I get on a plane six times a year, on average, and it goes without saying that I always travel with snacks, water, my phone and something to read. Over the last 8 years, however, I have also curated my must-have items for air travel. Whether the flight is 2 hours or 12, these five things make travel less of a chore for me and my tribe.
- Small backpack: I normally travel with just a carry-on, so having a small backpack to fill with in-flight necessities is a must. My FAVORITE small backpack is the Swiss Gear City Pack Backpack. I just love the design and layout of pockets, and this pack carries a lot of stuff! The Patagonia Atom Backpack is also a nice size, and BONUS: the laptop/tablet pocket fits my MacBook Air. Both of these backpacks fit under the seat in front without spilling into my “feet space.”
- Travel “cooler”: I almost always travel with some type of fruit (If you pack fruit for an international flight, you MUST eat or dispose of it all before you land!) and keeping it chilled through security and boarding is easy peasy with an insulin travel case. I purchased mine at The Container Store, but Amazon has many varieties as well. The great thing about these, is that they are small, and the freezer packs contain gel, not liquid, so I’ve never had a problem going through security.
- Charging “Brick”: I know that airports have MILLIONS of charging plugs, but just try to find one that’s working and available when your phone or tablet is at 2%. Add children to the mix, and you’ll absolutely need one of these like you need oxygen. We purchased our portable charger from Amazon, and it keeps us all charged!
- Earbud/Charger pouch: I LOVE my charger pouch from MochiThings. It holds more than you think it will, and my earbuds stay tucked in the side pocket. Plus, it’s easy to find in my backpack because of it’s round shape. I’ve had mine for over 5 years, and it’s still in great condition. I can normally fit earbuds, phone/tablet charger and a few other small things (like my car key and/or a flash drive) in my charger pouch, and still have room left over.
- Foot rest: Ok, about foot rests. A foot rest is not, in any way, going to help your image. They are not cool or nifty or neat. They are utilitarian items which your spouse and children will make fun of any time you set it up. Just wave, say “bye Felicia” and ignore those jokers. Second, you can kindly disregard this recommendation if you are a normal to giant-sized person. Foot rests are for Hobbits and short humans. My rule of thumb is that if a flight is more than 3 hours, I pack the foot rest. My wee legs get tired of dangling after about 120 minutes, but I can usually tough it out for a while if I know we will land soon.
I bought this actual foot rest off of Amazon, and it’s the bomb. Ten bucks for a world of comfort is a bargain, I say.
So in reality I pack a great deal more than the five items listed above along with my snacks, water, phone and book. I’ve read enough zombie apocalypse novels to know that you should always travel with bandaids, Neosporin, a flashlight and a Sharpie pen. But that’s a post for another day.
Happy travels, everyone!