In earlier and several posts, I’ve explained how I am a very fussy traveler. Frequent air commute has become inevitable ever since I got married so I gotta shift gears and change my groove to make things work for me
1. No hand-carry luggage
Travelers have different principles and purpose for their journey so I don’t expect everyone to agree with this. But I prefer not to carry anything except my everyday handbag, which is why I check everything in. It’s less taxing physically and I don’t have to fear leaving anything behind. There are times when the large check-in luggage is rather roomy and empty, but I use one since I bring my hairdryer and electronic chargers (which are not allowed inside the plane). Grateful for the age of smart phones, I can just use my iPhone (or the iPad) to chat and check email — so no need for a laptop since I don’t transact business anyway.
Some people, on the other hand, prefer to move quickly and hand-carry everything — allowing them to leave the airport quicker without having to wait at the carousel for their checked-in luggage. We also have no kids so that, too, lightens the load. I have a large enough handbag with a good zipper, one which I use everyday and can fit the following:
-large passport case
-bottle of water (which I dispose of right before the final security check)
-extra pair of underwear and a rolled up shirt (yes, for the off-chance that the checked-in luggage gets delayed or lost)
2. Wear shoes you can easily slip off
Almost all airports will require you at one point to remove your shoes during security. In other places, this can be done once more right before boarding. You see a lot of people hopping on one foot trying to raise the other to lace up their sneakers or boots because airports don’t really provide seats for shoe issues.
This matters most when you’re holding a lot of things and are in a rush in a crowded airport. I wear loafers that I can easily throw onto the plastic baskets and can drop back on the floor where I can quickly slip my feet back on like slippers without bending.
3. Minimize accessories.
We know for a fact that there will be security, and some machines can be more sensitive that others. Keep to a minimum anything that has metal on it, even gold jewelry. You don’t want to remove expensive accessories that can be subjected to a crowded and busy x-ray machine. The only thing I have on when I travel are my two everyday rings, one of which is my wedding band. If and when I do wear earrings, I wear small studs because anything larger or anything dangling can get caught every time I throw a coat on or whenever I wrap a scarf around my neck.
4. Have a passport case.
No, I don’t mean the decorative kind just to be cute.
-that protects your passport from liquid stains or from getting bent,
-that has a color that is easy to find,
-that can hold your boarding pass, pen and/or e-ticket,
-that can keep small bills for airport tax or food purchases in the airport.
I used to have an old faux leather one that served me well. for a good five years. It could carry two passports (very important if your valid visa is in an expired passport), but it was not long enough to hold my boarding pass. In a packed bag, this could get damaged or lost when taking out other items from the bag.
My current one is made of plastic and has small pockets designated even for baggage claim tags. It can contain the full-length boarding pass and can also hold bills, which comes in handy if carrying multiple currencies during the journey.
5. Dress in light layers.
Airplanes don’t really get that cold. In fact, sometimes it does get a bit warmer that I want it to — which is why I learned to keep my fundamental layer light and flexible. This recent trip, almost all the airports we went to were very warm. Even a cold airport can get hot when it gets very crowded. Narita Airport had patches where we felt the A/C was not reaching (it was also 35C), and NAIA in Manila had busted A/C’s which is why they brought out the portable, giant fans.
I also keep things simple by wearing only a layer of moisturizer (something about altitude makes my skin very, very dry!), lip balm and concealer when going on a plane. I used to even wear mascara but I ditched that because my eyes feel icky after hours of sleeping.
I wear a cotton tunic, long enough to be a mini-dress, over a thin pair of leggings (important if you eventually want to put your feet up when resting) I also wear a hat to disguise the mess that I look after a very long flight, and bring a light jacket or coat (one that I can be comfy sleeping in).
(Side note: Try not to wear dark shades inside the airport as you might be instructed to remove it by airport personnel.)
So far, these small changes go a long way for me. Hopefully, it’s advice that may come in handy for someone else.