ve been using more targeted skincare ones. They’re also very handy to have while on holiday anywhere warm, making facial sprays one of the most useful items in your liquid allowance.
| Chewing Gum |
I’ve always been prone to getting pressure headaches on planes, so I learned very quickly to always have chewing gum with me on the plane. Not only does it help stabilise my inner ear pressure, but it’s a quick fix for fresh breath when leaving the plane. My favourite is definitely by Peppersmith — I can’t believe I’m saying this, but compared with other gums, it looks a bit more chic in your bag (I’ll blogger-off now).
| Glasses (in a cute case) |
Because I am blind without them. If you wear contacts (I don’t), give your eyes a break and bring your glasses. They’ll thank you later. Also, I have found putting your glasses in an adorable case covered in pineapples makes you way more diligent about actually wearing said glasses.
| Lip & Cheek Tint |
For when you get off the plane and don’t want to look like Death Incarnate. Again, it’s also a very handy beauty item to have for travelling. I’ve chatted about my favourite multi-tasking beauty heroes in my travel beauty post. For a lip & cheek stain, Stila make my favourite (‘Poppy’ is my go-to colour), and trust me when I say these babies last for ever and ever.
| Travel Lint Brush |
This is a new revelation to me, but lint brushes (and lint shaves) are kind of incredible. I’ve been walking around in a lint-covered state for 29 years and never knew. Filled with awe from my new lint-roller-devotion, I saw this travel-sized one and knew I had to have it. It’s so handy when you’re packing sweaters than shed or — if you’re like me — a head full of hair that sheds everywhere.
Also, can we just talk about again how Muji make the best travel accessories that you never knew you needed?
| Lip Balm |
A good lip balm is an absolute must when flying, for the same reason I’ve mentioned 4,283 times above: planes dry out your skin like it’s nobody’s business. You’ll never see me go anywhere without my Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 pretty much ever. I’ve written an epic love sonnet to it in this skincare blog post.
| Roller Perfume/Oil |
Another multi-tasking wonder, this roll-on oil is technically a massage oil. However, its beautiful rose scent makes the perfect perfume (and is far from overpowering; helpful on planes), and the nourishing oil quickly seeps into skin. The packaging is also one of the prettiest I’ve seen in ages, with actual rose petals floating in the golden oil. I’ve just discovered beauty & wellness brand Lola’s Apothecary, and I’m wondering where it’s been all my life.
| A Book to Read |
Another “Thank you, Captain Obvious” item, but I really do always have a book to read in my carry-on bag. Right now I’m reading The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees in an attempt to finally ‘capsuleize’ (is that a word?) my wardrobe. More on that later!
| A Notebook & Pen |
I am a firm believer that any creative or list-loving person should never be bereft of a notebook and pen. As a blogger, I’m constantly scribbling down ideas, blogging lists, to-do lists, doodles and just general thoughts in this Rifle Paper notebook. I also can’t overstate the importance of always having a pen when you are a UK expat; there is always, always a landing card to be filled. Kikki K pens have become the only pens I use these days, as they write really well, don’t leak and are so pretty.
| Hand Sanitizing Spray |
Hand sanitizer of any kind is always in my bag (usually I have my Aesop hand rinse), but when I’m travelling I like to use a spray. It’s much easier to wipe down surfaces with a spray than with a gel, and you can spray it on your seat or around you (if you’re a germ-phobe like me). Dr. Bronner’s lavender spray smells incredible and is inexpensive, making it a staple in my carry-on.
| Glass Nail File |
Because being stuck on a plane for whatever length of time with an uneven nail is the worst. Glass ones tend work best, and they’re fine to bring on board. This one by Leighton Denny is a bit pricey, but I’ve had it for years and still love it.
| A Roomy Tote to Put it All In |
A carry-on bag, a beach tote, a camera bag; a roomy tote bag is the perfect fashion multasker when travelling. I’ve had my Free People tote for years now — evidenced by how tattered it’s looking. The brown is sold out; however, I think the black-and-brown option is even nicer!