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F is for Flight Bag: Pack Your Carry-On Like a Jet-Set Superstar

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I love those ‘What To Bring on Flights” stories that begin, “I use an Hermès Birkin bag as my carry-on. I had mine made with extra-long straps to fit over my shoulder.” That helpful advice is from Cindy Crawford, bless her heart.

Birkin-toting world travelers like Cindy have flying down to a glam science: the right (Hermès) bag stuffed with luxuries, such as a moisturizer you’ve never heard of (or one from the line they hawk on HSN), exotic green tea bags, an iPad with an advance copy of Vogue on it (I could be making that up) and sinfully soft cashmere socks to pad around First Class while the rest of us are squished into economy.



Even in my sad Birkin-free state, I still get something from those lists. For example, after you’ve endured endless waiting in a cheerless departure lounge, having something like your favourite tea means a lot.

Given the TSA-generated tension flying brings, it’s more important than ever to maintain the fiction of glamorous travel (and hence a glamorous life) by packing a really good reward -- like a fresh copy of Grazia (don’t judge!) that you can leave for the flight attendant who was kind enough to bring hot water for said tea.

Here’s my list:

• White + Warren cashmere travel wrap ($375, Holt Renfrew). It’s a splurge, but this wrap is really three items in one: a comforting, in-flight blankie (do they even wash those weird fleece blankets they hand you?), and after you land, it’s an evening wrap and an oversized scarf more modern than a pashmina.


• Nuxe Serum Crème Fraiche de Beauté 24 Hour Moisturizing Anti-Fatigue Concentrate ($42, The Bay) was clearly created for air travel. Meant for both face and eye, it’s super-hydrating yet lightweight, and the energizing plant-based fragrance counteracts nasty, stale inflight air.

Smith's Rosebud Salve tube

• Lips and cuticles require TLC on planes. Smith’s Rosebud Salve in a tube ($7, Sephora) is handier and lighter than the classic tin, and lets you squeeze out just enough deliciously-scented balm to soothe troubled spots.

• Gap City Flats, ($39.50, in Canada, in-store only) already lauded by Janine here, are great on long flights where you don’t want to walk in socks.

• Marc Jacobs Daisy Ring ($42, Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs) is filled with solid perfume so you get around that dreary Prohibited Liquids rule but still have a fragrance AND a bold accessory. It’s win win.


• Oversized sunglasses ($49, Esprit) become your sleep mask on-board and then pair with a great moisturizing lip colour such as Fresh Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment ($25, Sephora), so you can both hide and look polished when you disembark.

• Hydrate and get your daily antioxidants with Eden Genmaicha green tea with brown rice ($5, Whole Foods.) It sounds weird, but the roasted rice makes it tastes like popcorn (trust me, that’s a good thing), and it’s very comforting.

Eden Green Tea with Brown Rice

• A little Howard Hughes-level germ paranoia is good when you’re traveling because no-one wants to get sick on vacation. Swab down with a portable One Step Sanitizing Wipe (12 wipes, $1.99, major food, drug and mass retailers) and for heaven’s sake, keep your fingers out of your eyes.

• You don’t realize how noisy a plane is until you wear Sennheiser Noise Cancelling headphones($219, Paired with sunglasses, they create a sensory-deprivation cocoon so you can sleep. I don’t care how goofy I look in this combo -- I will never see these people again.

What am I missing? I’m nosy about everyone’s carry-on bag contents, not just Cindy Crawford’s.