It’s a beautiful sunny day in Paris, and I am cooped up in my room waiting for British Airways to deliver my bag – I made the Heathrow-Charles Du Gaulle transfer, but my bag didn’t. I’m here for a week for work so I REALLY need my stuff – I’m desperately hoping it turns up in the next hour.
I did a bit of research online before I left, and found some good tips. I thought I’d share a few of mine in return.
As is pretty obvious from the food posts in my blog, I’m vegetarian, mostly at the vegan end of the spectrum (but not strictly). This can make travel tricky, so I was thrilled to find the Vegan Paris blog and ebook.
I sometimes find it hard to get enough protein while I’m travelling, & I can’t afford to be woolly-headed on work trips, so I packed individual Vega shakes & protein bars. I buy them online, and use them for early morning protein hits, and as backups in case of conference lunches composed of white flour and lettuce (alas, these are frequent). The shakes & bars have a ton of fibre, omega 3 & multivitamins included, too, so they’re good insurance against getting rundown/clogged up while travelling.
My final food tip is self-cater wherever possible. This trip I was fortunate to find a small studio for the same price as hotel room. It has a tiny kitchenette with a bar fridge, cooktop, kettle, microwave & very basic pans, plates, knives etc. I’m really happy to pay for delicious food & coffees, but I don’t like to have to go out for breakfast, and sometimes I’m too jet lagged to sit in a cafe after a big day of work or touristing. I buy ingredients from local grocery stores and markets…mainly nuts, fruit and salad basics, or soy milk/soy yogurt.
Even when I’m in a basic hotel room, I take my little lightweight camping kit, so I can have in room breakfasts & snacks.
Clothes & toiletries
This is not my first ‘lost luggage’ experience. As a result I always pack my toothbrush, deodorant, basic makeup, moisturiser and a clean shirt & underwear in my carry-on. I am always desperate to scrub up & get changed after a long-haul flight, so I was super grateful I had packed my insurance supplies yesterday. I also carry saline nasal spray… fantastic for dealing with the dry air on a plane.
I change into knee-high travel socks as close as I can to boarding time, to prevent puffy feet and cankles. I’m not high risk for DVT, so don’t have a custom pair of compression socks, but I do try & stretch and wriggle my feet to keep my circulation moving.
Getting your period while travelling is not fun, but it happens, I always pack pantyliners in case of spotting, and when I know my period is due, I pack the wonderful diva cup, and a packet of flushable wipes for cleanups. I’m not generally a clean freak, but I always carry antibacterial wipes (and tissues) on the road, in case of hideous public toilet experiences.
Earplugs & noise-cancelling headphones
I have dodgy eustachian tubes, and have had painful take-offs and landings my whole life. A few years ago, I discovered that wearing regular foam earplugs helps stabilise the pressure in your ears, and yes, it most certainly does. Earplugs also mute the sound of one’s fellow passengers, which can be a blessing at times, (and are good for getting sleep in noisy hotels).
I have borrowed my mother’s noise-cancelling headphones on the last few trips (thanks Mum!), and they are fantastic – they filter out the rumble from the plane, and not only help me sleep, but allow me to turn the volume waaay down on the inflight movies. The only drawback of my Mum’s set is the size… they are large, & pack into a solid case that takes up a lot of room in my carry-on bag. I think it’s time I lashed out & bought a folding pair with a smaller case.
I’ve tried homeopathics and other supplements, and frankly have never found any especially useful. My general jet-lag prevention tips are similar to many travellers: Eat lightly in flight, go easy on the booze, try and get out and walk around (ideally in the sun) as much as you can on the first day to help your body adjust.