international

9 Essentials for Every Plane Ride

Hopping on a plane can be exhilarating, terrifying, boring, entertaining and everything in-between. To make the best of your experience, there are some required essentials that you shouldn't forget. Lucky for you, I've labeled them all for you. Why should you trust me? I've been on over 30 flights in the last 9 months. This has taught me way more than I would like to know about planes, and how to make the most of them. So here is your official list:

A sweater
In general, airports are cold, so you'll need it there, but being elevated thousands of feet in the air makes it a necessity for the plane. I've only ever been on one flight that was hot, while on every other one, I shivered. Yes, the airline will most likely supply you with a blanket, but is it enough? No. Bring your coziest sweater and nestle comfortably.

Lotion
It doesn't matter if you applied moisturizer after your shower that morning, on the car ride to the airport, or 3 seconds before they called for boarding, you will need lotion. Your skin will get drydrydry. My hands have actually started to hurt from being so ashy, and LAWD don't get me started on those feet! Just save yourself the embarrassment, the hassle and the ultimate struggle. Pack a nice sized lotion to keep you moisturized in that dry sky.

Socks
The sweater is for your top half, the socks are for your bottom half (sort of). Not sure if your calves ever get cold (weirdo) but mine don't. The best advice I can give you is to slather lotion on your feet and slip the socks on almost immediately, barely giving any air a chance to creep through. I'm so serious about not allowing my feet to snap, crackle, pop from all the ash that would accumulate. Also, while your butt, and your top half will have some friction with the seat, your feet are dangling all lonesome. Show them some love, bring socks.

Chapstick
To continue with the "dry" theme, don't forget about those precious lips! Dab some Vaseline on them or bring along your favorite Burt's Bees flavor and thank me later (*cue Drake*). Cracked lips are not cute on anyone, so be prepared.

Gum
It helps when your ears pop, which I have almost gotten used to. Not to mention, when your breath is as hot as the flames of hell, it helps to keep it at bay, specifically during those long flights. If not for you, just keep some present for the poor kid next to you. Save them from embarrassment and yourself from smelling their horrid breath. Imagine them sleeping with their mouth open and snoring in your direction, yuck! 

Travel Pillow
I used to think these things were so bougie, until I invested in one. On long airplane rides, or if you anticipate on taking a nap during your voyage, there is nothing better. It helps keep your head in place so you're not looking like a bobble-head in these streets. Find one that's perfect for you, there are millions to choose from. I love the ones with memory foam!

Advil
It works the best for me and reduces my headache pain. Sometimes the cheapest flights aren't the easiest ones, and since I'm always looking for the best deal, I often end up with dummy-induced headaches. Those are headaches brought on by dealing with, you guessed it, dummies. So in times of need, I require that my Advil is handy. You never know who you'll encounter, keep your Advil on deck!

Wet Wipes
I keep these handy because they are great sanitizers for those yucky bathrooms, and they're refreshing! Don't bother getting out of your seat to wash your hands before and after you're served food, just pull out a wet wipe! They also smell great and will leave you feeling clean.

Pen
This sounds like a ridiculous essential because "I can just borrow one from someone, right"? Wrong my love, individuals are ever so un-prepared. On most international flights, you will be required to fill out some type of paperwork for entry. You could wait until you land and head over to the designated tables that provide pens with everyone else. Just be prepared to wait...forever. Or, you can bring a pen, fill the sheets out on the plane, and pass the masses. #travelhack

Don't be a dupe while traveling! Remember these essentials to make your plane ride as comfortable as possible, whether you're sitting first class or towards the back of the plane. The majority of these essentials requires that you not depend on anyone for anything. Don't depend on the airline to give you a blanket because they might not, don't depend on someone's shoulder to sleep on, bring your travel-pillow, and don't depend on your saliva to keep your lips moisturized, gross. Be adult, be prepared, and get ready to begin your journey!

What are some of your essentials? Let me know in the comments below?

 

Happy Wandering

You Can Be In Asia and Europe At The Same Time

Never thought it was possible? Think again. Istanbul is the place for you my friend.

As the largest city in Turkey, this Eurasian beauty is the historical heart of the country. With mosques and churches alike, this is the epicenter of where Europe and Asia, modern and classical, East and West, meet.

Arriving early on in the day, I made sure to take a nap. From the taxi ride leaving the airport, I knew the hills would kill me otherwise. Walking down the hill is fun with a great view. Walking up is not so fun (although great exercise), but there's still a great view.  

Heading towards the Galata Bridge, I got lost. As I was trying to figure out where I was, I came across a tower with a huge line. Intrigued, I waited with the others. The thought ran across my mind to ask where the line lead to, but I suppressed my curiosity. To most this would seem foolish, to me it was an adventure. Why did I have to know where I was going? I could figure it out in due time. 

