I’ve just landed from Dallas, Texas – which, incidentally, is the biggest ode to American consumerism I’ve ever seen. There are strip malls everywhere and I saw approximately two pedestrians – leading me to believe that Dallas natives like nothing more than to drive around in their cars from work to the mall and back again.
Anyway, the more important detail of this trip is that the return journey involved an eight-and-a-half-hour plane journey – followed by a 25-minute run around Frankfurt airport and another two-hour journey home from there. Things I learned? Don’t wear Ugg boots on a long-haul flight (so unbelievably hot and sweaty), leave your skinny jeans at home (just not comfortable) and always bring a scarf for those impromptu moments of airplane hypothermia.
1. Proenza Schouler PS1 large leather satchel, €1,695 at Net-a-Porter
Okay, so this leather handbag is ridiculously expensive – and I’m not suggesting you go out and purchase this very one, but a shoulder bag is an in-flight essential, especially if you’re going to be transferring through another airport. Something you can sling over your shoulder (or, better yet, cross-body) and that will fit a book or Kindle, tablet, bottle of water (post-security purchase), lip balm… you get the picture. Teeny tiny handbags are no traveller’s friend.
2. Microsoft Surface Pro 2, €899 at Microsoft.com
Is technology an accessory? I would come down strongly on the side of yes – I know very few women who would choose their handbag over their iPhone in a mugging (a very nice mugging where the mugger gives you a choice of item to surrender), and I know even more women who take a lot of care about phone and tablet covers and accessories (and so on). My Surface is one of my favourite items: sure, it’s a tablet, but it’s great for working with a full keyboard (that doubles as a cover) and Microsoft Office included. On a flight, it’s a great multitasker – for film and TV and the odd bit of work (i.e. list-making).
3. Lime-green scarf, €19.66 at Asos
If there’s one thing I could never fly without, it’s a big, warm scarf – for wrapping up under on Ryanair flights where they won’t give you a glass of water, never mind a blanket; for using as a pillow; for just cuddling up to when you are trying to fall asleep and missing your duvet. If I could recommend one type in particular, it’d be a wool square: if you find one, buy it immediately. Thank me later.
4. Chunky socks, €22.17 by Great Plains at Atterley Road
The Ugg mistake has taught me a valuable lesson about air travel: do not rely on your shoes for keeping your feet warm. Your shoes should be comfy and functional – able to get you from A to B with zero risk of blisters, chafing, foot ache etc – and then when you get to your seat, your best bet is to remove your shoes (and socks) and replace the latter with a pair of chunky, super-soft cosy socks (all the better to snooze your head off in). Ideally, they’d be cashmere, but we can’t all be Victoria Beckham, can we?
5. Frends x Rebecca Minkoff headphones, €193.27 at Nordstrom (top pic)
If there’s one thing more important than having decent music to listen to on a flight, it’s having noise-cancelling headphones that allow you to entirely block out the chitter chatter of fellow passengers (not to mention the squeals of children). These Frends headphones (also available in plain, i.e., not Rebecca Minkoff designed, slightly less exciting but no less beautiful) are seriously comfortable, look great and do exactly what it says on the tin: that is, make music sound great, make everything else sound silent and make you look slick (I mean, for someone wrapped in a huge scarf wearing leggings and a pair of socks).
What do you always travel with? Tell us below.