They say that practice makes perfect. This quote can even be applied to travelling, to a certain extent. No one will ever become perfect at travelling, but you can certainly get better at it. As an international student who has to constantly travel to other countries for competitions or school trips, I slowly compiled a list of eight essentials that would make travelling (for me at least) easier. However, be careful with this list, since flying on a 12-hour flight and a 3-hour flight will have different needs and comfort.
With the busy lives we have these days, being on the plane is the perfect setting to read. There are no distractions from your phone and it is quiet. The airport will most likely have a bookshop or some sort of store, so if you didn't bring one from home, buy that book that you have always wanted to read! Even better, read something about the place that you are about to go to!
Okay, so reading is not for everyone. Bringing headphones is not just for listening to your music, but in some cases, it could block out noises that you wouldn't want to hear on the plane. With your headphones, you can listen to music, watch movies or take the time to learn something new by listening to a podcast. Just remember to download all your songs beforehand so you can listen to them without data!
3. Water Bottle
One of the biggest things that happens to your body when you are on a plane is dehydration. After all, the most important thing you can do to your body is to drink eight glasses of water per day, so why should flying be an exception?
This is especially important for a longer flight. One of the ways I like to relax is to wash my face on the flight, put on some face cream and go to sleep on the plane. This helps your skin stay hydrated whilst flying at a high altitude, as well as taking care of yourself.
5. Lip Balm
Going back to the idea of dehydration, lip balm is a good thing to have when you travel. Through the excitement of everything, we might be forgetting to drink water during our trips. Therefore, putting lip balm in your carry on is a good idea, because dehydration dries out your lips. One of the worst things in the world is dried, chapped lips, so keep it on you. It is also a good idea that after you land to go on to the restroom, wash your face and put some lip balm on so you feel fresh and ready to start your trip right.
6. Folder for important documents.
When entering any new country, it is vital to keep all of your documents together in a safe location. This can just be a passport, however, you can add in printed versions of your hotel/car bookings, flight details and any letters indicating why you are visiting the country (for example if you are studying abroad, your college should provide you with a letter confirming your intentions in that country). It is always good to be organized, especially in front of customs officers, so make sure you bring everything that you might need! If you're not sure if you will need it or not, bring it just in case.
Snacks are already important to use when we are not travelling. Imagine how important they can be once we are up in the skies without the comfort of buying food whenever we want on land. You don't need to bring a whole buffet, just something you can snack on to keep you full before you land. If you can, try to stick to healthy snacks, as flying will already dehydrate you, making you unhealthier by just being on a plane. Nuts are very easy to pack, but if they aren't your thing, try protein bars or fruit that won't get too sloshy. These snacks are also a good alternative to airplane food that you might not like.
If there is anything that can make your flight better, it's comfortable socks. Taking off your shoes, putting on big fluffy socks and going to sleep on the flight is the best way to ensure that you will have a relaxing time. Most importantly, they keep you warm. After all, the small blankets on the airway can only do so much. Find a pair of your favorite socks, bring them on the plane and switch them out as soon as you are sitting down. That way, you won't have to get up and disrupt your neighbors mid-flight.
Of course, this list will not apply to everyone. You can add or take away any of the suggestions here. After all, you probably won't need travel documents if you are flying a domestic flight, nor would you need a book if you know you would have to sleep during the whole flight. It's important to keep in mind that travelling is different for everyone and the more you do it, the easier it gets.
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