I was counting down the other day and realized I’ve been here in Chicago for almost half a year already! Time flies when you’re having fun, right? This Saturday, I’m leaving on a jet plane and heading back to my hometown of DC. I can’t wait! It’s actually a really convenient trip because I have a work conference the first three days, then I’ll be staying for some pleasure. My Mom’s birthday was also just this past Monday, so we’ll get to celebrate that, too!
Related Post: What to do at a conference in DC
Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a type-A planner. I always know what’s going on and what I might potentially need. Which of course, leads me to end up packing way too much on trips. I’m really trying to be better. So here are my tips and guidelines that I (try to) follow when traveling.
In Flight Essentials
What to Wear on a Flight
A quick flight from Chicago to DC isn’t usually my issue. It’s not like you’ll be napping (maybe you will) or need to stay comfy sitting for over 5 hours. I’m more worried about my flight to San Diego in November or Jamaica this February. I think the best thing is to dress comfortably and warm, and you’ll do well for the entire flight.
Things to be wary for in comfy attire:
Sandals or flip flops might seem like a comfy and easy idea, but unless you have TSA Pre-Check, you’re going to have to take your shoes off through security. No body wants to walk on that gross floor in bare feet.
Maxi dresses and skirts might also seems like a good idea. They can be super versatile especially if you’re traveling to different climates, or if you like to tuck your legs underneath you when sitting in the plane for a long period of time. However, avoid them at all costs because most security will need to pat you down if you’re wearing a maxi skirt or dress. It’s not only awkard but eats up a lot of extra time, especially if there’s no female TSA agent around your vicinty.
Things to aim for:
Pack warm layers. Airplanes can be notoriously chilly or you could even be stuck next to the dude who insists on opening the air vent on full-blast right next to you. Pack extra warm comfy socks and a cardigan or blanket scarf that you can drape over yourself. Your cardigan or blanket scarf can also double as a pillow if you need to rest your head.
My go-to outfit is leggings with a cute t and cardigan with slip on shoes. It’s perfect that graphic tees, like this, are super in right now. The only time I’ll stray away from slip on shoes (easy for security!) is if I’m packing boots. Since boots are so heavy, you’ll want to wear the heaviest pair of shoes when you’re traveling. Most likely, I’ll be wearing my new booties, so I’m going to pair them with my purple jeggings and black mossimo tee, and blanket scarf.
What to Pack on a Long Flight
As most already know, you can only have one person item and one carry-on. So if you’re planning on taking your luggage as your carry-on, your personal item must be very efficient. I tend to check my bag but on quick flights from Chicago to DC, it’s sometimes more efficient to carry-on.
I like to switch out to a small cross-body for work trips, especially when you want to go out and venture around the city, you’ll want something small. Then for on the flight, you can carry a larger tote as your “personal item” throw your crossbody into that tote, and have more space for goodies. I’ll be taking my Jo Totes bag and removing the camera inserts. Since it has a laptop sleeve and lots of pockets, this will be perfect for my meeting as I’ll need to carry my laptop and hand-outs to all of my committee meetings.
You’ll also want to pick up some snacks before you board your plane. After you pass security, pick up some filling, high-protein items that you can snack on in the flight. You can buy similar things during your flight but for double the price. So pick up some trail mix, jerky, a sandwich, etc. Try to avoid the chips and sugary candy. If you’re really hungry, you’ll just crash and end up being hangry on the flight instead. No one should be hangry on a flight, ever. Also grab a big ol’ bottle of water. They will give you water whenever you need on the flight but it’s a pain to have that small cup that you’ll need to call the flight attendant to refill, and also having the tray down the entire flight is irritating. Your water bottle can be easily stored in the seat back or on the ground by your feet.
Last Minute Flight Tricks
If you download music, you should find some music that you are into and download them on to your phone. If you’re a Spotify premium member, like me. You can save songs or albums to listen to without streaming them. So download a few albums or a playlist or two so you can listen to all your music faves before you have to turn your phone to airplane mode.
If you’re more into watching movies, you can always download a movie the night before too.
Lastly, bring face wipes and keep the make-up to a minimum. The air in the plane is super stale and gross so I like to take face wipes that I can use right after I get off the plane to cleanse my face.
Now, all you need to do is make sure you pack all the right clothes without over packing….I’ll probably be doing laundry and packing on Friday night. Whoops!
What are your flight essentials?