Come fly with me…

If you know me, you know I like to be helpful. I also like to be prepared. (Bandaids in my bag? You bet. Hand sanitizer? Obviously. Need Tylenol? I’m here for you.) So it should be no surprise that when it comes to traveling, I like to do my research, and since I recently got back from a week of travel, just in case you’ll be traveling soon (the holidays are racing toward us!), I want to share a few items that could help make traveling easier.

Airborne Chewable Tablets

Airborne. I’ll be honest, I’m a skeptic when it comes to magic supplements. I mean, I take my multi-vitamin every day, but I used to get sick every time I traveled. On a plane, in a car, it didn’t matter, I would catch a bug on the way to or from my destination. And who needs that? So out of desperation, I tried Airborne. The first few times, I chalked it up to coincidence. But after two years of “coincidentally” not getting sick while taking Airborne and traveling, I’m willing to admit this stuff works for me. I don’t know what it is exactly that transforms my immune system from Incrediboy to Wonder Woman, but I’m so on board. Just one tablet before I’m in transit and another when I reach my destination seems sufficient to fight off the germ villains.

Apps. If a plane is your mode of transport, there’s good news: most airlines offer free in-flight entertainment on your personal device. But it requires a little bit of planning since you usually have to download a specific app. United streams movies through their own app, Delta uses GoGo Entertainment. I have no idea about the others, but make sure you download the necessary app first and pack those earbuds to help your flight time feel faster.

Contigo Ashland Glass Bottle

Water bottle. Yeah, I know, no more than 3 ounces of liquid through airport security. But there are water fountains (and sometimes bottle fillers) on the other side. So take an empty water bottle to fill up after security. And make it easy on yourself: use a carabiner to clip the bottle to your bag so you don’t have to carry it or try to fit it in your bag. That way you can access it easily but it won’t be in your way. Or buy one with a built-in clip, like this beauty I recently picked up from Target. It even has a lock switch so you won’t accidentally pop up the top if you bump it. Now that’s attention to detail.

Glasses case. Okay, so that might sound weird if you don’t wear glasses, but this tip isn’t about vision. See, I have a great, hard shell, travel jewelry case but sometimes it’s bigger than I need. But I do want something that will keep the more delicate pieces from being crushed. Enter the glasses case! And as a bonus, nobody’s gonna look at a glasses case and think it has jewelry inside, so it’s a two-for-one deal. If you don’t need to pack jewelry, it also works for other small items you want to keep protected.

Mediterra Snack Bar

Snack bars. Whether you’re on a plane, in a car, or strolling around a city, snacks are important, am I right? Nobody wants to deal with you and your hangry self. And one of my new favorite snack discoveries is the Mediterra savory snack bar. When I’m hungry, I don’t crave sweet, I want savory or salty but unfortunately most protein/snack bars are incredibly sweet so I had to do some digging to find another option. Enter Mediterra! These bars still have a hint of sweetness but they’re savory, with the goodness of pumpkin seeds and kale. Just, you know, check your teeth after you have one.

Pepper spray. So that took a turn, huh? When I travel alone, safety is a concern. Hello, I write about crime so of course I’m gonna think about worst case scenarios. One of your best defensive tools is awareness, but it never hurts to have a little backup. Obviously you can’t take pepper spray on a plane, so if that’s how you’re traveling, you can just slip it in your checked bag. (In a ziplock bag in case things go horribly wrong.) Once you get your suitcase, you can retrieve the spray and put it in a more accessible place before leaving the airport. Just make sure you know the pepper spray laws for whatever state you’ll be in.

Flapjacked Mighty Muffin

Breakfast. Speaking of being prepared, I always feel more ready to take on the world when I have protein for breakfast, which can be hard in a hotel. But again, a bit of research and hello, Mighty Muffins. These little beauties just require water and a microwave and boom: low carb, high protein nutrition to start your day. They’re not your standard sweet muffins, though. More like bread, which I prefer for a breakfast food. (They’re gluten free, too, if that’s your thing.) If low carb isn’t your concern, Kodiak Cakes makes their own version of instant muffins. Just make sure you pack a fork.

Bodium French Press Mug

Coffee. if you know me at all, you know my breakfast wouldn’t be complete without coffee. Good coffee. So naturally, when I’m confronted with the possibility of drinking hotel coffee, I pack my own. (Go ahead, call me a coffee snob. And then do it again after you’ve had old, stale coffee.) Lately I’ve been really enjoying cold brew coffee, so when I found this French press travel mug, it was the perfect solution. I just mix the ground coffee and water, stick it in the mini-fridge overnight, and the next morning I have a smooth, delicious iced coffee to sip. It also works well for visiting people who don’t own a coffeemaker. (Yes, those people do exist, apparently.)

Those are my favorite ways to make travel easier and more fun. What about you? Got any travel tips to add?

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new Amelia

Her name is Amelia Earhart. She’s a pilot.

She’s alive.

Not the one who disappeared in 1937. This isn’t some weird “Amelia sighting” or something. I’m talking about a 30-year-old woman with the same name who also has dreams to fly around the world.

You have to wonder, with a name like that, if she feels compelled to follow in the original Amelia’s footsteps. But for whatever reason, our generation’s Amelia Earhart will be attempting to fly around the world in June, following the path the original Amelia was never able to complete. If she’s successful, she will be the youngest woman to recreate that flight.

She has a great reason for her passion:

“There are so few women in flight. Six percent of pilots are female. So, we’d like to boost that number up and show that you don’t have to be a tomboy to go out to the airport. All kinds of women are in aviation. I’m one of them, and luckily, I have the perfect name to hopefully get girls excited.”

Forget superficial pop stars and vain actors. This woman is someone who should be applauded by my generation and the next. It’s women like her that little girls should be admiring.

My prayers are with you, new Amelia. I look forward to watching you make history.

If you want to read more about the new Amelia, you can find an article here.