This article marks the beginning of my 60 day adventure around the globe, starting with a brief interlude here in the vibrant city of Hong Kong…
During the next two months we will be clocking up a fair whack of flying time, from 9 hours to Hong Kong >> 16 hours to New York >> 7 hours to London, plus a 20 hour flight home >> and 3 internal flights in Europe. The anticipation of so much time spent in an air-conditioned, confined space with food that barely represents anything I would put a fork to on a normal day, tends to inspire a health conscious woman like myself to dig deep and research some 101 survive necessities before embarking on such a monumental journey.
Firstly, anyone that knows me well, knows I am a fairly no fuss minimalist. When I am not sporting (pun intended) my work outfit // I have a very small collection of outfits on rotation // I wear little to no make up apart from the occasional dusting of bronzer and mascara // I prefer to organise my week on paper rather than electronically // and would rather cook a simple meat + three veg meal than pull something out of a Nigella Lawson cookbook any day. So when it came to getting prepped and packed for this trip, my suitcase was ready to go within the hour… saving my mental energy to work out what I would include in my carry on survival kit.
I decided to begin my research by asking all of my travel savvy friends and clients what their “must pack essential items” are when boarding a long flight. Some rather interesting and helpful objects, remedies and creature comforts popped up (along with my own favourites) I felt compelled to build a list and share it as reference for anyone jumping on a plane in times to come. Be it for two weeks or two months, pick and choose what goes on board with you carefully so you can stay a well hydrated, healthy and happy flyer, and of course, touch down on the other side feeling as human as possible.
>> Stock up on ebooks via your Kindle App on Your Ipad
Reading is a big bonus for me when I travel. At home, my long work hours often leave me falling asleep at the dinner table before I even get the chance to pick up a book. Amongst my Kindle collection this trip are: Cloud Street by Tim Winton // The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte // Further Along The Road Less Traveled by Mr. Scott Peck // Mathew Syed’s Bounce // Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield // Steven King’s On Writing // The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman // Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.
>> Carry your own eye mask
My sister gifted me this really incredible pure silk eye mask that has been a godsend on our first leg to HK. The quality of rest you get through using an eye mask is incredible. No more being interrupted by seat belt/reading lights, or the infamous 6am breakfast service startling you out of any snooze you may have been enjoying. Do yourself a H.U.G.E favour and get yourself one.
>> Ear plugs/Noise cancelling head phones
My Swedish friend who is always jetting off somewhere in his spare time tipped me Panasonic noise cancelling headphones. You can pick these up easily duty free. Not only are they great for drowning out crying babies, people talking and seat belt “on” notifications, they are also great to use once you have touched down and in need of P&Q from the relentless city noise.
>> BYO pillow case
This is especially handy if you are planning on staying in hostels or Airbnb (which we are using a fair bit on this trip) Turning up somewhere and having your own home washed pillow case works a treat when it comes to falling asleep, and of course, if you have allergies or sensitivities to detergents like I do, is a good back up to have handy for any unfortunate reactions.
>> Sarong/Turkish Towel/Scarf /Woolen Socks
One of my clients was flabbergasted when I told her recently that I had never heard of a Turkish Towel before, so much so that she went out and got me one, and I must say, it is terrific. It’s compact, absorbent and can double as a shawl, a blanket and a scarf also! A no brainer when packing this time around. Previously I traveled with a sarong to India and used it to death when I was traveling with just my backpack. Likewise a scarf, I get affected by air-con easily and have asthma – so the scarf was a must for this trip (plus when you are in Euro, it’s the perfect addition to class up an outfit) As for socks – nothing warms you up and keeps your immunity firing on all cylinders more than having warm tootsies, especially when you have no control over the air conditioning system on aeroplanes!! Pack some light weight woolen socks to slip on once you settle in to your long flight.
