Carry-on Creature Comforts

carry-on comfort essentials[trip style = any]

While flying the skies at 40,000 feet---from where I pen this---I'm reminded of a few simple things that can change your personal flight path from turbulent to terrific. I call these travel creature comforts, and I cart them whether I'm flying in econo or biz class. While lie-flat seats and first class pods do come with extra travel doodads like moisturizing eye masks {thanks JAL}, seats-slash-massage chairs {thanks Emirates} or down comforters {thanks Virgin Atlantic}, nothing can replace---not even a flute of Dom---the things you love and need. Here's what I swear by in the sky!

Trip Styler Tip :: Always keep a carry-on comfort kit packed so it's ready to go when you're frazzled with last-minute trip prep!

1/ Non-scented hand cream I coat my hands and arms pre- and mid-flight and dab a touch beside my eyes when my skin starts to feel crunchy and dry. Ultra-moisturizing, high-quality hand cream can mean the difference between sapped and supple inflight skin {read: plane soap and cabin air are uber-drying}. Trip Styler loves: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment {$15}

2/ Earplugs or noise-cancelling earbuds For those times when you just want to doze off or drown out the noise around you... I can't tell you how often I slip in my earplugs or buds; they're often the make-or-break item between a peaceful and frenzied flight. Trip Styler loves: 3M Foam Earplugs {$1}

3/ Scarf or shawl Airplanes' heating and cooling systems often operate in extremes: frigid or hot. Personally, I get cold on every single flight---it's like the Arctic up there. Instead of schlepping a down parka on the plane, I bring one or two pashminas or shawls, which double as blankets, hats or neck warmers to keep my temperature regulated. Trip Styler loves: Nordstrom Cashmere-Blend Wrap {$80}. Note: I also suggest traveling with a cheaper wrap---one you can throw around and not fret if it gets snagged or dirty.

4/ Water bottle I was just on a four-hour flight and was offered a glass of water ONCE. Dearest airlines: we're people, not camels! To ensure I have enough H2O, I always bring a collapsible water bottle to rehydrate inflight. Once I drink it dry, it takes up zero space in my bag. Trip Styler loves: Vapur Travel Anti-Bottle {$10}

5/ Toothbrush Whether you have cat-tongue from not drinking or eating for a few hours, or just noshed a plate of mystery airplane food, brushing your teeth before landing is the 40,000-ft equivalent of a shower. Trip Styler loves: Colgate Wisp Mini-Brush with Freshening Bead {$5 for 16}

6/ Mints It helps to follow up the aforementioned toothbrush with a mint for long-lasting fresh breath. Trip Styler loves: Altoids Curiously Strong Mints, Cinnamon - Pack of 12 {$20}

7/ Sox 'n' slippers For any flight over four hours, I bring socks and washable slippers to keep my feet warm. Don't go to the lavatory barefoot or only wearing socks -- slippers or shoes are a must! Trip Styler loves: Hotel slippers---wash after use and air dry! {free}

8/ Eye drops To keep my peepers full of pep, I throw in eye drops at the flight's end to combat the dry and red-rimmed effects of flying. Trip Styler loves: Visine Maximum Redness Relief {$6.60}

9/ Eye brightener My makeup artist friend told me I had to get a MAC nude eye pencil to rim the inside of my eyes -- the waterline -- so I look human {vs alien} after a long flight or jet lag. Trip Styler loves: MAC Chromagraphic {Nude} Pencil in NW20 {$29}

Honorable Mentions Hand sanitizer, eye mask or sunglasses, dry shampoo

/\/\/\/\/\ What are your inflight musts? /\/\/\/\/\

[graphic by @tripstyler; photos sourced online]