Because I’ve been traveling around the world since I was six, it’s hard for me to remember that there are many people who not only have never traveled outside the United States, but have also never been on an airplane.
As an aviation journalist, I’ve developed a routine when I travel, including items I must have to make my flight comfortable, whether I’m sitting in coach or I’m lucky enough to be upgraded to a premium cabin. so below are six items that I must have to ensure my own comfort on every flight.
Neck pillow and sleep mask: I admit it -- I’m one of those who mock people who wear those travel neck pillows because I always thought they looked ridiculous. My choice for long-haul flights is the Lewis N. Clark convertible pillow, which also doubles as a lumbar support. I also enjoy their comfort eye mask, which was adjustable and the inside was concave, so there was room for your eyes to “breathe.” Plus the mask blocks out 100 percent of the light.
Noise canceling headphones: For my first Mother’s Day, in 2006, my baby bought me a pair of Sharper Image headphones. Even though technology has advanced a great deal since then, I still must have my Sharper Image headphones. But I’ve also added these Urbeats Beats By Dr. Dre earbuds into the mix.
Snacks: Whether the flight is domestic or international, I always bring aboard non-perishable snacks like nuts, protein bars or granola. On long domestic flights, I usually bring my own meal, usually smoked salmon from Baltimore’s Neopol Smokery, some cheese from Atwater’s, crackers, some fresh fruit and Smartpop popcorn. I also carry an empty water bottle I bought at a dollar store for post-security and inflight refills. Pashima: I’m a BIG fan of the pashimas at the Bijoux Terner $10 store in many U.S. airports. I have a dozen in different colors, and they are an all-purpose clothing item that can be used it as a wrap, a pillow, a skirt cover and an accessory to dress up my black travel dress.
Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo: I can’t always depend on an airline to have a powerport aboard their aircraft or an outlet near an airport gate. So when I need power for my iPhone 5s and my iPad Air, my Mophie can charge both quickly.
Coach Poppy Signature Travel Tote Shoulder Bag: You have to carry all this stuff in something, and this has become my go-to travel bag. It’s large and roomy, with large handles that fit over the shoulder, a shoulder strap, three large open pockets (for my iPod, iPhone and other items), a zippered pocket and a deep outside pocket that’s handy for passports and boarding passes.
Few people know flying like Aviation Queen, Benét Wilson, and we are delighted to share her travel tips.
Benét J. Wilson Editor, Aviation Queen