Things to Have in Your Carry-On

My friend Becky and I love to travel. We both worked as flight attendants after high school and experienced many good and bad situations on airplanes. Packing our own carry-on’s and understanding passenger’s needs, helped us to improve our own “carry-on-checklist”. We would like to share some of the items that are essential when you are travelling on an airplane:

Entertainment

Headphones

A lot of the airlines provide free headphones. Most of them aren’t that good of a quality and you may have background noises while watching an exciting movie. It’s best to bring along your own headphones that work for you.

Good Earplugs, eye mask and pillow

I believe it is nearly impossible to avoid noises, light and uncomfortable seats in an airplane. Sounds of the engine, children, airline announcement… Some good pair of earplugs, and eye mask and a cozy pillow can save your life or at least your sleep.

MP3 Player/Ipod

Book/Kindle

Entertainment is everything on a long flight. Do the things you weren’t able to do in a long time. Read a book or listen to the newest album of your favorite band. Now is the time.

Camera

Take your camera with you. You never know which route the airplane might take. Becky and I took some gorgeous pictures of sunsets, the Maldives, Greenland etc.

Food and Beverages

Drinks

Buy one of the drinks after security check. I know it is expensive. But save a few coins and buy some water. You will thank me when you find yourself 4 hours into the flight feeling absolutely dehydrate. You could technically also pack a water bottle and fill it up with water on the airplane. (Flight attendants might not like this so much 🙂 )

Food

Bring some type of sugar onto the flight. Sometimes you might find your blood sugar to be very low and you get a craving for sweets. Best options are possibly oat bars, dry fruits, and nuts.

Beauty

Glasses

Your eyes might get really dry in the air. Make sure you either have some glasses so you can take off contact lenses, a change of lenses or some liquid to hydrate them.

Hand lotion, chap sticks

It is also nice to have some moisture for your hands and lips.

Disinfectant

Good to have especially when you are sensitive or might have a week immune system.

Bath wipes

Tooth brush

Comb/Hair brush

Make up

Any other beauty item is really up to you. I usually like to freshen up before we land. It makes me feel better, but also is pleasant to any friends or family picking us up at the airport.

Other

Kleenex

Some of us might get a stuffy nose up in the dry air with all the air conditioning or you drop some coffee on your clothes and don’t have access to paper towels. You get the idea.

Pen and Paper

Often times you are required to fill out immigration papers, but it also helps if you need to write down a quick thought.

All your valuable items

incl. passport, valet, cellphone, visa confirmation, keys, and pretty much anything else that you want to keep on you while traveling. Mistakes happen every day and checked luggage might get lost or items out of your luggage might get stolen. It is the safest option to carry anything important on you.

Socks and Sweater

Even in the summer it might get quiet chilly on an airplane, especially when you are having a window seat. Some warm socks and a sweater will help you stay warm.

Medicine

Medicine that you may require (e.g. birth control, aspirin or pills against motion sickness). This is really important. If there is any medicine that you take frequently, don’t forget to put it in your hand luggage. It might also be smart to calculate the time difference and set an alarm for taking your pills in the new time zone.

Transparent bags for liquids

As you may already know, 100 ml size liquids are allowed in your hand luggage  (max. 1l in total). Make sure you you bring transparent zip lock bags or you may have to purchase them at the airport.

We hope those few tips help you to plan your next flight. Please feel free to print this out and use it as your own checklist.

And… Always happy landings

Tugce & Becky

How to learn a language for free

A while ago, I watched a TED video by Luis von Ahn. His company invented reCAPTCHA (owned by google since 2009), a web security tool that helps digitize books. The characters shown in the white boxes (as seen on the right below) are words from books that a computer cannot recognize. Each time the word is being entered by a user into the white box the word is being digitized.
RecaptchaVon Ahn and his team started a new project called Duolingo which is also based on the concept of online collaboration. Their goal is to get 100 million people to translate the web into the major languages for free. Duolingo offers users free language education; simultaneously each sentence presented in the software helps to translate parts of the web. (Wikipedia, newspapers etc.)  The translations of multiple beginners is combined  to optimize the result. This is then comparable to a translation of a professional translator. Currently, you can learn 5 languages incl. German, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese for English users and  English for Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian speakers.

Duolingo

In July 2013 Duolingo had about 5 million users. I signed up a few weeks ago to improve my language skills in French and Spanish, and I took the first level in Italian. I love the playful, interactive methodology which helps me to motivate myself to learn more frequently. I also feel I contribute to translating the web, which makes it really interesting to me.

I always loved going to new countries and being able to communicate with locals. It gives you confidence and once you have the basics you can even practice on your next trip or holidays abroad.

I feel Duolingo is a great tool and a genius idea of using online collaboration on a completely new level.

If you’d like to sign up simply go to http://www.Duolingo.com and let me know how you liked it!

Information via: TED & Wikipedia
Picture via: ReCAPTCHA and Duolingo