On Tuesday I am boarding a plane for South Africa via New York and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’ve been longing to get back to Africa for nine years. Even as I write that, I can’t believe it’s been that long.
In preparation for my trip, I thought I would share with you some of my travel essentials for long flights. Besides my passport and tickets, no matter where I go, these items are always on my list of things to pack.
I can’t travel to any new destination without my camera and I always carry this onto the plane with me. I use a separate camera bag from my carry on that just holds my camera equipment. That bag contains my Canon 5D Mark II, various lenses depending on the destination, batteries, charger, and memory cards. For this trip I purchased a cord to connect my camera to my iPad so that I could share a few photos while traveling, but not be weighted down with a laptop. I’ll let you know how that works out on my return.
In a separate bag, I pack a few goodies for the plane. On safari you want to use a duffel bag for small aircrafts between camps and pack as light as possible so I use my large Longchamp bag for international flights and fold it up into my luggage for flights between camps. In that bag, I include a scarf and light jacket for cool flights. I’m always cold so dressing in layers for flights is a must for me. I also pack Kind Bars to munch on and to substitute for the airline breakfasts that I can’t seem to get down, no matter how hungry I am. My Bose AEii Headphones come in handy to drown out plane noise and small children, while my iPad mini keeps me entertained. For this trip I’ve downloaded The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure and I can’t wait to dive in. For note taking I keep my Moleskin Notebook and Pilot V Razor Point Pen handy throughout the trip to jot down notes. After a trip, I spend a large amount of the flight home reviewing photos and writing about my travels.
In my carry on I also carry a cosmetic bag with an eye mask to block out light and catch some shut-eye, Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Oil Lip Balm, Purell Hand Sanitizer, Orbit Gum in Sweetmint, and Neutrogena Makeup Removing Towelettes and moisturizer to refresh my face before landing. I also keep a few basic makeup items handy (foundation and powder, a basic eyeshadow, mascara, and liner) so I don’t step off the plane looking like a hot mess!
For my checked bag, I use the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cube Set to organize clothes and make packing easier. I find these especially helpful when multiple hotels are on my itinerary and I don’t really have a need to hang a bunch of clothes in the closet. I just pull out the cube I need, open it for the desired item, and then return it to the bag, without having to pull out a whole bunch of clothes to find what I’m looking for.
And finally, I always include a few Bounce Dryer Sheets between a few layers of clothes to keep them smelling fresh no matter how many airports I pass through. If you haven’t tried this trick, you should on your next trip and let me know how it goes.