1. A giant Pashmina or scarf. This can double as a blanket if it's really cold on the plane (which it will be). Fold it up to make a pillow. It's magical!
2. Neutrogena Norwegian-Formula Hand Cream. This stuff is not playing around. I like to use this on my face before the flight, because it keeps you moisturized all day long, and you have wash with soap to get it off. Perfect for fingertips on a long, dry flight.
3. Water. I know, I know, everyone wants ginger ale on the flight. I know that's your traditional airplane drink but sugar will just make you tired and dry you out. Unfortunately, you'll have to buy a bottle after you pass through security but it's worth it. Read this article about the bacteria in airplane water and ice and you'll never drink it again.
4. Bring your lunch, like at school! Make yourself a hearty sandwich or bring lots of energy building snacks like fruit, nuts, etc., to keep your energy. The airline food is expensive and filled with preservatives. On the flight back, make a holiday left-over turkey or ham sandwich with cranberry sauce and potato chips! Perfect!
5. A good book. This is the only time I ever have time to actually read, because wifi isn't available usually, so I can't work. Kind of nice! This trip, I think I'll learn more about Marie Antoinette. Don't forget your reading glasses...MOM!
6. Antibacterial wipes. These are critical. Your airplane seat has probably never been disinfected. Gross. Wipe down any surface you might touch before taking your seat (chair arms, tray table, window, seat belt) to avoid catching germs that might make you sick. Dry air passes through nasal passages and creates tiny cracks that allow germs in. Our immune system can't battle these germs with our natural defenses (i.e. mucus--sorry) in such a moisture-free atmosphere. Eliminating germs in your immediate area is the best way to avoid getting sick.
7. Earplugs. My dad taught me this one. It makes every trip so much more relaxing. Noise pollution contributes to the fatigue most of us feel when traveling. Noise canceling headphones or earplugs will make everything feel so much more calm (and you won't be able to hear that kid screaming behind you).
8. Evian Misting Spray, $19.50 for a 3-pack. These are magnificent. Remember what we said about dry air? Spray these on your face every once in a while to keep your skin and lungs happy. It's just water, but it's very refreshing and cool.
9. Carmex. Another Dad-ism. Chapstick will do, but this is Chapstick's big brother. Put it anywhere that feels dry and you'll be happy and moisturized. Plus, it's like 10cents or something ridiculous.
Got any tips of your own?