Tuesday, September 23, 2014

All Aboard the Cattle Car: Travel Essentials!

Travel Essentials

Travel Essentials by elbonner featuring a yoga activewear

There are few things in life that can truly destroy every facet of your soul quite like airline travel. I spent years watching my Dad have mini-coronaries because of flight delays, wished a quick death upon bratty kids kicking my seat, having to sit next to that guy in the window seat who keeps going to the bathroom too much. It's all parts of the joy of travel! Usually, this sort of stuff doesn't really bother me on the way to my destination, but I am set off by the smallest thing when my vacation is over and I'm strapped in a metal tube with a bunch of fucking weirdos for 6+ hours. There are things that can be done to make air travel a little less excruciating and it really has everything to do with planning and trial and error. Learn from my errors and check out my tips for having an airport trip so pleasant, you won't want to off yourself at 38,000 feet!

1. Dress Like a Yoga Teacher:
One thing that makes me giggle to myself when I travel is when people treat it like a damn fashion show. We're all sitting in a seat full of stranger-farts for hours on end eating food Turkish prisoners would probably scoff at; there's no need to look super fancy. Don't even get me STARTED on people who wear heels on planes who aren't going directly to a business meeting. I travel in yoga pants or running tights because they are flattering, you save room in your luggage by wearing your workout clothes, and if you get the right kind, they can actually look really nice whilst being super comfortable. I also try and wear a lightweight sweater or long-sleeved t-shirt when I fly, in the softest material I can possibly find. I don't want to have to adjust myself the entire flight and it makes it easy to dodge food carts, reach for overhead luggage, or do some stretches in your seat. A big scarf is also handy because you can use it as a blanket, an eye mask, a head wrap, or even a napkin in emergency situations. Keep it lightweight so you don't wake up a sweaty mess. Also, get shoes you can easily take on and off. If you're traveling int he states, TSA Security requires you to take your shoes off, so don't be wearing some thigh high, lace-up boots in my line!
-Featherweight Sweater (Target)
-Standard Running Tights (Roxy)
-Hemp Polka Dot Classics (Toms)
-Large Printed Scarf (Zara)

2. Bag Awareness:
Just bring a backpack, no matter what your beef with them is. There are so many awesome backpacks available now that aren't your 7th grade Jansport with "Mrs. Taylor Hanson" written all over it in White-Out. Backpacks are great for carrying laptops, iPads, books, tickets without the shoulder-destroying weight of your traditional shoulder bags. They typically fit under the seat in front of you and can act as an adventure bag in case you go on a tour or something on your trip. 
It's also super important to plan for over-packing. Get yourself a foldaway tote to get out just in case your souvenirs tip the weight limit of your suitcase. These are great for carrying around last-minute airport gifts and maybe even some lunch of you can't stomach airplane food. I am really against people bringing huge roll-on carry-ons because they don't want to pay to check their bags. It's a waste of space and it drives me nuts! Get your backpack and Foldaway on and have all the room you need!
-Kanken Backpack (Fjallraven)
-Foldaway Shoulder Bag (Cath Kidston)

3. Stuff To Do:
Sometimes your seat back tv screen doesn't work (story of my life) and you are stuck on a 7 hour flight without any movies! Psh, forget that, you've got a butt-ton of stuff to do that has nothing to do with that barely working touch-screen! iPads and tablets really are wonderful for travel. I have all sorts of games like Risk, Ticket to Ride, Scrabble, Peggle, and many others to keep me and my travel companions entertained for quite a while. I also download a bunch of magazines before each trip so I'm not loaded down with paper copies in my carry-on. PROTIP- make sure they are fully downloaded before you are without wifi or else you'll only have a loaded cover page and lots of broken dreams. I still have not jumped on the e-reader bandwagon so I bring a book or two that is short, but long enough to keep me entertained. I usually bring something funny and lighthearted or something about a subject I'm really interested in. Another thing I recommend is a decent pair of headphones. If I found $400 laying on the ground, I would buy a pair of Bose Noise-Cancelling headphones because they really do work, but since that will never ever happen, I make do with my Sennheiser cushy headphones. The cord wraps up nicely, the foam is comfy on my ears, and they do block outside noise better than plane-provided headphones. They are a bit bulky, but I like having my own so I make the sacrifice.

4. Beauty From Above:
Airplanes have the driest air. Your typical humidity level on earth is about 50% unless you live in a jungle or in Antarctica. Humidity levels on airplanes clock in at a whopping 15-20% which makes my hands flake just thinking about it. Make sure you have something to combat the dryness that can multitask and don't take up too much space. I really like Badger Balms because they can be used all over your body. I put them on my knuckles, knees, temples, and lips. The Badge Balm Sleep Balm is good for calming yourself down when you're stuck on a plane on in the airport. Lavender will help quell your feelings of total world destruction and keep your homicidal feelings in check all whilst keeping you moisturized. I also love the moisturizing cream from Yu-Be which is super moisturizing, but doesn't feel greasy. It's almost like a powdery finish, but not a dry feeling. It smells a bit medicinal, but it doesn't overpower; one of my new favorites! It's also important to have a triclosan-free hand sanitizer (look on the label, it should be an alcohol-based sanitizer). I love the PocketBac's from Bath and Body Works because they come in a bajillion different scents and they are super small so they fit almost anywhere.
-Badger Balm Sleep Balm (Amazon)
-Yu-Be Moisturizing Cream (Sephora) 
-PocketBac Hand Sanitizer (Bath and Body Works) 

A bit of a long one, but I'm just trying to help you, damnit! Airplane travel is already a pain, don't burden yourself with a whole bunch of stuff to make it even more stressful than it needs to be. Plan things out, downsize/purge your unnecessary stuff, and think about the things that make you feel better in less-than-perfect situations. Just remember, it's all a part of the journey, get out there and see stuff!

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