>> Essential Oils/Candles
Lavender is my favourite oil to pack on trips. Dab a few drops on your pillows, wrists and temples, it is great for headaches and easing anxiety (fear of flying?) it also doubles up as an insect repellent >> add 7 drops to your moisturiser and you will never have a moosie buzzing near you again! Lemon oil is a great one for guarding against pathogens, and Eucalyptus is an antibacterial and will un block a stuffy sinus. As for candles, one friend mentioned to me that she absolutely can not fly without packing a candle, at home she always has candles lit, so to take one away with her and light it where ever she is makes her feel at home… I love that.
>> Hand & Face Moisturiser
I was recommended Trilogy Everything Balm, I really love the smell and feel of it, it will set you back about $25 and will suit perfectly if you are on a budget. Other favourites are Alpha H Daily Moisturser for around $50 and on the more indulgent side, Australia’s very own Jurlique Balancing Day Cream will hydrate your skin good and proper for $100
>> Teas / Soups
If you follow Ayurvedic principals or Chinese Medicine you will know that it is very important to keep your Vata down when flying, and to maintain a warm spleen. The best way to do this is through warm soups and teas. Best to try and minimise your intake of booze, bread and caffeine also! BYO your favourite herbal tea or pack some miso soup sachets! My favourite tea for this trip is Tri Ginger PUKKA Tea.
>> Powders & Greens
Vital Greens is my pick for greens, they do individual sachets of their nutrient powder and I always pack a couple to carry on board and swish down half way through a flight. Other great supplements I use to ease all abdominal discomfort and aid digestion on flights are Chlorella (make sure you get a brand with the cell wall broken – I use Dr. Mercolas) and Chlorophyll – you can buy liquid or capsules, obviously when boarding a flight, I would suggest the easiest option is the capsule form. I started my love affair with Chlorophyll when I was in my early teens and we are still going strong to this very day.
>> Universal Adapters
Don’t forget. Enough said!
>> Eye Drops / Tissues / Nasal Sprays
All very self explanatory, the best natural nasal spray I have used for clearing my sinus is called FESS – it’s a saline and eucalyptus spray, which will only set you back $10 and it’s the grouse.
I always get inspired to write whilst I am away on holidays or overseas. Whether you are jotting down your thoughts, documenting your adventures or simply jotting places to stay // visit // eat // meet – it is great to have everything in the one place to reference from (especially if you are like me and prefer to take a break from technology whilst holidaying). More likely than not, you will throw pamphlets, business cards and other scraps in there, which are great to use as a recommendations for others, or if you decide to return at a later date!! When looking for a nice journal, it’s hard to go past a Moleskine I also recently picked up a couple of really lightweight journals from Roger La Borde
Other Helpful Vitmains & Tinctures
Short. and. sweet. No one wants to be a traveling pharmacist, so I suggest taking a break from your usual routine (do you have an extensive vitamin routine and get anxiety when you have to pack up shop?) I suggest you choose wisely and stick to just a couple. Use an immunity booster/pathogen blaster, I use BioCeuticals ArmaForce, it’s got all of the goodies in there all rolled in to one. For gut relief, IBS and digestion support, I take Iberogast by Flordis – I don’t leave the house without this stuff, it’s golden! Melatonin is also a must if you are traveling somewhere that has a significant time difference. Take it on the plane, and spray some under your tongue when you are ready to nod off. Continue to use it when you reach your destination and resist the urge to sleep on the old time zone to fight jetlag. I use Dr. Mercolas Sleep Spray
>> Healthy snacks
I make up my own trail mix with my favourite nuts and seeds, sometimes I add in a couple of pieces of dark chocolate, Pana Chocolate is amongst my favourite, it’s raw, handmade and vegan! I am far from being a vegan but dang, their stuff is good! Other great snacks to board with can be >> home made protein balls // fritatta // fresh fruit // I have even been known to make up my own steamed vegetables!
>> I will be updating this little trail of resources along my journeys <<
How about you, do you have any super tricks you bring out when embarking on a long flight?