Long Haul Flight Essentials

Long haul flight essentials

There are a lot of things people will consider to be essentials for a long haul flight. I, however, only have a list of a few small things. This is because I can sleep anywhere, do not enjoy wearing eye masks and loathe neck pillows. Also, I am excellent at keeping myself entertained/occupied with just a book.

So! I’ve grown up flying across the Pacific (think 20+ hour itineraries) and am quite a champ at weathering a long haul flight. These are what I consider to be essential. I’m flying to Hawaii today, and you bet I’ve got all of my essentials packed away in my carry on. Below my list of essentials I’ve also mentioned some things that are important but not crucial. I guess it all depends on how bare-bones you like to fly!

The Essentials

Kindle

Without my Kindle, I would wither and die. I always make sure to load more books than I think I need for the entirety of my trip (unless, of course, I am moving somewhere) because if I can’t read them all on my flight or during my vacation, I can still read them when I get back home! I much prefer Kindles over paper books for a bunch of reasons, but paper books are fine too. Or even magazines, graphic novels, newspapers, etc. Whatever you like to read that can keep you occupied for hours, go for it.

iPod

Or any music player, really. When I want to sleep on a flight, I’ll put in my headphones, turn on the music, and sleep. This can be done without music, but music is good to help drown out typical flight noises. Like a crying baby.

Cardigan/Light Sweater

Flight cabins can be pretty chilly, and there’s few things worse than being too cold to fall asleep. I know long haul flights provide a blanket and pillow to each passenger, but I like to also bring a light cardigan that I can layer with if I’m too hot or too cold. Plus, thinking in layers is always good for travel anyway.

Face Wipes

Face mists are fine too, but with the restrictions on carry on liquids I find face wipes to be easier to deal with and more practical. I never use face wipes when cleansing my face ordinarily, but last time I flew to Hong Kong without using face wipes during my flight and was alarmed at the heavy slick of oil that I washed off my face when arriving at my mom’s apartment. HORRIFYING. Having some face wipes to use during a flight, or even just before landing if one wants to freshen up, goes a long way into helping you feel human again.

Lip Balm

There is NOTHING WORSE than the feeling of lips parching and cracking due to the dry cabin air. NOTHING.

A Pen

Because you don’t want to find yourself filling out the customs form in the immigration hall while everyone zooms ahead in line with the forms they filled out during the plane ride when the flight attendants handed them out, do you?

Other Important Stuff

Snacks

Weird that this is important but not an essential, right? I used to always bring snacks on board but then I realized I rarely ever ate them, or I just felt kind of gross after eating them. (This is what I get for bringing junk food and then bingeing on it because portion control when eating out of a bag is hard.) Snacks were much more important when I was a kid, when I would hardly touch the food served in the airplane meals. But now, even if the food is finicky, I’ll manage to eat most of it, so snacks aren’t an essential for me anymore.

Extra Socks

My feet get cold easily, and I find it a little weird to use the airplane bathroom when wearing just my socks. So sometimes, if I don’t feel like putting my shoes back on, I’ll bring an extra pair of socks to use as an “outer layer” when going to the back of the plane to stretch or use the bathroom. When it comes time to put my shoes back on and get off the plane, I’ll take off the extra pair of socks, fold ‘em up and toss them in my bag to wash later.

Listerine Strips/Altoids

Brushing teeth in an airplane bathroom always seems like a lot of effort to me (hope my dentist isn’t reading this) but I’m definitely not against bringing those in carry on luggage. However, I just opt for a Listerine strip or an Altoid and consider it good enough.

Hand Sanitizer

There’s soap in the airplane bathrooms, but hand sanitizer is never a bad thing to have on hand. Just as long as it meets all of the liquid restrictions and all that.

What are some things you consider essential to pack in a carry on for a long haul flight?

Would You Live in a “Haunted” Apartment?

High rise apartments

I’ve been following the Rurik Jutting case semi-closely in the last few weeks. For those who don’t know, Jutting is a British banker who has been charged with the murders of two women in Hong Kong. Like everyone else, I was horrified by the news of the alleged murders. One woman was found with cuts to her neck and buttocks; the other was discovered in a suitcase. It’s all very gruesome and horrifying, especially for a city that, considering the size of its population, has an extremely low crime rate.

One of the news articles that popped up on my radar as I’ve been reading about the Jutting case is one that talks about how “haunted apartments” go for cheap in Hong Kong. For a culture that takes great stock in feng shui and superstitions, that comes as no surprise to me:

Superstition and geomancy beliefs run deep. Hong Kong people also shun sites close to cemeteries, hospitals and churches, which can be considered unlucky. Buildings typically omit the fourth floor because the number is a homonym for the Chinese word for death. Property developers rely on feng shui, which translates as “wind and water,” the Chinese practice of arranging the physical environment in harmony according to beliefs about energy and design.

Jutting’s apartment was in a luxurious complex heavily favored by expatriates. In other words, the $29,000HKD/$3,740USD monthly rent was quite expensive. Not that that’s necessarily true anymore; Bloomberg says that the apartment complex’s director expects the rent to have to be cut in half in order to attract a new tenant after Jutting. If the apartment were to sell immediately, the listing price would also have a significant drop.

Feng shui has always played a big role in the houses I grew up in; furniture and such was always arranged with it in mind. I’d get the heebie jeebies living in a “haunted apartment” that was the location to a grisly crime like the one Jutting is accused of committing. I’m not deeply superstitious, but I am cautious of the superstitious beliefs in Chinese culture enough to want to avoid potentially living amongst angry or vengeful spirits!

Would you ever consider living in a “haunted apartment”?

Link Love, Vol. 78

link love

This will be the last link love post for 2014! I’ll be traveling for most of the remainder of December, and I always find that link love posts are near impossible to do when on the road. Crazy to think that there are only two and a half weeks left in the year, right? Seems like just yesterday it was the end of 2013 and I was hoping with every fiber of my being that 2014 would hurry up and arrive so I could leave 2013 in the dust, haha.

Anyway, things have been full speed ahead for me lately, as is the norm. I’m plugging away at Vlogmas, but I won’t lie — it’s been harder to keep up with than it was for VEDA. I’m not going to quit, but I am glad that it’s only 24 days and not 31, heh. I’ve also debuted a brand spankin’ new blog design, courtesy of the lovely Elle from The Lady Errant. I’m in love with the pops of red!

Life
Loved Sweeney’s guest post on Christmas time shifts.

Jen writes about her experience with paying it forward.

Sarah shares five life hacks for procrastinators.

Money
NZ Muse shares the three big money lessons she’s learned this year.

Travel
I’ve always wanted to spend Christmas in Germany one year so I loved Kate’s guide to the Christmas traditions in Germany.

Fools

Girl and bonfire

Karen: Tell me, if you were in my position, what would you do?
Harry: What position is that?
Karen: Imagine your husband bought a gold necklace, and come Christmas gave it to somebody else…
Harry: Oh, Karen…
Karen: Would you wait around to find out if it’s just a necklace, or if it’s sex and a necklace, or if, worst of all, it’s a necklace and love? Would you stay, knowing life would always be a little bit worse? Or would you cut and run?
Harry: Oh, God. I am so in the wrong. The classic fool!
Karen: Yes, but you’ve also made a fool out of me, and you’ve made the life I lead foolish, too!

We were foolish in the way that only young lovebirds can be when falling in love for the first time.

But here’s the thing: at first we were fools together, but then you made a fool out of me.

I will never be made a fool again.

A cheat’s a cheat. End of story, full stop. In the rather short list of things that are unforgivable, that’s one of them; I refuse to forgive no matter how much time or history has elapsed.