travel: what to pack in your carry-on, and more

Summer is the perfect time for travel, especially if you prefer hot weather and if you’re a student.

Colombia

Going on vacation, a business trip, or just any travelling, usually requires some amount of packing whether you go for a day, a week, or a year. Packing, as some of you may know, is a task that requires quite some time, whether you’re fashion obsessed or not. Through my experiences of flying twice a month in my previous career, I was able to come up with a few words of advice.

Going on the plane:
1. Wear/Carry layers. Trust me, planes get extremely cold, especially in the summer. A few years ago, I wore a light sweater on an overseas flight, and came home with a nice case of bronchitis. So make sure you are wearing a T or a tank-top (for the hot moments while everyone is boarding), and you have a sweater (or two) with you. Whatever you do, don’t wear shorts or capris. Not warm enough thousands of feet above ground. Wear jeans. Or leggings. Just not shorts! This is especially important on a long flight.
2. Take a large scarf and woollen socks on board. This may sound crazy when it’s +35C outside, but trust me, like I said before, IT GETS REALLY COLD. As soon as the plane takes off, I kick off my shoes, throw on my woollen socks, wrap myself up, and sleep (this is especially a good opportunity to catch up on counting sheep).
3. Buy some food (and water) at the airport to take on the plane. Plane food SUCKS, it is absolute garbage unless you are flying Business or First with a decent airline. In all honesty, just looking at plane food sometimes makes me nauseous. So yes, spend that extra money, buy some food/snacks at the terminal to take onboard. I usually grab a sandwich, a pack of some yummies (candies or chocolate), and about 1L of water. If you’re someone who tries to stay properly hydrated (which you all should be!), that litre – and the drinks during the flight – should get you to your destination all fuelled up.
4. Don’t forget your headphones. Most airlines either sell bad quality ones, or let you borrow their own. Even though the borrowed ones are not earbud type headphones, it’s still not the most sanitary option. I received a Beats by Dre earbud-type  pair for New Years, and I have been obsessed ever since. No way will I settle for the awful ones the airline provides.
5. Have your wardrobe essentials in your carry-on. This applies to both work and play. If you’re in jeans (which you are if you’re smart), and you’re going to a hot place, you’ll need shorts, and maybe sandals. If you’re travelling for business or an athletic event, make sure you have all the necessary items you would need if your luggage got lost. Trust me, it happens, and it’s not fun at all. Though carrying an extra bag is not fun, you don’t want to end up in a village trying to find the correct pair of sneakers for your big race!
6. Carry something that will allow you to be productive. Whether it’s your laptop so you can do some work, or a book that you need to read, make sure you have the resources to be somewhat productive during the flight. I prefer to catch up on sleep while I’m flying, especially during a red-eye flight, but sometimes sleep doesn’t come so easily. In this case, you want to be prepared to take advantage of a no-online-distraction zone, and do what you gotta do.
7. Take your camera and other valuables in your carry-on. You never know when you’ll need your camera. Take your valuables, because there are cases when luggage gets lost or stolen for an extended period of time… or even for good. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life without the pair of earrings your late grandmother gave you for your 18th birthday, do you?

And a few more tips:
Start by packing your bare essentials (underwear, toiletries) and then analyze what you must have with you, and what, in the worst case, you can buy there if you suddenly need it. If you are going somewhere where you may do some shopping, try to leave some space in your luggage to bring home your newly purchased belongings. When it comes to purchases, be careful with assuming that the Zara in Italy carries the same product as the one back home. They don’t. And you will not find that adorable shirt back home. And you will be regretful for quite a while that you didn’t grab it when you had the chance.

What are your tips and forget-me-nots for flying and travelling this summer?

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8 thoughts on “travel: what to pack in your carry-on, and more

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