When I travel by plane, I prefer to keep my carry on(s) to a minimum. Partly, it is because I can be clumsy sometimes, prone to losing and forgetting things. But mostly, it is because I travel alone occasionally, and it can be quite inconvenient to be manoeuvring around the boarding area alone with a big bag, especially when I need to use the washroom!
And since I mentioned about me losing things at the airport, I recalled one amusing story that I used to share shamelessly to all my friends. I’ll share more at the end of this post.
But first, I want to share some of my in flight travel essentials!
This is my MUST have in the plane! It has saved me on a few awkward occasions, to not having to talk to my neighbour in the plane. I’m not very sociable in confined spaces. I can chat up with strangers in a cafe, bus stop or inside a taxi with the driver. But, not in a plane. It is worst if I’m on window seat, because it kinda feels like I’m being cornered!
Drama aside. I need my earphones so that I can listen to my Spotify playlist (currently it is Hamilton, the musical) to sleep.
I prefer in ears to overhead, because I have a big head. I tried a few overheads, and they are all clamping too tightly on my head, it is uncomfortable. Also because with in ears, I can lay my head comfortably when I’m sleeping, which I can’t with those bulky overheads.
I’m using Chord & Major tonal earphones. Tonal earphones are tuned to specific music genres, whether it is classical, jazz, rock etc. Every individual usually has one auditory preference, and it is often developed from training, exposure etc. Hence, when you find one tonal earphone that suits your preference, you likely don’t need to switch to other tonal settings when listening to different genres of music.
I’m classically (music) trained since young, which is why I prefer a more well balanced sound, bass should be audible but not too strong, more mid section, and less treble. As such, I have the Major 9’13 Classical.
You must try them on to be convinced yourself. It fits nicely in the ears too. The Major 9’13 Classical is fitted with a solid rose wood, and gold plated steel, which snugs firmly in my ears, without causing any vacuuming discomforting (which I get from some in ears with rubber seals). And it also provides some noise muffling.
Besides how amazing it sounds, the packaging itself has to appeal to you! The Major 9’13 Classical comes in a red wine coloured pinewood casing.
On another note, a few of my friends are obsessed with Bose Quiet Comfort series. They are very fond of the noise cancelling feature.
I tried the overhead versions, QC25 (wired) and QC35 (wireless) and really didn’t like the vacuum effect it does to my ears. I later tried the in ear versions, QC20 (wired), and I have to say it is much better than the overheads.
I may actually consider getting myself one if not for the beautiful price tag!
Tip: Don’t forget the airplane adapter for your earphones if you plan to use it for the inflight entertainment.
2. Eye mask
On long haul flights, I will need my eye masks to ensure I can sleep.
I’m not a light sleeper, I can sleep even if there’s some reasonable noises. But I must sleep in total darkness. Make sure you get one with breathable material, e.g. cotton. I love the ones from Muji.
3. Phone charger
This is not a must have for me, but it is always good to pack my phone charger in my carry on bag, in case of emergency. I don’t usually drain my phone battery in the plane. But, it can be extremely useful especially in the event of flight delay, when I may be using my handphone excessively.
4. Moisturiser & Lip balmL’occitane 20% shea butter hand cream. Get the travel size so you have no hassle checking it through security. For lip balm, I love Burt’s Bees Honey lip balm. It is not greasy, but still very moisturising thanks to the Bee’s wax. It is also not too sweet and 100% natural, unlike those artificial flavoured ones.
5. Essential oil
I always keep a small bottle of Essential oil in my carry on bag. This is for a specific kind of emergency situation, i.e. having a neighbour with body odour. I don’t mean to discriminate. But, when I’m in such situation, I will just dab a few drops of Essential oil on my palm and rub it behind my neck.
CAUTION: You don’t want to rub it directly on your nose, as it stings. And you will lose your sense of smell for awhile.
I love Claire Organics’ Peppermint Pure Essential Oil, which is a Malaysian homegrown brand! Peppermint is one of the most acceptable scent. Lavender for example, is an acquired taste. Not everyone likes it, so you want to also be considerate to your neighbours.
6. Toothbrush & Toothpaste
For long haul flights, I will pack my toothbrush and toothpaste too. Waking up from a sleep, I like to always freshen up before I disembark the plane.
So, there you go, my in flight travel essentials. Do you agree? Do you have any other must haves you recommend I should include in my list? Do share and comment below!
And as I promised earlier,
My one amusing story in the airport
I was on business trip, traveling back from Miri to Kuala Lumpur. At the security scan, I emptied my pockets, took off my belt, handphone, fountain pen etc, and kept it inside my backpack. I always put all my loose items inside my backpack, instead of just laying them on the tray. It is an OCD thing.
After the scan, I took my backpack, boarded the plane, flew all the way to Kuala Lumpur, and only when I landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, I thought about checking my things, more specifically my Mont Blanc fountain pen.
So, I opened my backpack and O.M.G., I couldn’t find it! I had a mini panic attack, and started frantically searching through my backpack, only to be be assured that it wasn’t there! I must have dropped it at the security counter.
After I recollected my emotions, I calmed down and started searching for the contact of Miri International Airport. I found it and called the number. I reported the incident and here comes the amusing part, the conversation between the police officer and me,
P: Can you describe the lost item?
J: It is a black pen with a gold cap.
P: Huh? Pan? Like a frying pan?
J: No, it is a pen, for writing.
P: So, you want to report your lost pen? (like seriously?)
J: Yes (embarrassedly)
P: OK, what brand is this pen?
J: It’s a Mont Blanc.
P: Huh? What brand?
J: M-O-N-T B-L-A-N-C
P: Ohh!! “Mount Blank” Wah, that one expensive, you must get it back!
J: Yes, yes, it is a “Mount Blank”! Do you mind to check it for me in your lost and found?
P: The officer at the time of duty has just left. But, I can leave a note for him to check on it tomorrow morning. We’ll call you if we find it.
The next morning, I got a call, and THANK GOD, they found it! I arranged for my colleague to collect on my behalf, and subsequently wrote a commendation letter to the department to acknowledge the team for their kind assistance and highest integrity!
Lesson learned: Always zip your bag when you pass it through the security scan! And more importantly, the importance of “localising” your pronunciation!