Well, today’s the big day! I’m on my way to Japan. This trip came together so last minute, and it’s really been a whirlwind ever since we booked our tickets. I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t been a stressful planning process. I’ve had so much going on at work, and I haven’t had as much time to devote to planning this trip as I would have liked.
The good news is that I’m not an anxious traveler. While I don’t love unpredictability in my everyday life, I thrive in crazy situations and travel is always a perfect opportunity for me to rise to the occasion. There’s plenty about this trip that we’ll figure out on the go. One thing that I did spend a lot of time planning though was what’s going to go in my carry-on.
The only part about travel that makes me anxious is flying. It’s not that I’m scared of the flying itself. Heck no. I’ve been flying back and forth to Tokyo since I was less than a month old, and take off, landing, etc are as natural to me as breathing. What stresses me out is the discomfort of long flights. I have had terrible insomnia my whole life, and international flights really exacerbate my sleep issues. My greatest fear about travel is that I’ll get zero sleep on my way to my destination, leaving me exhausted and cranky for the whole trip. So, as soon as we started planning this trip, I began to mentally pack my carry-on. My coping mechanism is to make flights seem as luxurious as possible in the hopes that’ll make it easier to sleep.
We’re flying Delta, and luckily Delta is pretty generous on international flights and will let you check a bag, and have a carry-on and a personal item, all for free! I’m a total rule breaker when it comes to luggage, so I’m carrying my Longchamp Le Pliage backpack and my Le Pliage tote, and my rolling carry-on. When I board, I’ll just briefly stuff my backpack in my tote so that I can be sneaky and get away with two personal items for the price of one! (yes, I realize I have an overpacking problem ….) My only complaint about Longchamp bags is that they don’t have many inner pockets. So, I like to put my passport in a bright cover so I can always find it at the bottom of my bag.
I like to have all my technology at my fingertips so that I can work, read, or watch movies when I’m awake. Tech can really take a beating on the road, so I keep my iPad and laptop in cases when I’m not using them. I just got this beautiful new Kate Spade laptop case and it makes me feel so much better about being tied to my computer at all times. And then my iPad case also has a built-in keyboard so I can do basic work on there without always having to pull out my laptop. In my day to day life, I don’t use noise canceling headphones, but I knew I’d want some for this trip. There’s nothing worse than being kept awake by someone else’s snoring! Maybe the most important tech item in my bag is my rechargeable battery. I get serious anxiety just thinking about having my phone or iPad die mid-flight. Luckily this incredible Anker battery holds more than 7 iPhone charges! I have one for work travel, and one for personal use. It’s a serious game changer.
On an international flight as long as the one to Japan (we’ll be in the air for 14 hours from Detroit to Japan!), my number one priority is comfort. I don’t believe in dressing like a schlub when I travel, so I usually start a trip off in a dress or jeans. After all, you never know who you’ll meet in an airport! However as soon as I board, all bets are off. Shoes come off, and fuzzy socks come on. I switch out my jeans for leggings, throw on my favorite sweater (which is basically a wearable blanket), and settle in for the long haul.
When I’m ready to sleep, I blow up my inflatable travel pillow (I got the J Pillow for this trip – it’s super weird looking, but everyone swears by it!), pull out my blanket, and pop on my eye mask. I really love this Vera Bradley travel blanket because it folds up into a flat pillow and slips over the handles of your carry-on to make it easy to run around the airport with.
Nothing does a number on your skin like a long flight. I slather on moisturizer throughout flights, and constantly re-apply my favorite strawberry lip balm. My other airplane beauty secret is water. Airplane air is so dehydrating, so I guzzle water whenever I fly. I love this CamelBak Filtered Insulated Water Bottle because you can fill it up with tap water (as long as the tap water you’re using is relatively safe to drink), and it’ll remove any chlorine taste or smells in the water. And I don’t know about you, but I hate feeling gross when I get to my destination, so I always try and freshen up a little bit before I land. If my hair’s gotten greasy and flat while in the air, I use a little bit of Drybar’s ‘Triple Sec‘ 3-in-1 Texturing Spray. It’s a dry shampoo, volumizer, and texturizer all in one. A true miracle product!
There is nothing worse than getting ‘hangry’ on a flight, so I make sure to always keep a stash of Graze snacks in my bag in case hunger strikes and it’s still hours till my next meal will be served. I’ve also got my Japan travel guide on me at all times at this point (I love the DK Eyewitness travel guides!). After all, I need to finalize our itinerary before we land!
What are your must have carry-on items when you travel overseas? Leave a comment and let me know what I’ve forgotten!