Frequent flyer: what’s in the bag?

We unpack what frequent flyer SJ packs in her carry on luggage.

Frequent flyer: what’s in the bag?

SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her plane essentials include noise-cancelling headphones, a solid Spotify playlist, sleeping tablets, an eyemask and a large scarf that doubles as a blanket on cold flights – i.e. every night.

There is a definite art to correctly packing and managing your carry-on luggage. Here we take a sneak peek into one of our frequent flyers hand luggage to see what’s in her bag. 

What's your carry on of choice?
By some miracle, given I am likely to take my entire wardrobe with me when I travel, I now usually travel with carry on luggage only as it really does make life easier. The point being that technically speaking I often will only be allowed my carry on luggage (I swear by Samsonite’s B’Lite 55cm Spinner). If I'm travelling in this way I will take my small Hedgren Shoulder Bag which fits a surprising amount for such a compact looking bag. 

Thanks to a new trick I've recently learnt and when I'm travelling with checked luggage I take a tote bag.

What one item can't you live without onboard?
My ear planes! Not glamorous by any means but after bursting my eardrum on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney flying is much more enjoyable and pain free with them in. If your ears have trouble adjusting to the pressure, pop them in for take off and landing. You won't look back. 

Are you a books person or team iPad/e-reader?
In theory I like the idea of e-readers and not having to lug around multiple books. But for me there's still something about turning physical pages that means I very much prefer a physical book. However books can be hard to manage on the tube on the way to work so lately I've got into audio books ... baby steps!

lady reading an ipad on a plane

Do you carry a spare change of clothes?
Yes and no. While I don't generally carry a spare outfit as such I always travel in at least four layers – a singlet, long sleeve, jumper and jacket. I also never set off without a scarf. By default this gives me options whatever the weather or temperature and in case of any major mishaps. Sometimes I'll also throw in my gym tights for comfort on long haul flights. Scarves are super versatile and can be fashioned into a skirt, sarong, dress or even a blanket on cold planes.

Talk us through your snacks.
First up, let me say snacks are the key to surviving travel. All that time in transit, not too mention unexpected delays! I like to try and eat as healthy as possible the majority of the time, which isn't really conducive to eating airport or plane food. I always take at least one apple, and a few protein bars as well as a big bottle of water. This is enough to tide me over in case any unexpected onslaught of hunger.

To neck pillow or not to?
I’d love to say no – they are such a pain in the bum. However, they do make sleeping so much easier, particularly in terms of stopping your head from lolling about. Generally, if it's anything under a four hour flight, it's a no from me, and anything over a definite yes. And as for the inflatable ones that's always a no, anyone else who has experienced one of them deflating on you mid-sleep will understand why!



    To make a comment, please register or login
    Ageing but not getting old
    5th Nov 2016
    Regarding taking a big bottle of water with you.....I think it depends on where you're travelling from/to. I haven't travelled within Australia for a number of years, so I can't remember. However, my last trip two years ago, to the US on Etihad, I seem to recall that at more than one boarding point, I was told they don't allow any liquids in quantity to be taken on-board, including a water bottle. You would be allowed to take one of the airline's OFF the plane, but not on. I had two episodes, one boarding for the US out of Dubai, where they confiscated it, and a bigger one on my way back, where I wanted to take about 500ml of distilled water on for my CPAP machine (long flight between Dubai & NY, then Washington DC to Dubai. We discussed it at great length; I had pictures of the orig bottle with me, had the CPAP machine with me (allowed to carry medical equipment on in addition to carry on piece) etc. Even offered them or me to take a sip of the water, which they declined. Finally wore them down, took it on, used it with the CPAP and managed to grab about 4 hours sleep; not ideal, but better than nothing.

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