I never would never imagine how much I've travelled in the last twelve months: 4 countries, 5 provinces in Canada, and 10 international airports. Countless flights being delayed, or me playing catch up on sleep when I have a long flight.
Travelling can be stressful, especially when: you are a nervous flyer or anxious about making your connection, not exactly knowing that you will be doing on your trip or how long it could possibly take. At an altitude of 32 000 ft. over The Great Lakes of Canada on my way from Toronto back home to Calgary, I was watching people packing their world into two or three small bags and fight for overhead baggage space. I started thinking, what do I need personally when I fly?
I have had quite the number of small and big trips, so rather than you being anxious about your next flight, and sharing is caring, right? Here is me sharing. My ultimate tips and tricks when it comes to my travel necessities that are practical, stylish and just plain smart in my opinion:
1. How Many Bags Do You Actually Need?
Time and time again I need is a backpack or a large purse; something that would easily fit under the seat in front of me & ideally stylish. Adding the stress of trying to put a bag overhead when you know you have a full flight literally drives me up the wall. I would rather know exactly what I have with me at my feet. Do you really want to be the person in the middle or at the window constantly making the people beside you get up every time you need a charger, a drink or a piece of gum… please do not be that person on a flight- especially a short one.
2. Be Smart
Overpacking is obviously wonderful knowing you will have every possible thing you could ever need. But let’s be realistic, you are not going to need three books, an entire picnic or enough resources to last an apocalypse. Pack the necessities.
MATTEA TIP: If you have any medication that you cannot survive without, pack in somewhere you can easily access because something can always go wrong. Advil and muscle relaxants are my saving grace for long trips.
3. Charging Up
My favourites personally, my Surface Pro 4 charger will do the job. What I love most is that it has a personal USB multi-port so if I forget an adapter I am covered- that is if I have my phone charger USB part. Bringing me to my second favourite, my phone charger. Obviously, 99% of Air Canada and international flights will have a USB port in the system, you can never be too careful, pack a phone charger or a portable charger.
Flights are long- sometimes too long. Staying hydrated is a key to my travel survival! Flights can be draining and exhausting, not to mention dry. Rather than paying $5.00 for a bottle of water at the airport, pack a reusable water bottle that you can fill up past security. If you know that you will have to leave the airport to re-connect or when you come back to the airport, this makes you worry about one less thing to purchase for your in-flight convenience. Make a conscious effort to be Green and at the same time, if you are clever, pack juice crystal packets so that you can add something sweeter to your trip.
MATTEA TIP: IF you happen to get a little light headed like I do, having juice crystal packets on hand make the world of different pre-take-off and when you are in the air.
- S’WELL® 17oz. BLONDE WOOD BOTTLE [$35.00]
I am always hungry. I am not a picky eater, but in-flight food may not be the most delicious or nutritious. I would budget before my travels to make sure that I would be able to buy a travel meal prior boarding that I could have at my convenience if I knew it would be a long flight or if it was a time I was traditionally hungry at.
6. Make Friends with The Flight Crew
These individuals can make or break your flight. Think about it for a second. Greet them when you get on the flight and smile. Listen to their instructions even if you are a frequent flyer. Yes, this is one of my biggest tips. If you have an overpacked flight and you do not want your luggage in the undercarriage and you are kind to them, while someone else is grumpy- who do you think they would pick? You have an empty flight, and they can upgrade someone. Those impressions matter because it could be you sitting with crying babies all around you, a child kicking your seat and the parent(s) think it’s ‘cute’, or there is someone that smells like Italian meat sitting beside you (true story, happened to my mom)… or because you were kind, you are sipping champagne in first class with extra legroom.
7. Layers & Locations
Freezing your butt off or boiling pre-flight is a true challenge. This time, in particular, to give you a perfect example: it’s September 16, 2018, and flying back from Toronto home to Calgary. It was 26 degrees in Toronto, on the plane pre-take off I would say close to 30. When I land back in Calgary with my Dad, we will be jumping into 7 degrees, and the possibility of snow. Instead of dressing for one place versus the other, I opted for a lightweight turtle-neck, a faux leather jacket, a light scarf that doubles as a blanket and boots. If I get too hot I can take my jacket and scarf off. Too cold and I can use my scarf as a blanket.
