Leiha’s Top 10 packing essentials for flying overseas

I’ve packed for Italy, I began throwing things in a suitcase a week ago and started the whittle down process tonight and actually squeezed everything into my suitcase and carry on. I know there are people who travel with just a carry on, I am not that person. My toiletries take up half my suitcase and I’m only bringing the essentials! Unfortunately, the older I get, the more essentials I need, ok, there are wants and there are needs. They’re almost the same to me. Here are my packing essentials.

  1. Ear buds: My phone is connected to my blue tooth speakers in the house (which I’m also bringing) and in my car so I don’t use ear buds normally BUT when flying internationally, most airlines will have tons of free movies and tv shows and they’re usually pretty current. Sometimes you they will give you free ear buds, sometimes you have to pay. #cheapasian doesn’t like paying but I do like free movies (well, free for the price of a plane ticket) when I can’t sleep and don’t feel like reading.
  2. Throw Pillow: I like to sleep on my side so I always snuggle with a small rectangular pillow. I also love to travel with it. I always fly on a window seat and use my pillow on the flight. I’ve tried the U shaped pillows they sell at the airport but it doesn’t prop up as well next to the window. I also take the pillow with me to the beach, not all beaches are sandy and it just feels better to have a pillow with me. Unfortunately, my last pillow didn’t survive the last washing so I just bought a new one at Ross. It’s a little bigger than my old one but will still fit in my giant purse.
  3. Giant Purse: I bought a cross shoulder purse to bring with me on this trip but I couldn’t bring myself to use it. I need my giant purse. It’s amazing the amount of stuff that I can fit in it, including my computer. It’s an absolute must for me.
  4. Ear plugs: I keep my ear plugs in my giant purse. I can usually sleep on a plane for at least an hour or two , maybe more if the sleep Gods are with me but not if there are kids or loud talkers around. To be fair, I am that loud talker when I haven’t seen Su or Nancy for awhile and we’re on a plane together. Ear buds aren’t enough to cancel out the noise but ear plugs do a fantastic job of it. Also fabulous when traveling with snorers (and if I’m exhausted, I’m one of those snorers).
  5. Pashmina: I get cold, often and easily. If I’m hot, then everyone else is boiling. When flying, I need my pashmina to help keep me warm. It’s also fantastic to wear in the evenings as a scarf or wrap. The hardest part is deciding which one to bring.
  6. Sleeping Pills: When I was younger, I had the gift of sleep. I could sleep anywhere and everywhere. Once while waiting on a flight in the Army, and we were hanging out on the tarmac. I put my helmet on and laid on the ground and went to sleep. Before joining the Army I had to do a hearing test. I had to get up early to go to the MEPs station in Seattle. They put headphones on me and put me in a sound proof booth and I pushed the button whenever I heard a beep. They came in to check the equipment because it wasn’t working. Nope, I fell asleep during my hearing test. Over the years my gift of sleep has disappeared. It really is true, the older you get, the less sleep your body needs. Wahhhh! It takes me forever for my body clock to get adjusted. In Vietnam I was waking up at 4am on a regular basis, same with Scotland. Needless to say, when the others are up and ready, I’m read for a nap. So as much as I hate taking pills, I need them so that I’m not a zombie on my first week of vacation.
  7. Inflatable pillow: Two pillows! What a diva! Well, I’m short. Gasp! I know, a shocker. My dad promised me a growth spurt, I’m still waiting. I use an inflatable pillow to rest my feet on. In some airplanes, my feet don’t touch the ground and that’s hell on my knees. This helps make my flight so much more comfortable. I set my feet on the pillow and it takes a lot of the pressure off of my knees and I’m less likely to have cankles when I land.
  8. Lip Balm: Seriously, if I was on Survivor, this would be my luxury item. There is only one specific brand that I use,  DCT (Daily Conditioning Treatment). I took 3 tubs with me to Vietnam but I lost 2 of them while there. Had to buy a back up balm, I was getting so low, my lips were not happy. I’m an addict but I figure it’s not a bad addiction to have, my lips look half the age of my face. I won’t say how many I’m bringing with me on this trip.
  9. Backup glasses: I always think about bringing a spare pair of glasses but never did. I mean, how often do our glasses break? Well, I was in New Orleans in January and my glasses broke just switching between my glasses and sunglasses. It snapped and super glue wasn’t going to do the trick. Trust me, I tried. Luckily my sister was flying in the next day so she was able to bring me my back up pair. I won’t have the luxury of someone flying in my glasses (I looked like a rock star sitting at dinner with my sunglasses on, it was the only way I could see) to Italy so I’m packing them…just in case.
  10. Backpack or tote bag: I’ve gone on some trips not bringing a tote bag and I’ve regretted it. Usually on vacation, you’re going to be out for hours at a time, if not all day. It’s great to have a bag to carry your water, your camera, sunscreen and jacket in. It’s also convenient when you want to shop (in my case I like to have food in my bag).

