The holidays are upon us, and so is a long season of air travel. Whether it is to visit family for the holidays or to finally take that beach vacation, you are bound to end up on at least one airplane this winter. As exciting as the destination can be, no one loves the stress of air travel. Below is a list of the top four carry-on items you didn’t even know you needed to make your winter air travel more comfortable, bearable, and even fashionable. Suddenly, air travel doesn’t seem so bad.
Our first pick for your must-have carry-on is a scarf. Even if you are not a scarf person, having a scarf is as much a practical choice as it is a fashion statement. One can never properly predict the temperature of an airplane cabin, so why take the chance that upon reaching cruising altitude the temperatures won’t drop below bearable? Instead of wrapping yourself in one of those dingy airplane blankets, opt for a scarf. Choose one that is light enough to be comfortable to carry, compact enough to stuff into your backpack, but also wide enough to double as a shawl. We suggest a scarf made of alpaca or cashmere to be decidedly snug but also noticeably light.
To keep cozy in your scarf, wind it around your neck, wrap it around your shoulders, or even lay it flat across your body like a blanket–or just bring a small fleece blanket to cover your legs. The lightness, size, and warmth of a big shawl or scarf make it especially versatile while flying. A great scarf will also keep you looking fabulous and seasonal as you disembark at your destination. For an extra layer of warmth, we recommend a women’s down vest for compactness and functionality.
Our next pick for your must-have carry-on is a hat. Like any other cold-weather accessories, a hat is of course designed to keep you warm. It is very important to stay warm when you travel as flying depletes the immune system. No one wants to be sick on vacation, and unfortunately, airplanes are a great place to catch something. Besides the usual hand sanitizer and Vitamin C, your hat and scarf can help you here. Keep your head covered and pull that soft cashmere shawl up around your nose and mouth to keep the air you breath warm and moist.
A hat also serves another great purpose: It protects your hair! That’s right, keeping your hair covered while flying will keep it from drying out and collecting particles flying around the cabin. Let yourself be creative here. Pick a hat that suits you best, whether it’s a knit beanie, a straw hat, or a cowboy hat. No matter your style, a good hat will protect your hair, keep your head warm, and also allow you to look uniquely stylish while cruising through the stratosphere.
Our next pick is something wonderful for your feet. Pack your carry-on with a pair of light and fuzzy slippers to slip onto your feet once airborne. The body expands slightly with the change of pressure once at cruising altitude, so those winter snow boots you have one are suddenly going to feel a bit tight. Take them off and slip on your slippers instead. They will give you loads of room to let the blood move freely to your feet while also keeping your feet warm. You’ll also look adorable walking up and down the aisle with a fuzzy pair of slippers. For double the fuzz and double the comfort, add on your favorite pair of wooly socks to keep you feeling cozy and warm for your whole flight.
Last but not least, moisturizer is a necessity for travel. Fewer things in life are as drying to your skin as flying in an airplane. That’s why it’s important to pack your favorite nourishing moisturizer, especially for those long-haul or cross-country flights. The air on airplanes is so dry that is can make even the oiliest skin turn chapped or even look red. This is not the look we're going for, especially if we’re about to star in all those family holiday pictures. Take your favorite moisturizer, oil, balm, or cream on board to use liberally throughout the flight. It will keep your skin feeling great and looking fresh, even after a long flight. Be sure to pack your moisturizer of choice in a bottle or container that is under 100ml or 3oz to avert the possibility of it being confiscated by security.
The main points to keep in mind while traveling by air this winter are to stay comfortable, warm and focused on keeping yourself cozy. Our top four picks for the carry-on items you didn’t even know you needed will help you feel all of those things and more. Happy travels!