My Long-Haul Travel Observations & Carry On Must Haves

I’m missing another Music Monday post this week, and am posting a ‘Things I learnt about long-haul travel’ list instead.

Our trip to Canada in July was my first big trip, and the first time I had been out of New Zealand since I was five; while we were away I started a list called ‘long-haul lessons’ and decided to share it with you. I have been meaning to post this since we got back but it seems I’ve been rather food obsessed lately… 

Long-Haul Lessons:

  1. Don’t assume all flights will have outlets to charge my devices – Our flight from Auckland to Vancouver didn’t have outlets and by the time we got to Vancouver my phone was almost dead; luckily I had packed a power bank in my carry on so was able to charge my phone a bit while we were waiting for our Toronto boarding call.
  2. Noise Cancelling headphones don’t cancel the sound of a screaming child – The flight from Auckland to Vancouver was about 12 hours, and there were three babies in our section of the plane. Two of the babies screamed for (pretty much) the entire flight; as much as those babies annoyed me, I felt really sorry for the parents.
  3. I REALLY hate turbulence – The turbulence on our flight from Auckland to Vancouver was pretty bad, at one point the plane started shaking and then dropped (it felt like a huge earthquake), I started crying and woke my sleeping husband who told me it was normal and that he had flown through worse and then smiled at me. The smile was apparently supposed to be comforting, but it looked more like a grimace and I thought he was laughing at me for overreacting.
  4. Decent bras are a must – An ill-fitting bra and bad turbulence isn’t fun. I made sure to buy some bras while we were in Toronto so I had a comfortable one to wear on our return flights.
  5. Go for practical, not cute – I bought a fox eye mask at a stationery chain store for the trip and it broke as soon as we left Auckland. I was not impressed.
  6. The gluten free option on Air New Zealand is pretty good.
  7. I find it incredibly hard to fall asleep on planes – I think the bulk of this has to do with me being shit scared of turbulence. Every single jolt wakes me up.
  8. If I am travelling with you, you will most get on my nerves at some point.

Carry-On Must Haves:

  1. A document wallet – I’m going to start with the obvious first, because apparently a large number of people pack their document wallets in with their checked luggage… Inside my wallet I have my passport, boarding passes, travel insurance information and any other documents I’ll need.
  2. Prescription and essential non prescription medication– I had a bag makeup bag filled with medication. I keep my prescription medication in its box and had to change my name at my GP before we left so the name on the box was the same as it appears on my passport (I was still using my maiden name). I made sure to get a letter from my doctor saying what medication I had incase I got stopped at immigration and packed a week’s extra medication incase any of our flights were delayed.
  3. Noise cancelling headphones – while they didn’t eliminate the sound of the screaming babies they did cancel out a lot of other noises (people snoring; anyone who knows me knows how much I HATE the sound of people snoring).
  4. Travel size toiletries I had two toiletry bags, in one I had a mini toothbrush, some tissues, a travel size pack of face wipes a travel size stick deodorant and a solid perfume. The other was a clear ziplock bag, and in this I had some moisturiser, an eye cream, some toothpaste, a toner (which I used as a face mist) and some hand sanitiser.
  5. A journal and some pens – I love writing and doodling.
  6. Electronics – my must have electronics are my phone, a power bank, my camera and my iPad (I mainly have games on my iPad, as it’s specifically for long journeys/keeping me entertained when I’m bored)

Things I packed but didn’t need:

  1. A travel pillow – getting comfortable with this thing was so awkward, I was better off without it. I made sure to pack it in with my checked luggage on our return lights.
  2. My Kindle – I bought the kindle specifically for the flight and loaded it with a bunch of eBooks, but didn’t look at it once.

What are your travel must-have. and are there any lessons you have learnt that you want to share with a travel newbie? If so, let me know.

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