 

Su has a her packing essentials list, we have different priorities. What are some of your packing essentials when traveling? I know there are more things I can add to my list but 10 seemed such a nice number.

Leiha

I like to eat, sleep and experience the world, one meal at a time.

22 thoughts on “Leiha’s Top 10 packing essentials for flying overseas

  • August 12, 2016 at 12:30 pm
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    #1 RE: #8…you’re asian you are never going to look old. #2 I am Cherry Su as regards packing thus henceforth I shall refer to packing as “hey I am going to have to Cherry Su it” and find out the surprise pack when I get there. It’s not like I know how to color coordinate in the first place.

    Reply
    • August 12, 2016 at 7:24 pm
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      LOL I’m very rarely packed ahead of time. That’s why I start throwing things into a suitcase early.

      I will age eventually and it will be fast and ugly. Have to enjoy it while I can. 🙂

      Reply
  • August 12, 2016 at 12:54 pm
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    1. My number one don’t leave home without it….Earplugs! I have a specific kind I like, so I buy in bulk from the local contractors store. Plus, that way I can put them on my Dad’s business account…LoL!!

    2. Snacks. To keep my hangry inner gremlin under control. (The struggle is real.)

    3. A travel bottle of dish soap.

    4. A notepad. For those times when someone recommends something really cool—I can jot it down real quick before my 2 second attention span forgets what we’re talking about.

    Happy travels!! Can’t wait to see and hear all about it!

    Reply
    • August 12, 2016 at 7:28 pm
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      Thanks Nic, it’s my first time going to Italy and I’m super excited!

      I always think about buying snacks but it’s usually when I’m on my way to the airport and I don’t have time to stop. I did have time to make a 7-11 run before I went to Scotland and I think I cleaned out the store (and barely ate anything, my Scottish friends got to see what a pig I am when I unpacked my purse, LOL).

      What do you have the dish soap for? That’s a new one for me.

      I keep notes on my phone but I couldn’t find some the other day, I think they got deleted so now I’m worry. Good idea about the notebook!

      Reply
  • August 12, 2016 at 1:11 pm
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    My must haves: a sweater cause I get cold so easily, reading glasses cause I’m blind without them, lip balm–one of my life necessities along with water & food, AND a book or 2 to read because I’m a bookaholic!

    Reply
    • August 12, 2016 at 9:10 pm
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      I will be wearing a sweater on to the plane and bringing my SEP book with me. 🙂

      Reply
    • August 13, 2016 at 9:08 am
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      dish soap is primarily for the tiny human that travels with me…she insists on using a pacifier…and cups with lids, so I wash them during travel 🙂 it’s a funky world out there

      Gosh after last night I think I may need to jump on the sleep aid train with you!! I sleep great at home, but man the past two weekends I’ve been out of town and gotten about 4hrs each night… No Bueno!

      Reply
      • August 13, 2016 at 9:47 am
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        Ahhh, makes sense with the little one.

