Hit The Road
Essential items make flying a more comfortable endeavor
Last week my mileage with American Airlines reached 60,000, and it hit me that I've spent a better part of the past year on airplanes or in airports. Because of this, I have packing down to a science, and there are certain things I know that I need in order to have a comfortable trip.
I'm convinced that having things that you need and love while traveling can help make any place feel more like home, and when "home" is an airport gate or a friend's bathroom, having your favorite things on hand can make a big difference in your comfort level.
Because Hawaii residents must travel a minimum of 5 1/2 hours to get to the mainland, it's important to have a comfortable plane ride. These are my five favorite things to pack for long flights, always with the possibility of long layovers in mind.
» Carmex lip balm: Airplane air is not only nasty, it is also dry. As a result, I've tried almost every lip balm under the sun, and Burt's Bees is my favorite. If you find your lips drying out on the plane, slick some of this stuff on, and your lips will be grateful and, more important, intact for those greeting kisses when you reach your destination.
» Noise-canceling headphones: As a claustrophobic traveler, I often end up at the back of the airplane in order to get an aisle seat, which usually means I'm right above the engine. Having a pair of noise-canceling headphones will allow you to pretend that you are somewhere else completely. You'll not only block out the airplane noise, but also the crying baby in the next row and the loud talkers beside you. It's amazing how much irritating sounds affect your well-being and how much more rested you'll feel when you land.
» Granola bars: Like any good Hawaii girl, I would prefer to pack Spam musubi with me; however, when traveling halfway across the world, I'm a little leery of packing anything that could go bad. Granola bars are great because they hold up in many conditions, tasting as good as ever when you're hungry, even after being smashed at the bottom of your carry-on bag.
» Burt's Bees Hand Salve: Your hands can get pretty worn while traveling. After throwing around your luggage, washing your hands with industrial-strength soap and being in air conditioning for countless hours, you'll find sweet relief in this thick, buttery salve. Plus, it's not a liquid, so you don't have to count it as one of your "liquids and gels."
» Cashmere socks: My feet are always cold when I'm on the airplane. Sometimes I even have to double up on socks to keep my toes toasty. Cashmere socks are not the easiest thing to find in Hawaii, but they're easy to hunt down online and at this time of year, they will likely be on sale as well!
Joy Uyeno travels frequently throughout the year, and her column geared toward beginning travelers or youths experiencing their first extended stay abroad appears the second Sunday each month in the Star-Bulletin Travel section.