Transcontinental jetsetting.

So flying to HK from San Francisco clocks in around 14 hours and is not for the feint of heart. By the end of our stay here on the other edge of the earth (and given both our love of our families and the number of weddings we’ll likely be heading back home for) I hope to nail the essentials of jetsetting both in style and in comfort. We’ve taken close to a half dozen of these epic voyages in the last six months and here’s what I’ve got so far–I’ll be back with more additions to this list:

1. Arcona Pads. Wash your face, without actually washing it. These little guys are awesome because they do a great job of getting all that inevitable sweat that comes with shlepping all those bags and / or rushing at some point to get through security or to the gate or what have you. No towel or water required and the raspberry scent (my favorite) is so relaxing. These things do wonders for my breakout prone skin.

2. The Kindle. Okay, yes, obvi. But you have no idea how much I love my Kindle and to think that I once thought I would never ever get past my love of “holding an actual book, oh and the smell of the musty pages, and the beauty of the typeface,” but yea, I’m a convert now. In my opinion, despite the fact that my techie husband also (lucky for me) got us an iPad, this is still the no. 1 travel device. [Note: the iPad does not work for reading on the beach or by the pool--not only is it hard to read with the glare, but it overheats easily and shuts down.] It has literally cutdown my packing load by 20+ pounds (and those weight limits are no joke traveling internationally). Downloading a few new titles is also the perfect activity while waiting in the gate area. (And, stay tuned for some forthcoming book reports on the Far East–I’ve been reading up on Asia to get ready for this.)

3. Forever New Travel Packs. You’re supposed to use this fine detergent for your lingerie and delicates, but they’re also super handy for having to do a little wash in your hotel (and saving you from paying $15 to get the Mr.’s boxers washed). They also do double duty as stain remover.

4. Skinceuticals B5 Hydrating Masque. So more on the skin troubles… after you’ve had you’ve settled in and had your breakfast, sneak into the bathroom and wash your face and put this on. I leave it on for the entire flight–it’s not obvious in that wrteched plane light and it really protects your face and prevents massive drying out.

5. Cashmere socks or slippers. Any will do really, but I am obsessed with these. I wish they weren’t $300! Maybe I will have to learn how to make them or try to convince my Mom or MIL to make them for me–I think they’re beyond my ability, see no. 7.

6. Platypus. This is a new one for me and was a sweet going away gift from my friend Tam. It’s awesome because you can fill it up (for free) post-security and after you’ve downed it, it doesn’t take up room post-plane. Also, I’ve learned not to be shy with the flight attendants–go right ahead and ask them to fill that entire bottle right up when they ask you what you want to drink. You really should be drinking gallons–planes have very low humidity (looking forward to Airbus’s new Dreamliner!)

7. Knitting. I knit this blanket for Morgan on our last set of travels and have already started my second. I’ve read that knitting is used in anxiety disorder treatment and I can definitely say it makes me less anxious. It’s perfect for taxying to and from the gates–that wretchedly drawn out waiting period. And it’s also great for when you’re too exhausted to read.

8. Earplugs. This really, truly helps me with my fear of flying. Regardless of how many flights I’ve taken, I’m still a scared / nervous flyer and so often I swear ‘that sound was just not right’ or that ‘something is direly wrong’ and it’s just better when you can’t hear as much.

9. Ambien and/or a drink. The most important thing you can do when flying is to sleep. In closing, two facts you might not have known about why transcontinental flights take so much out of you:

–Planes are not pressurized to sealevel, where you are likely coming from. An aircraft planning to cruise at 40,000 ft (12,000 m) is programmed to rise gradually from take-off to around 8,000 ft (2,400 m) in cabin pressure altitude, and to then reduce gently to match the ambient air pressure of the destination. So if you spend 12 hours on top of say Tahoe or Park City when you’re not used to the elevation it will tucker you out.

–There are actually limits on how often flight attendants and captains are allowed to fly over the North Pole because of the high exposure to ozone–I’m not sure about the exact rules, but I know that it is related to the growing hole above the pole.

What else am I forgetting?!

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10 Responses to Transcontinental jetsetting.

  1. Your blanket looks perfect! What a great color! You can definitely make the socks ;) If I can, you can!

    Your tips are great, thanks for giving them AFTER our flights ;)

    I laughed out loud about “that sound just isn’t right” — that’s me!!! Highly attuned to every change in tone, as if I have any idea of what is going on…scanning the faces of the flight attendants to see any signs of immanent danger…

  2. AHH!! I LOVE THE BLOG!! Forget traveling, I’m going out and getting the raspberry face pads, AND the B-5 Masque– they sound delightful!!

  3. Love your blog Natasha! John and I just bought our tickets to Buenos Aires in November and am excited to try some of your tricks….especially the masque. My hands get as dry as my face when flying so I would add Jurlique Rose Hand Cream to the list. It’s really rich and creamy and the scent is one of my favorites. xo, Cynthia

  4. Tamarah Buckley

    Love the blog, and thanks for the shout-out! About long flights… I have tried those neck pillows, but they are just not comfortable for me. I would love to bring a real pillow on a long flight me, but that would take up so much space. I wonder if anyone has some sort of alternative – perhaps a blowup or compress-able pillow to help you sleep on those long flights?

  5. nate sarkisian

    I use the blow up pillows. They aren’t great, but they help and fold up flat!

  6. nate sarkisian

    re: ear plugs. i’ve been through multiple noise-canceling headphones. Including some pretty expensive models. Several years ago, my brother gave me a pair of “in-ear” headphones from Westone. These are about the size of regular ear buds but have a cushy fitting that basically seals your ear. They work MUCh better than any of the noise cancelling set-ups I have tried (including Bose). AND you can’t beat the size. They work so well, I won’t use them skiing or riding a bike (can’t hear a thing but your music). They are really intended for professional musicians – an alternative to going deaf listening to stage monitors so loud they drown-out the crowd noise. At the low end about $140 (which is what I have). Sound quality is superb.

    Heresy I know, but, there are a myriad of MP3 players that will take you to HK and back on a single AAA battery. Not Apple’s strong suit…

  7. Oh Natasha – you’re so organized! I love the masque idea… my face always feels gross at the end of a day of traveling, whether long-or-short distance.

    But I’m curious – what’s the story with the knitting needles? They don’t mind you having those pokey objects?

  8. Pingback: Traveling pants. | Hong Kong Housewife

  9. Pingback: Transcontinental jetsetting, part two. | Hong Kong Housewife

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