Written By Travel Expert Contributor Debbi K. Kickham
For some people, travel is a four-letter word. That’s probably because they’re not prepared. So many things can go wrong in your travels, that when you think about it, it’s probably rare that you don’t have an issue with something. But if you think ahead – and follow some of my off-the-radar tips – you can always make a bon voyage even better – and more comfortable and luxurious.
I’ve been traveling like crazy for the past 25 years. It started when I was an Editor at Robb Report Magazine – “The Magazine for Millionaires” – and now, I go everywhere from Walla Walla to Bora Bora, on assignment for various newspapers, magazines, and websites – including Exec Digital -- writing about luxury, value, beauty, spas, health, romance, shopping and honeymoons. My husband and I were talking about it last night, and we feel downright lucky that we have never had a travel disaster – not even a real frisson, as the French say. But that’s because I never leave home without these Top 10 items. They’re lifesavers to make you more comfortable, feel more luxurious, and they will help you to stay healthy. Yes, you should always travel with aspirin, Pepto-Bismol, multivitamins and your yoga mat – but here are some off-the-radar items, whose presence in your TravelPro suitcase or briefcase will make for a great trip. For more fabulous travel tips, read my bestselling book, The Globetrotter’s Get-Gorgeous Guide: Diet and Beauty Secrets of Travel and Beauty Pros, Traveling Executives and Celebrity Travelers (www.GorgeousGlobetrotter.com), which hit Number One on Amazon.com. (The book even has an entire chapter about how to stay thin when cruising, and another chapter about buying bargains in Paris.)
OK – are you ready for take-off?
1). Oscillococcinum. I swear by this homeopathic remedy, and I buy it in bulk whenever I’m in France, although it’s available at most US drug stores. In fact, in France, where Oscillo has been around for more than 65 years, it is the best-selling over-the-counter product in the cold/flu/cough category and a top-selling brand in pharmacies. It won’t interact with other medications and is not contra-indicated with pre-existing conditions. Take it the moment you feel run-down, with any headache, body aches, chills or fever. Oscillo helps to reduce the duration and severity of flu symptoms and – get this – is an industry secret found on many Hollywood movie sets. That’s probably why A-list celebrities always look so good. www.boironusa.com
2). Satin pillowcase.Broadcaster Joan Lunden gave me this travel tip, but I had already been doing it for years. When I get to my hotel or cruise ship stateroom, my pink satin pillowcase immediately goes over the bed pillow. Why? Because satin is softer on your skin and hair than cotton, and doesn’t cause creases and wrinkles. You’ll feel like you’re sleeping at the Four Seasons – even if you’re at the Four Points.
3). Ear plugs/eyeshades/blanket. This is the Trifecta for your flight over to your destination. The ear plugs will drown out any noise (as will Bose noise-reducing headphones). The eyeshades will let you sleep during daylight. And a blanket will keep you warm when you’re at 35,000 feet.
4). Herban Essentials.These are moist towelettes you’ll find at Whole Foods, and they smell divine, because they’re fragranced with real essential oils. They will uplift your spirits and send your olfactory senses into overdrive. Pack ‘em in your purse, suitcase, backpack, briefcase, car, gym bag and wallet. They come in lemon, orange, lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus. By all means use them on the plane to disinfect your surroundings (including the tray table). But Herban Essentials have tons of uses. Use the lavender to tuck into your pillow at night, to induce sleep, or to relieve bug bites and remove makeup. Use the lemon as an aftershave on your legs, use it to clean your computer keyboard, or as a pick-me-up after exercising. Peppermint can relieve motion sickness and combat mental fatigue. I’m sold! www.herbanessentials.com.
5). Filled RX for antibiotics.Talk to your primary care physician before you travel, and get a filled prescription for antibiotics. It can save your life on your trip, when the last thing you want to do is search for – and pay through the nose for -- a local doctor. Just exercise caution if and when you use antibiotics, and only use them for a severe infection.