        Oh man, 4 hours sleep and a toddler, I can’t even imagine! Can’t hurt to pack some sleeping pills, just in case. I hate when I’m so exhausted I can’t sleep. Or can’t shut my brain off and can’t sleep. Or body clock is set so I can’t sleep. When I’m at home, I just accept it (because I don’t like taking pills) but when I’m traveling, I don’t want to spend a week exhausted trying to get my body clock set.

        Reply
    • August 12, 2016 at 9:11 pm
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      OMG, someone else who uses DCT? I thought I was the only one who used it (and kept them in business). I buy 12 tubs at a time from Amazon, I do not want to run out! No wonder I like you!

      Reply
  • August 12, 2016 at 1:57 pm
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    LOL you and your lip balm! They don’t sell that brand here so if you need to, ship some before you leave 🙂

    My pillow, which is a blanket and a blow up pillow in a cover. I generally am on long haul so usually get a blanket and pillow so mostly I just use it as a pillow. I keep my ear plugs inside the cover and usually some candy to suck on take off and landing , otherwise I get earache.

    Water as it can get dry.

    Purse big enough to fit my iPad or I do a purse within a big purse. Chargers galore for iPad, phone, fitbit and international adapter.

    I always find it hard to concentrate on the flight, so will have ear bugs for the movies, or music and the iPad to read on, but mostly spend my time trying to sleep and end up drifting in and out of sleep nearly the whole time.

    Reply
    • August 12, 2016 at 9:16 pm
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      Your travel blanket came in handy for me in Scotland, I do get cold.

      I’m bringing lots of lip balm but maybe I’ll grab one more just in case…

      Reply
  • August 12, 2016 at 3:05 pm
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    I’ve started bringing/taking a decongestant for flying because my ears don’t “pop” without it, and that’s painful! I also feel like I need some kind of snack with me at all times. Almonds are a good one because a) they don’t get squished in your bag, b) a few almonds nicely fill in the hunger holes, and c) they’re relatively healthy. I save my unhealthy calories for all the eating and drinking I’ll do after I arrive!

    Reply
    • August 12, 2016 at 9:18 pm
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      Cheryl, that’s so healthy of you but I like snacks that are meals, like spam musubi, lol.

      Reply
  • August 12, 2016 at 3:16 pm
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    Awesome list, my Sistah! And yes, my list is a bit different, LOL!

    Reply
    • August 12, 2016 at 9:19 pm
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      I know some of your musts, can’t wait to read the whole list!

      Reply
  • August 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm
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    I use my earbuds for earplugs, I just put some soft music on and it blocks most noises… but I do pack earplugs. They are for everyone else who has to listen to me snore at my destination.
    I second #10! It is so handy to have a bag that folds up small when you don’t need it and BAM!! you have a bag to hold everyone’s stuff for them when we leave the house.
    My guess is this will be on Su’s list, but since Vietnam small packs of wet wipes are a must pack for me also. So handy!… On that note I had better get going to the store to pick up some essentials for Italy. Cant Wait!

    Reply
    • August 12, 2016 at 9:26 pm
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      You can sleep thru more than I can. The ear buds aren’t enough for me. You know what a delicate flower I am.

      Yeah, you having an extra bag is nice for me who doesn’t like to carry my own stuff. I really missed you in Scotland, lol.

      Reply
  • August 13, 2016 at 6:08 am
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    I don’t know what it is about traveling, but something about knowing I won’t have my closet full of choices always makes me overpack….and it’s usually shoes! But I have to have black shoes, brown shoes and usually some sort of casual tennis shoes…oh and flip flops!

    Reply
    • August 13, 2016 at 8:24 am
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      Yeah, shoes take up a lot of my suitcase space. I normally only wear one pair of flip flops but I need to have options!

      Reply
  • August 15, 2016 at 5:31 am
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    Tennis shoes are a must for me. I always plan on a lot of walking. And I’m addicted to Chap Stick but I’m curious now and want to try your DCT. I can’t wait to see Cherry Su’s list!

    Reply
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