3 Tips To Make Your Long Haul Flights More Comfortable

Thanks to years of traveling back and forth from the states to Africa and other special places around the world, Priscilla has three simple yet extremely useful tips to make your long haul flights more comfortable. They are:

1. Get a great seat:

  • If there is an option for Economy Plus on the long haul, we feel it is worth it for the extra cost. You won’t have significantly more space, however, you won’t feel so lost in the masses as you are further forward in the plane with a bit more attention paid to you.
  • As soon as you make your reservation, try to get your seat assignment. SeatGuru can be a big help with this. We find a few rows behind bulkhead to be best. If you are traveling alone, try for the aisle seat in the middle section of the plane. Oftentimes, this increases the chances that the seat next to you will be empty and thus you can essentially stretch out in two seats.

2. Have an inflatable neck pillow:

  • These are easy to buy online or in the airport. The advantage to the inflatable neck pillow is that, once deflated, you can easily store it in your luggage taking up virtually no space. It makes a big difference in providing neck support when you relax or sleep on the flight.

3. Wax Ear Plugs and Noise Reduction headphones:

  • We recommend the wax earplugs for when you want to sleep and not watch any entertainment.
  • Noise reduction headphones are for entertainment (listening to music, watching the inflight movies, etc). We always have both. It has been found that one of the biggest impacts on jet lag is the noise from the plane. Trying to reduce that can make a big difference in how you feel upon arrival.

Check out these leading headphones for sleeping.
 

Barefoot Shoes by Merrill

A “must have” according to Priscilla! Featherlight, these shoes are perfect for walking in a city, going on a run, or heading out on safari. Easily stored and with lots of different styles to choose from, everyone should travel with a pair!

    • super light and flexible
    • smushes down for packing
    • variety of styles for men, women and children
    • technical design for both comfort and utility
      washable
    • great for running, trekking, walking and water sports

 

Learn more and find your perfect fit here. We love these shoes!

Smartwool 1/4 Zip

The perfect item for variable weather packing. If there’s a chance of cool temps, this always goes in our bags!

  • 100% merino wool
  • Takes little space for its warmth
  • Wicks away perspiration
  • Keeps odors at bay- more uses before needing to wash it
  • Comfortable
  • Works on a hike as well as out to dinner
  • Available for men and women.

Men’s Olive Heather is currently on sale online at REI

 

Advocate Shoes by Patagonia

Our motto is “carry-on only!” 
One challenge with this is shoes.  Bulky and heavy, it’s hard to have three pairs when traveling light.  So we were thrilled to find these shoes by Patagonia.  Super lightweight and comfy, they are the perfect “third pair to toss in the bag”.

The back flattens for easy packing, they only weigh 4.5 ounces (!), they are offered in both men’s and women’s sizes and come in great colors!

Universal Travel Adapter Kit

Converters, chargers, adapters, USB cables…do you really need to take so much?

Not anymore!  There’s a great new solution on the market- Universal Travel Adapter Kit with USB Charger.  Multiple brands now offer this handy adapter, available at most electronics stores or online. The all-in-one design eliminates the need for carrying a variety of adapters and the USB plug is especially handy. For use with cameras, cell phones, iPods, laptops, tablets, etc.

Headlamps!

Headlamps!

This is a must for every trip we take! The lightweight Petzl Tikka Plus 2 headlamp pulls together 5 lighting modes to ensure you can see and be seen during nighttime adventures of all kinds.
  • Fits easily in your suitcase or backpack
  • Versatile enough to light up a trail or to use as a reading light in bed
  • 3 white lighting modes; red & flashing lights for safety
  • Headlamp tilts to point light where you need it
  • Only requires 2 AAA batteries

 

Click here to order your headlamp from rei.com

Royal Robbins’ Cardiff Traveler Pants

We have sworn by (and worn) these pants for years! Versatile and comfortable, the Cardiff traveler pants are great for safari, hiking, touring, and even a night on the town. We especially like they are:

  • so comfortable
  • great for packing light
  • wrinkle resistant
  • have a hidden zip pocket
  • back zip secured pocket
  • quick dry
  • straight leg
  • tab waist
  • work well in the bush
  • work well in the city
  • look good on various sizes and body types

 

Sorry guys… only available for women!
Visit Royal Robbins and order up a pair or two for your next trip!

Priscilla’s Packing List for Ecuador (& Peru)

Packing for Ecuador can be a little tricky because of the diverse spectrum of environments you will encounter, ranging from high altitudes to dense jungle.  What you pack is dependent on the areas you visit, the activities in your itinerary and the season you travel.  Here is my personal packing list for a 12 day trip in October that included a visit to the Amazon jungle and to the Andes: (everything fit in my Eagle Creek carry-on luggage):

For the Andes and Quito…

  • 3 pair long black pants- all active wear and of different
  • weight/warmth (for traveling, hiking, the city)
  • 1 lightweight fleece sweater that zips up in the front
  • 2 long-sleeved basic shirts (1 white, 1 black)- very comfy

(polyester/lycra blend; ContourWear)

  • 2 zip-neck t-neck shirts (polyester) that work as a 1st or 2nd layer

and can be worn as a general shirt

  • 1 cashmere long-sleeved t-shirt sweater
  • 1 short-sleeved t-shirt (Exoffico; cotton/rayon)
  • 1 zip-neck t-neck pullover (2nd layer; polyester)
  • silk long underwear (pants and top)
  • vest (windproof material)

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Traffic Jam in South Luangwa, Zambia

Peter's Unforgettable Experience

Poolside in Hwange, Zimbabwe

Eles and Peter Cautiously Sharing the Pool – Hwange, Zimbabwe

While enjoying a quiet read in the dry African sun out by the small dipping pool, I was startled by three large wild elephants who tentatively approached the water just 6 feet from me. Tension filled that moment of man meeting beast. Two potential enemies faced off across the 6′ wide pool that met distinctly different needs. The elephants took their first tentative sips while watching me very closely and occasionally getting startled and shaking their heads. After a few minutes, when detente appeared to have been reached between us I drifted between calmly reading my book and my internal alarm bells going off telling me I was too close to the elephants. This unforgettable experience eventually came to an end when I decided to cede the pool, entirely, to the true denizens of that hot afternoon landscape.

Peter Macy