The deadline LOOMS. As I’m writing this I’m sitting on my bed with my suitcase close by. It’s packed with light clothes and other essentials but some of the most important things are going into my backpack.
Over the years, we’ve picked up quite a few bits and bobs and tend to tweak each backpack depending on our needs. For example, this is very much taking into account that we’re on a long-haul flight so we’re trying to add in things for extra comfort. The good thing is we’re flying with Emirates so a lot of the comfort boxes are already being ticked!
Please note: We paid for everything on this list apart from the trtl pillow where two samples were sent to us by the team. Thank you trtl! Adding it to this list was my idea. Also to note while I’m mentioning a lot of brands here I’m by no means saying that they’re the best; just that these are the ones we’re bringing and I’ve tried them out. But I digress, let’s get cracking.
Don’t know what they are? No worries! Here’s the nutshell blurb: basically flight socks compress the legs and this helps reduce the risks of flight-related DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) – which can happen when your legs are inactive or are in a cramped space. You know when sometimes your legs can start to swell in the air? Well, good flight socks prevent swollen ankles and leg discomfort.
While there are tons of brands of flight socks out there, I’m always a bit wary about going for lower priced flight socks (Sorry Penneys), so I did splash out a bit more (€20) for mine. That being said I’ve never had an issue with this pair that I got in Boots. They feel very secure and I feel safe.
The sacred adapter
Unfortunately, here in Ireland, we’re blessed with three prong plugs which are GRAND when we’re at home but a pain when heading abroad. For Vietnam, we’re using the two-rounded-prong adaptor. Nothing fancy, just solid. You can pick them up for cheap in a lot of the discount shops or at the airport.
Runesol eye masks
I own a lot of eyemasks but I’m always a bit annoyed at how the material always presses into your eyes. This often leaves me looking much more wrecked than I actually am in the morning. So I did a bit of sleuthing and came across these eyemasks and earplug set on Amazon.
The eye masks are slightly raised so that it kind of cups your eye area and doesn’t press into the socket. Genius. I was a tiny bit concerned at first of a slight gap where it sits on your nose, but honestly, you don’t even notice it at night. This is tried and tested and very much approved. I’m personally not a fan of earplugs (just because I’ve afraid it’ll block wax in my ears) but they’re a nice addition for a combo pack.
Mom and I can’t sleep on planes. We’ve tried so many times to get into a good position but each time has ended in failure. This is why we were particularly excited about the trtl pillow. A friend of mine and fellow traveller Jordan Simons had raved about this magical device and I had a feeling that this could be the one to end my non-sleep woes. I’ve tested it on the bus on the way to work and despite its slight neck-brace-esque look, it’s incredibly comfy. I feel like our 17hr flight to Vietnam will definitely be the ultimate test though!
What’s this strange contraption? See note above about having the inability to sleep on planes! It’s basically a footrest or foot hammock that attaches to your plane tray and elevates your feet. We haven’t tried this out yet because we’ve been waiting for the flight but this is another thing that I’m really pumped to give a go. Will it work? Who knows. But thankfully it’s small enough to not take up a lot of room, plus it’s soft enough to potentially fold and be a pillow if all else fails.
Bear in mind that some airlines don’t allow footrests into the cabin but I’ve found the ban usually applies to ones you have to blow up or are particularly bulky. Ours is very compact and folds up like a scarf albeit a bit bulkier than a scarf.
I know people tend to have varying opinions on money bags but I’ve never, ever gone wrong with this one (on the left of the photo). As you can see, it’s NOT a bum bag which I don’t recommend. This one stays close to your body and under your top. It isn’t too visible but can be a bit if you’re wearing tighter clothing.
This collapsible water bottle from Trespass was my best buddy when Mom and I walked the Camino and I’m very happy to be bringing it to Vietnam. While we were walking through Spain it was roasting, but the water in the bottle kept cool for hours. Not only that but I was able to double it as a squishy face cooler too. Its clip as well meant that I could attach it to the outside of my backpack and it didn’t take up space. Very nifty but the only thing is, is that it doesn’t store a huge amount of water.
I think this is pretty self-explanatory about what this does but I’m a tiny bit paranoid about getting my phone wet. You pop your phone into this case and seal it up through numerous seals so that there’s no chance of water getting in. It floats too by the way (I’ve reluctantly checked), and also when it’s in the case you can still use it. The material allows you to use the touchscreen and in fact, I’ve taken photos and videos while it’s been in the case too.
Enduracool Instant Cooling Towel by Mission
This towel is probably the coolest thing on this list. Despite my history of visiting really warm countries, I’m actually not a fan of heat and I sweat like there’s no tomorrow (looking at you India). What you do is soak the towel with water, wring it out snap it in the air to activate its cooling properties and it cools down to 30 degrees below body temperature. It stays cool and dry so it’s not dripping around you. Sounds completely gimmicky but I promise it works. I’ve tried it multiple times and I even have wrapped it around my head like a bandana.
Any gadgets that you’ve brought on a trip? Let us know. This will probably be my last blog update before the trip but I’ll be updating social media along the way. You can connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram.