Lucky for me I am a blessed with the ability to sleep nearly anywhere – a useful skill when flying long haul from Australia. One of the keys to my success is not pills, but comfort. A decent pillow, warmth, darkness and silence combined with a moving vehicle and I sleep like the dead. Not easy to achieve when you are flying economy class or staying a dorm room with 20 other people.
The secret to my success is my carry-on set up – never travel without it
- A black pashmina – this is my travel staple. It can be a towel to lie on at the beach, a sarong, a scarf in cold climates, an evening wrap and a warm blanket. Easy to wash and dry, rolls up to take up hardly any space and being black is versatile enough to coordinate with everything in my travel wardrobe. It is always in my handbag, even at home.
- A lightweight polar fleece jacket. Perfect for cold airplane cabins, folds up to add extra padding to my pillow and not too bulky.
- A travel pillow. I prefer a stuffed U-shaped pillow. Offers neck support when trying to sleep upright or can be bunched flat when sleeping in hostels to add bulk to the often crappy pillows provided.
- A pair of socks. Keep your feet warm and you are warm. These double as slippers on tiles or wooden floors or for walking around the plane.
- Eye-mask and good quality ear plugs for shutting out the rest of the world.
- And finally a zippered delicates bag, not because I am precious about washing my undies and bras (a rarely use it, even at home), but because it is the perfect size for a travel pillow, is easy to wash and dry and zips shut to contain all of my travel kit.
When everything is folded in the right way the whole set up makes a substantial pillow that can be used to lean up again a window or sleep stretched out (for those rare times when you get a whole row of seats to yourself). Best of all I take this on as hand luggage, which takes bulk out of my packed luggage. If I need to reduce the amount of carryon, I can put the jacket and pashmina on and shove what’s left of the kit into my handbag or strap it to my day pack.
What are your must have items for travelling?