Have the most comfortable flight possible. When you’re spending more than a few hours on a plan you need to look after yourself. Come prepared by bringing the proper gear. These are our ten travel essentials for the modern man:
1. Cabin-size roller case: Don’t screw this up with a duffel bag. Boarding aircraft of any size with a duffle bag thrown over your shoulder should be left to the kids, not the international playboy. It’s also important to protect your valuables, having a firm shell around your laptop, camera and other fragile belongings is must when you need to squeeze your case into the overhead locker. Or, the more likely scenario, the lady behind you thinks crushing your belongings under her carry-on is acceptable.
2. Garment bag: You’ve invested in a good wardrobe and have pieces you hope to enjoy for years. Therefore, they deserve to be properly protected. Bring your garments onboard and save on checked luggage. Plus, it affords you the added luxury of a fresh shirt upon arrival.
3. Headphones: This should be a no-brainer, but it doesn’t stop a lot of frequent flyers relying on standard issue airline headphones. For the serious audiophile, noise-canceling is the only choice. Over-ear or on-ear headphones are best for that elusive long haul comfort. Invest in a decent pair and you will shock yourself just how much you use them. Having recently purchased a pair of high-end Sennheiser headphones myself, their cost-per-use is dropping dramatically.
4. Cashmere/wool sweater: For the ultimate in warm-yet-packable clothing, a 100% cashmere sweater is the way to go. It can get mighty cold during a long flight. Throwing on a sweater is going to feel real good halfway through that in-air feature film. If cashmere is not an option then Merino wool is your next best bet.
5. A book: Between departure and arrival you have plenty of time to put a serious dent in a worthy novel, if not finish it outright. Power off your electronics and enjoy the pleasure of a well written book. Call me old-fashioned, but it’s always best to have an actual paperbound book. You know you’re going to drop it. Better a book than your $600 iPad. And if you’re trying to catch some sleep, get there faster with the help of a literary professional.
6. Eye mask: Even though it’s sometimes impossible to sleep during the flight, resting your eyes is incredibly helpful. It also sends a strong message: you’re not to be bothered! There are very fine eye masks at Otis Batterbee.
7. Good socks: You are going to want to kick those shoes off and be as relaxed as possible. Choose socks you’re happy to show off and keep in the heat. Wool is generally a good choice.
8. Toothbrush + toothpaste: It’s still a wonder that more men don’t board planes with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Freshen up before landing and properly start your arrival by warding off any signs of jet lag. Get off the plan feeling clean and fresh.
9. Facewash + moisturizer: Airplanes are filled with dry, artificial air that will wreak havoc on your skin. No matter the destination every man needs to look after his skin. You’ll feel better and looked refreshed. You never know who’ll meet on a flight, so look your best.
10. A pen: Whether you’re filling out you customs card or just writing down some thoughts, you should always carry your own! Don’t bother the flight attendants or those around you with such a sophmoric request.