Amazed at my surroundings, and wondering what the hell I was doing standing in a random line, I continued to wait patiently. My views as I waited:

I love the picture above because it so perfectly describes Istanbul. When you think of the Middle East, the first couple thoughts might include a woman in a burka. True, as seen above. What might catch you off guard was the fact that she was on her iPhone tweeting. She was shocked that people would find it odd. The perfect mixture of culturally classical and technologically forward.

All I can say is that it was delicious. There is no better fruit than fresh fruit from a random cart on your lost adventure. Pretty much anything in a cart is a good idea. It's always well worth the risk! He was also the kindest watermelon man (the only) I have ever met. 

As the line moved forward I was getting anxious. What exactly was I waiting for? Oh yeah, I have no idea. Typical WanderlustWad.

After seeing people pull out money, I decided I had to investigate. I couldn't continue going with this flow of mine when money was involved. After talking to the amused cashier, I found out I was at Galata Tower. I paid the $10 fee and headed upwards to see what the fuss was about.

The Galata Tower was the tallest structure in Istanbul when it was built. It has a 360 view of the city and is breathtaking to say the least. As it turns out that the stars had aligned for me. I had come at golden hour, and and was able to get the most beautiful pictures. 

                     Right before the sunset on the sunny side of the 360 Panorama view

                                         Just a few minutes later on the other side

Standing in a random line paid off. I had no idea where I was going, but I knew it would be an interesting experience regardless.

Galata Tower: $10
Random Adventure: Priceless

Random adventures always pay off, always. Sure they can seem daunting, but not knowing is part of the fun. The anticipation, the waiting, the fear, it's all in the package of adventure. 

Soon after leaving the Galata Tower, I saw where I strayed off and headed towards my original goal, the Galata Bridge. Thankfully the hills were going downwards this time. 

Wandering through the streets, I couldn't get over how lovely this place was. Each street a small community of its own. Shop owners, tourists, and residents alike flooded the cobblestone walkways. It feels so homey

Steps away from my destination I grabbed a $1.50 gyro. I love it here already. I ate my gyro as I watched the rest of the sunset. All alone and extremely content. 

                                            The picture doesn't even do it justice

Walking around afterwards, fisherman waited patiently to get ahold of something, couples held hands, shops hustled and bustled right below the bridge. I wanted nothing more than to come back every single day and watch the sun ascend and descend. And so I will...until I leave that is.

All in all, it was an extremely successful first day. Stay tuned to find out where my adventures lead me tomorrow!

 

What random adventure did you run into? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Happy Wandering...

Last Minute Packing

How far in advance do you plan what you'll be wearing on your trip? Most times, I try to have some idea of what I'll be wearing, even if the thought is as simple as "less, shorts, more jeans, it'll be cold". This gives me some sort of guide as I begin the daunting task of choosing what pieces of clothing get to experience my next adventure with me. 

This may seem silly, but choosing between your jean jacket and your leather jacket is sort of a big deal. You don't want to lug everything with you, so you're forced to choose: look like a biker for a whole month, or like a washed-up 90's kid? The hardships are endless! (What a first world problem.)

As I embark on another adventure in less than 24 hours, it is frightening how little I have though of what essentials I need, and which ones are worth the weight on my back. So before you end up like me (tired, unprepared, and contemplating 2am Wal-Mart runs) take a minute and think about these questions. They will save you time my dear friends. Preparation is key.

 

1. Where are you going?
Doesn't even matter, you're gonna have a blast!

2. What are the cultural norms?
Do you need to consider a scarf or more conservative clothing?

3. What's the weather like?
Might need a sweater, an umbrella, or you might need a portable air conditioner (do these exist?)

4. Is it going to be anywhere form 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit, or Spring/Fall?
Literally this is the best/worst weather, because you will need a bit of everything. It's horribly unpredictable. You'll need shorts and a parka, a bathing suit and snow boots. If this is your case, just give up and pack your whole life, you'll need it.

5. Will there be mosquitos?
Trust me, they are no joke. Malaria and all, bring that DEET repellant!

6. Is there somewhere to wash your clothes?
Are you willing to pay? Just throw some Tide in a ziplock bag and move along young grasshopper

7. How long are you there for?
If you hate washing undies in sinks, bring enough for two per day (life could get interesting)

8. What are you forgetting?
There will always be at least one thing. Try your best to remember, but chances are you wont.

*Girls*

9. Do they sell tampons in this foreign country?
Believe it or not, some places don't. If you don't like the whole pad ordeal, make sure you're prepared my dear.

 

I hope this list gives you a roundabout of the things that you need to think about before you actually begin to prepare. Sucks to have to think about the work ahead beforehand, doesn't it? You will probably have come across at least one question in which you don't know the answer. Have fun with this last minute research. My only tip for that is that you better start reading, and fast.  

As I count down the hours, I realize that I have too many questions, with not enough answers! What better way to procrastinate than write an article about what to do in case of procrastination! Oh the irony...

Let me know how you prepare, or what you ask yourself in the comments below!

 

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Happy Wandering...