I am always intrigued by what my fellow travelers have in that giant, walrus-sized bag that they try to stuff into the overhead bin or under my seat.  Don’t misunderstand – I am a firm believer in not checking a bag if at all possible. It is the other bag with the personal belongings that gets accessed during the flight. Personally, I believe that there are a few essential items that any traveler needs and these decrease if you are sitting “up front” as opposed to “the back”.   I’m not gonna lie, if at all possible, this New Look of 60 Gal always tries to be in front!

So, in no particular order, this is what I  have in my personal bag every.single.time.– unless, of course, I forget something and then I’m just crabby (for example:  on a trip to Hong Kong, I left literally my entire face at home on a counter….this resulted in getting off of a reeeaaaalllllyyyy long flight to shop for make up goodies in the local Sephora.)  The Good Doctor was NOT as excited as I was about this shopping experience.  Note:  This Lipault bag was originally purchased for Africa.  We took quite a few small plane flights and were severely limited as to weight of luggage.  This also happened on our way to Azura.

FOOD & BEVERAGES:   This is much more important if I am in “the back”. Bring some water and energy drink of some sort. I have a friend who always has her favorite tea and “Emergen-C” powders with her. A favorite protein bar ( look for 8 grams or less of sugar in each bar to keep them healthy) or 2 is always helpful and, I always have almonds. I  do not like the smell of fast food in a small enclosed tube for hours on end. Pick up a small salad and/or sandwich just before you board (this keeps you from eating food out of plastic wrap in a box). Of course, if you have landed the ever elusive upgrade or bought the ticket to Champagne boarding and real food (still not healthy food but….), you do not need the items above unless you just cannot live without them.

CREDIT CARDS:   Forgot to bring a beverage and food or just want some truly awful wine or a beer, if you are behind the curtain, you are out of luck without credit cards. Most airlines do not accept cash, cards ONLY!  Hope for friendly person up front who will run wine back to you or, a great seat-pal with drink coupons.

ESSENTIALS MEDS:  Anything you may need during the flight ( if you are checking bags, always put ALL of your meds in your carry on). Neither The Good Doctor nor I take medications regularly but, we always have ibuprofen, a favorite cold medication and sleep medicine for those International flights – MANDATORY when in back. Our sleep medicines of choice are Ibuprofen-PM and Ambien – talk with your PCP about what would be best for you.

READS AND VIEWS:   This has become so much easier with ipads, kindles, pcs, etc.  I vividly recall those days of lugging the 5 pounds of books onboard.  It makes my shoulders hurt to think about it!  I still bring my Wall Street Journal (The Good Doctor  has a USA Today)   My books are loaded and, being a lucky girl, I normally have a screen in my pod upfront for movies and documentaries).   Of course, I still have those magazines that I really need – like who ever really needs fashion magazines?  The  magazine thing started LONG AGO when my mother pointed out that one must fly with a “fresh” and “unopened” magazine as a part of “polite” travel.   You will inevitably have seen the movies that are available or the entertainment system will be broken.  It’s happening… somewhat prepared for the fake “shock” on the attendant’s face (she’s had 6 other people tell her the same thing).  Ahhhhh….today’s travel, right?!

IT’S A WRAP:   Repeat after me, there are no blankets or pillows on domestic flights except possibly Hawaii (and those that are available are cootie-ridden or snot-coated by the 3 year old that used them in the previously flight).   And, whether “up front” or “in back”, it is nice to have something that the last passenger did not drool on! It can be a great sweater, sweatshirt or a coat or wrap. For me it is a great cashmere pashmina wrap that I purchased on a recent trip to Turkey– it is soft, warm and fits easily in my bag.  I like to “cocoon” in it with my Bose Earbuds in to block noise and read my iPad in total dark and silence before sleeping.  Please don’t judge…….I am definitely a WINDOW gal….or, somewhat anti-social.


You may have personal choices (items) that would make your flight a lot easier.  I would love to have you leave a comment with your fave goodies!  A few words of caution – wrap around neck pillows and eye shades. If you decide to purchase either one, please spend a little more money and forsake the cheap lower-end ones. Cheap pillows, even those with a “soft cover” become very uncomfortable the longer the flight lasts. Purchase an eyeshade that has a soft lining, keeps the light out and is not so snug that it is uncomfortable after a few minutes – it will be awful after a few hours.   And finally, please please please do not walk around the airport wearing the neck pillow (normally in the shape of a Unicorn or other cutsie animal) – it looks so so so….. as does that head cover (again, usually an alien….pig head….you get the idea)

Travel more. Explore. Enjoy.










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