MATTEA TIP: Check the weather before and after so you know what you are getting yourself into. Also, very important depending on the time of year and if the weather can be a little difficult to know unless it is a regular adventure for you.
7. Pamper Yourself. Lads, This Includes You Too.
Jumping back to hydration. Flights are dry & long, and you feel gross after. Easy quick fix, bring three basic things and I promise you will feel phenomenal post-mini-nap or a transatlantic flight. Moisturizer, cleansing face wipes and breath mints. This will rejuvenate you and make you feel clean no matter how long you have been sitting beside +30 rows of 6 to 9 people per row. Dry hands or face, having moisturizer as long as within the liquid/gel requirements, or especially having your favourite(s) in personalized travel containers can make you feel wonderful. If you have an in-flight meal, snack or simply aren’t feeling as fresh as you want to: breath mints or strips. Easy solution and take up no room at all. Cleansing face wipes keep everything fresh for both men and women! Ladies, I would also suggest a couple of your favourite makeup products if you are flying on a red-eye or travelling for an extensive amount of time to re-apply or simply touch-up. When I flew to Egypt for Miss Intercontinental, I knew that I needed a great photo pre-arrival for the organization to use on social media, but I also knew my hair and makeup would not last +40 hours. So, I packed the following items to make sure I was photo-ready and pageant-prepared upon arrival that was easily accessible, within my limits of liquids and gels and would make me feel and look my best, the photo is what a bit of pampering can do after +40 Hours of International Travel:
- TART® AMAZONIAN CLAY 12-HOUR PAAARTY BLUSH [$38.00]
- MAC® BRAVE SATIN LIPSTICK [$23.00]
- L’OREAL PARIS® TRUE MATCH SUPER-BLENDABLE NEUTRAL (N2) POWDER (comes with a sponge and mirror) [$8.97]
- NEUTROGENA® NATURALS PURIFYING MAKEUP REMOVER CLEANSING TOWELETTES [$7.99]
8. Travel in Style & With Ease
No, I am not staying a private jet, business class or even upgrading. One thing that I love seeing is people who travel constantly seem to have a passport holder. A stylish and practical travel case that allows you to easily access all your travel documents, personal identifications, some will even hold your phone. Rummaging through all of your papers, or things in your ideally organized luggage is not always fun when there is a long line behind you, make things easy on yourself and get organized and on a budget. Here is mine, one was a gift and the other I got from Amazon.
- PASSPORT HOLDER [$18.99]
9. Lean Back & Relax
I have tried not to be tired when I travel and to be productive. We all plan to get work down when we travel- or at least I try to stay on top of content creation, mocking up emails and editing video, which side note: I am still behind on since my decrowning in July and the inventive school work since I am in my last year of my undergraduate. I was literally working on an emergency marketing plan due when I was boarding my flight to Toronto on Thursday of last week. But here’s the thing, you are allowed to sit back and relax. Enjoy the book I hope to god you packed, the in-flight movie or just close your eyes if you are behind on your sleep. Trust me, one I am done creating #10 I will be shutting my eyes for the duration of this flight.
MISS INTERCONTINENTAL VLOG COMING SOON
10. A Pen
So many people forget that if they are flying internationally, there is absolutely documentation that is going to be filled out on the plane. It is so easy to pop a pen in your bag and it will definitely be something you’ll ask someone for if you don’t have one, or you’ll hear someone asking someone else if they can borrow a pen. Have some common sense and be prepared with the little things that will make flying convenient and effortless.
There you have it, my personalized trips and tricks to making the most of flying and what I deem to be my necessities to survive travel, or at least when I have learned and use to travel. If you have any “I cannot survive without” Tips & Tricks, share them by commenting below! We can all do with a trick or two to make travelling literally a breeze.