Want to learn about some of my favourite AIP things? – In this case, the assorted odds and sods that I take in my Carry-On Luggage when I’m heading overseas?
“The gladdest moment in human life is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton
So. I turn 50 in two weeks. Oy… THAT’S a whole other topic!
When David asked me what I wanted to do for my 50th, I responded with, “New York, Baby!” And, so that’s what we’re doing. Heading to New York to celebrate my half-century. I’m a smidge excited – it’s the first big trip I’ve done since starting my AIP caper. Yippee for me!
And since almost any plane travel from my neck of the woods is considered long haul, I thought I’d share some of the bits and bobs I’m planning to take in my carry-on luggage.
Because you learn a thing or two about air travel when it takes you 10+ hours to get places. And, because I always want to know if other people have any good tips and tricks that I can adopt.
I’m nosey like that. Perhaps you are, too?
To be honest, most of my carry on luggage stuff isn’t strictly limited to AIP but the real key to any long haul travel is planning and preparation. Once your suitcase is checked, that’s it until you reach your destination. There’s no going back!
That makes carefully considering your carry-on luggage a no brainer.
Of course, there are some basics to consider.
Things like keeping your wallet, passport, and travel documents out of your suitcase. And, if you have physical tickets – for transport like trains or events like concerts or theatre, like I do – or any other papers with no digital counterpart, for that matter; these go into your carry-on. Because I’m a tad anal about these things (according to David, anyway), I like to print out all my tickets, email confirmations and itineraries that I have stored in the cloud. #justincase.
When it comes to packing your prescriptions medication and supplements, these should go into your carry-on luggage. Although lost luggage claims are in decline, if you are one of the unlucky ones, it can be nearly impossible to get a refill far from home.
So in addition to the basics, here’s what I’m taking on this trip:
Rather watch a video? Here’s one I prepared earlier…
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1. Sleep Mask
I use this one from Alaska Bear. I use it at home, too.
If you’ve ever travelled long haul, you know that the airlines will provide you with a sleep mask. But I’m fussy about my sleep masks and I want to maximise every little bit of sleep I can get.
What I like about this one is that it’s big – it completely blocks out light – and it’s comfortable. I have a big head (no really, I do. It’s a Frankham thing). This sleep mask is adjustable and doesn’t pinch in weird places.
2. Earplugs + Noise Cancelling Headphones
I use Mack’s Silicone Earplugs
Again, airlines provide you with those foam earplugs but these babies are so much more comfortable. Well, I think they are. They don’t hurt my ears as foam ones have a tendency to do if I fail to position them just so. These earplugs don’t actually sit in the ear canal. Rather, they mould to the shape of your ear.
I really 🖤 these!
A bazillion years ago, David bought me a pair of Noise Cancelling Headphones. At the time, I thought he was being wildly extravagant, but now I think they are worth every penny – especially when you travel long haul. I never get on a plane without them!
3. Water Bottle
When you travel, space is often at a premium – especially when it comes to carry-on luggage, so for this trip, I’ve invested in a Collapsible Water Bottle made out of silicone.
It’s no secret that staying hydrated is SUPER important when you fly. Aeroplanes are dry and those little water bottles you get on the plane aren’t enough to keep any AIPer worth their salt hydrated throughout a flight. A collapsible water bottle can easily be filled after going through security.
[As an aside, for this trip, I’m fasting from departure to arrival – a period of about 24 hours. I’ve been doing a bit of reading about fasting as a way to mitigate some of the effects of jetlag and thought I’d give it a go. That means no food from the time I take off until I land in New York. It also means it’s extra important that I stay hydrated. I’m taking ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops with me to add to my water.]
4. Keep Cup
I’m travelling with my trusty Frank Green keep cup. This baby is insulated, leak-resistant and won’t break. And, of course sustainable!
Despite my very well documented love of coffee, on long haul travel, I steer clear of the caffeine and use my cup for drinking herbal tea (I carry my own peppermint tea bags, too) and I also take desiccated bone broth in my carry-on luggage. Broth of Life comes in handy-dandy sized jars. It’s GREAT for having bone broth on the go.
I give both my Frank Green keep cup and Broth of Life 5 stars! ★★★★★
5. Rubber Massage Ball
I’m taking one of these Foot Rubz massage balls with me. It’s small and nobbly and my tootsies love it.
You sit for an awfully long time on a long plane journey. And sometimes, even with the best of intentions, getting up to move your legs can be a challenge. And, we AIPers know just how important incidental movement is!
That’s where my little magic ball comes into its own. I pop it under my sock-covered feet and roll it around to keep the blood flowing. It’s an easy thing to do while watching a movie, too.
6. Hand Sanitiser + Tissues
If you want to freak yourself out, check out this article on the dirtiest parts of an aeroplane. Even if your aircraft looks clean, it pays to give yourself a good squirt after loo breaks and before meals at the very least.
I use this Tea Tree Antiseptic Spray from Thursday Plantation. It comes in a dinky travel-sized bottle. This trip has been a long time coming. I really don’t want to get sick before I even get there!
7. Socks, Scarf and Undies (+ the rest)
I always pack a large scarf which can double as a light blanket and a pair of socks. The cabin temperature can fluctuate wildly. I want to be as comfortable as possible.
One thing I know for sure – you will decidedly average after a long haul flight. At the risk of over-sharing, a change of underwear can make a big difference (especially if your luggage doesn’t arrive with you!)
Since I’m overnighting on my flight, I’m also adding sweatpants and a long-sleeved t-shirt to sleep in, too.
Moisturiser, deodorant, lip balm and hand cream. These are no brainers for me. They help me feel human after hours in a pressurised tin can at altitude.
Plus, pack whatever you need to get you through an overnight stay. And, that includes a toothbrush and toothpaste.
9. A Good Ballpoint Pen
Why don’t the travel articles ever talk about taking a good ballpoint pen with you? If you’ve ever had a pen explode all over you while you’re completing your arrivals card because of the pressure changes in the cabin, I promise – not something you’ll want to repeat.
I take at least two ballpoint pens. Trust me – don’t bother with ink pens.
10. Fully Charged Phone + Fully Loaded iPad or eReader + Laptop (+ chargers)
Repeat after me – take your chargers.
Check and double-check that you have them. And that all your devices are covered. Keep your chargers with you in case you need a quick boost. This is especially important if all the information you need to get from the airport to your initial destination saved in your email inbox.
A Word on Valuables
International travel is not the time to indulge in carrying all that high-end jewellery with you #justincase you head somewhere special. Having your grandmother’s ring that she left you stolen out of your carry-on luggage has the potential to really rip your nightie. So don’t take it with you.
Carry the valuables that you are taking with you, though. Things like your camera, computer, and any other expensive items should go into your carry-on luggage and not into the hold.