I’m so excited that a week from tomorrow I’ll be venturing to Israel for 2 weeks on a school trip and then to France for a week to visit family. I love traveling, and truly enjoy the journey to my destination almost as much as the vacation. Having traveled internationally quite a bit, I thought I’d share a few ideas for how to be comfortable while spending 12+ hours on a plane. I’ll be spending all week purchasing some other travel essentials which of course I’ll share, but in the meantime I’d love to hear what your must-have items are, I’m always looking for new tips!
1. Sleeping mask. The person next to you will watch movies the whole time, and the person on your other side is going to keep their reading light on. If you’re like me and can’t sleep with lights around, you won’t care how dorky you look with this thing on. (Bonus: If you’re planning to rough it at a hostel, most of the windows have more of a sheet covering them than actual draperies… you’ll be glad not to be awoken when the sun rises at 4:30am.)
2. Travel pillow. You’ll be thrilled you have this not only for the plane, but also for long bus rides. Plus, many hostels and cheaper hotels just provide you with one pillow… and chances are you might not want your head right on top of it. This special pillow I learned about from my boyfriend, it folds in like…. literally a trillion different ways- perfect for wrapping around your neck, behind your back, or under your head.
3. Noise-cancelling headphones. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for great silencing headphones. In fact, the majority of people can barely tell the difference between the $50 and $100 models. This Sony set I bought for my introductory film making class, and they’re fantastic. They’re super lightweight, and even fold up to the size of your palm. They’re great for watching movies on the plane, or just silencing noise from the street once in your hotel.
4. Fuzzy socks. Typically when traveling domestically on planes I like to wear leggings and boots. However, I won’t be needing heavy footwear in the middle east during June, so I’d rather wear flip flops, which are much more convenient when going through the complex and lengthy security screenings in Israel. That being said, planes are always freezing, so I like to stash a pair of fuzzy socks in my backpack. They feel like wearing your favorite slippers, which can help you feel cozy and comfy while trying to fall asleep on those long flights.
5. A colorful passport cover. Although most customs screeners will want you to take it off before they actually stamp your passport, keeping a cover on it in the interim will help protect it from damage. Also, a colorful cover (mine is hot pink) makes it easy to locate your passport in the chaos of a large travel bag, and find it quickly. The people behind you in the extraordinarily long customs line will be grateful. TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, and other similar places are great stores to find items like this for under $10.
I’ll be posting more travel tips and ideas to come throughout the week. What are your go-to items? I’m totally paranoid I’m going to forget to pack something important… what don’t you leave home without?