After a 48-hour whirlwind trip to Paris, I am back. Seeing the latest fabric and furniture introductions left me feeling inspired and full of new trends. I went to cover the fabric show Deco Off, and to host video segments for Editor at Large, which I will share with you soon. I arrived back in New York City just in the nick of time, avoiding the pre-snow storm melee touching down Sunday night. Upon my return, I began to think about things I cannot live without when I travel long distances, as I set out to repair the travel-induced jet lag symptoms. Before I departed, I devoured as much information as I could on dealing with the effects of jet lag. I discovered an app called Entrain that helps with monitoring your sleep schedule and can provide a much-needed assist in regulating your internal clock. If you travel long-haul flights frequently, or just have trouble sleeping, this app is a boon to those with sleep woes. According to this helpful piece in the New York Times, wearing sunglasses on and off the plane to avoid sunlight as long as possible helps a lot. Other constant travelers have suggested these tips- drink copious amounts of water, sleep the entire flight, and do not eat until landing, making breakfast the first meal. I take half a Melatonin, put on my eye mask and its lights out till wheels down. I will myself to sleep, and that usually works. Here are some travel essentials that get me through, as well as some tips and tricks on getting your circadian rhythm back on track.
A tote bag that can fit an assortment of small pouches, paperwork, an ipad a travel blanket and other travel gear should be ultra lightweight and be able to hold everything but the kitchen sink. I prefer whisper-light nylon totes, but this new lightweight leather tote from Smythson, The Panama East West Zip Tote is great because it is understated and chic and keeps prying hands away. A note on that: carrying a fancy bag while traveling can be a green light for pick pockets. While in Paris, an American designer I know had her bag swiped by the people siting at the table right next to hers. By the time she realized what had just happened, they were out the door with her purse. Horrible but true. Try to travel as low-key as possible.
I am partial to color, but have this black Anya Hindmarch travel pouch packed and ready to go in my dresser drawer. It is pre-packed with ear plugs, my eye mask, face spritzer, lip balm, hand cream, mint tea bags and a travel toothbrush along with Marvis toothpaste, so I can grab it and go.
Owning an eye mask is a must. I prefer silk, as it is soft to the touch and tends to feel more luxurious. I have had my Ann Gish mask for years and it ties in the back for added comfort. This version, from Perpetual Shade is nice because it comes in its own case.
Aside from visiting a great museum exhibition and getting a sense of what is new in a given city, the one thing I love to do when I travel is hit the local pharmacy. Even if it means dashing in at the airport on the way home, I can always find something great to stock up on in a foreign country. In Paris, its all about skin products. The can't-live-without product of editors and frequent travelers is Embryolisse skin cream. It doubles as a makeup remover and adds a layer of moisture to travel parched skin. I managed to pick up a tube at the Pharmacie on the way back to New York.
Since airplanes seem to have a Nordic breeze running through them most of the time, a scarf that covers your neck is another essential. Plus, it can double as an evening accent once you get to your destination. This cashmere and silk wrap comes in a wide range of colors and is an indispensable item.
It drives me crazy when people wear sunglasses inside. But there is an actual reason to wear them on and off the plane- they help delay the jet lag. And there is a reason these Tom Ford Jennifer sunglasses have been a best seller for almost ten years- they look good on (almost) everyone, and keep the light away from your tender pupils.