I HAVE GONE TO THAILAND! (Yes, capital letters were called for). As you read this, I will either be still asleep, waiting in the airport, on a plane, or travelling around Thailand, depending on when you read this. It goes without saying that I am SUPER excited (I have had this countdown on my phone for months). I am gutted to be leaving my cats, but we have someone staying at our house who will be looking after them and sending us lots of photos, so I know they will be in safe hands.
We shall be gone for 2 weeks and I won't be posting any blogs during that time, but of course there will be many social media updates, so please make sure you are following me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK and TWITTER. I will try to keep up with my favourite bloggers over social media whilst I am away, but I will do a big catch up on all your blogs when I am back.
I am not a big fan of flying (I am not sure too many people are), so to make it as "enjoyable" as possible, I make sure that I pack all of the essentials in to my hand luggage so that I can arrive as relaxed and refreshed as possible. We are flying via Qatar, so there will be 2 fairly long flights and I don't want to arrive feeling like a mess. So, I thought I would share with you all my hand luggage essentials (not including the obvious like tickets, money and passport).
Unless you are flying first class, a long haul flight isn't going to be particular comfortable, but there are a few things that you can take to make it as comfortable as possible.
Clothes - There really isn't much need to dress up for a flight, as you will most likely be sleeping anyway, so wear the comfiest clothes that you have. I find that light cotton trousers, a soft cotton t-shirt and a hoody work best. The hoody also means you can put it up when you want to go to sleep. You can always pack a change of clothes if you want to arrive wearing something a little more stylish.
Socks - I wear easy slip on shoes to travel with, as they are easiest to take off when going through security, and when I get on the flight I take them off and put on some comfy fluffy socks. They will keep your feet warm and you won't offend anyone with bare feet.
Eye Mask - There is usually a lot of movement on planes with TV screens on, people walking up and down the aisle, or just the person in the seat next to you that wants to chat. I take an eye mask and when it is time to get some shut eye, I pull the mask down and start dreaming about the destination I am heading to. I also set my watch to the time at the destination I am heading to, and that way I can plan my eating and sleeping around the local time, so I can get my body clock used to the change and reduce the risk of jet lag.
Pillow Case - I don't really rate those travel pillow, as unless you spend a fortune on them, they are just not very comfortable. Instead, I pack a pillow case and stuff it with the extra clothes that I am travelling with and use it as a barrier between my head and the window, or just to support my neck.
Blanket/Scarf - Planes can get a little chilly. They keep the temperature down so that the plane doesn't become a breading ground from germs, but that means that sometimes a blanket is needed. We usually travel fairly light and have no need for a blanket in the hot destination we are heading to, so I pack a light scarf/sarong in my hand luggage that can double as a cover-up on the flight.
Anything over 4 hours and I start to get really fidgety and really, really bored. On board entertainment is essential for me, and lots of it, as I even get bored of entertainment after a while, so I need different things to do.
iPod - Fill up your MP3 with all of your favourite tunes to keep you entertained. The earphones also double as a good way to block out any unwanted noise on the plane.
Books/Magazines- I don't get much time to read when I am at home, so I use the flight as time to catch up on reading those books I have been meaning to read. Unless you don't get distracted easily, take something fairly easy to read. I for one couldn't concentrate on a philosophical tome during a 12 hour flight. As well as a book, I usually take some trashy magazines with me. A long flight seems like the perfect time to take a Cosmo quiz.
iPad - iPads are great distractions as you can fill them with games, ibooks, films, music or use them to jot down all your thoughts on evernote. Time really flys when you are getting frustrated with the latest addictive game. Although most flights will have in-flight entertainment, the films might not always be to your liking, so put your favourite TV shows and films on your iPad to keep you going.
Charger/Emergency Charger - Some flights now have charging ports built in to their personal entertainment systems, so you will need your charger to top up your electronics. If they don't, take an emergency charger with you to give your iPad a bit of juice when it is running out. You don't want it to cut out at a cliff hanger in the film.
As soon as I start packing my hand luggage, all my luggage really, I head to Superdrug to stock up on all the essentials. I don't wear any make-up when I fly, as my skin dries up enough as it is and also I don't want to wake up after an in-flight nap with eyeliner down my face. But, there are a few things I take on board with me that help me to arrive feeling semi-normal and refreshed. Oh, also, I bought an amazing travel sized hair dryer from Superdrug and it was just as powerful as my full-size one.
Toothbrush and Toothpaste - After sucking in all that cabin air, my teeth start to feel furry pretty quickly and if you have a long flight and landing in the morning it will be time to brush your teeth anyway. Just a quick teeth clean can make you feel so much better.
Lip Balm - My lips dry out at the best of times, but if I don't pack my lip balm for the flight, I land with really cracked lips. I really like this Nivea Lip Butter.
Hand Sanitiser - You will come in to contact with all kind of things by the time you get to your destination, so best to have some hand sanitiser handy.
Hand Cream - My hands are usually the first things to dry and crack, so I keep this with me.
Moisturiser - No matter how much water I drink, my skin will dry up when I fly. A quick smothering of moisturiser and I arrive with a super soft face.
Travel Tissues - I spill things. A lot.
Migrastick - I always get a headache when I fly, I guess it must be a change in pressure or something, and I am not a fan of taking pills, so this Migrastick is perfect. It's really small as well, so easy to take as carry-on. It's a little roller stick, it 100% natural and made up of essential oils. The massage effect and the cooling sensation really helps to ease a headach.
Seeing as this is a food and travel blog, you didn't expect me to not mention food and drink did you? Let's face it, most of us eat when we are bored and flights can certainly be boring, no matter how much entertainment you have. Don't count on the airline food being any good. If it is, bonus. But if not, you will be prepared with your own delicious treats. For me, I also don't want to eat any junk on the flight, as the salt will make me feel even more dehydrated and I don't want to have a sugar crash after eating too many haribo.
Water - This is a must! You don't want to be waiting around until the trolley comes along with some, so once you get through security, stock up on it. Your skin, and body in general, will thank you for it when you land.
Fruit - Fruit is usually my favourite thing to eat on a flight as it is easy, and mainly water based which will help with keeping hydrated. Apples, bananas and grapes are my favourites to travel with.
Nuts and Seeds - Nuts and seeds are high in protein, which means they will keep you full and they don't take up too much room. Just try not to drop your box of nuts and seeds in the aisle. I have done that before.
Fruit and Nut Bars - For something easy, I usually take some kind of energy bar/ball that is make with fruit/nuts. I will be taking some Bounce Balls on the flight with me, as I am kind of obsessed with their mint one at the moment.
80% Dark Chocolate - Because, well, you know. Why not?!
What are your hand luggage essentials? Anything I have missed?
**Thanks to Superdrug for giving me a voucher to stock up on all my holiday essentials. I will think of you when I land feeling refreshed.**