My favorite jet lag essentials

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Let’s face it: 18 hours on a flight only to get to a destination that’s 12 hours time difference from your home is hard. The only thing that makes it harder is not having the right essentials to get through the jet lag, discomfort of a new place and the, sometimes, intense toll the travel takes on your body.  There are certain products and amenities I always travel with in my carryon to try and defeat the jet lag so read on to find out what they are!

1.  Organized carryon bag

The key to a happy traveler is having a carryon that perfectly compartmentalizes your stuff. I can’t tell you how irritable I get when I’m exhausted on a plane and can’t find my headphones or my kindle or something else. My favorite carryon is the Dagne Dover Landon Carryall, Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack or the Lo & Son’s Catalina.

Dagne Dover comes in as #1 for my because their bags have perfect compartments for everything, keeping all your little bits and pieces organized into separate areas of the bag. I love being able to reach into a pocket or pouch and find my airpods or my passport when I need it. This is step one to a smooth trip for me. The Dagne Dover bags also come with an external hidden cellphone compartment so I can slide my phone into the pocket when we’re running through the airport or customs, instead of having to dig through my bag to find it later.


Lo & Son’s is a close second because it, too, has great compartmentalization. The Catalina has a bottom compartment that i typically use for shoes and a jacket. Whereas the top compartment is where I store my other carryon items.  I also love that the Catalina has a pocket that unzips to be pulled over your suitcase handle.  This way, the bag stays on securely when you’re cruising through the airport.

  Lo and Sons


2. The perfect plane pillow

The Casper Nap Pillow was my dream come true. How many of you get an airplane pillow and silently cringe at the thought of your poor, poor neck at the end of that flight? I’m definitely not alone in this.  I’ve tried every neck pillow under the sun and they just don’t do it for me. Either they’re uncomfortable, fall off or they actually hurt my neck more than the airplane pillow would have. I have a Casper mattress at home and love my massive, memory foam pillow, but they don’t travel well. I saw Casper came out with this new pillow and I jumped at the opportunity instantly. They’re small, lightweight and fit in my carryon effortlessly. They’re like if an airplane pillow and a Frette-covered Tempurpedic had a baby. It’s amazing. I can’t wait to try it out on an upcoming red-eye.

casper nap pillow

3. Revitalizing skin care products

I never thought of myself as someone super into high tech skincare, but man, the Foreo Luna brush has changed my life. I got it and I kind of thought to myself, “yea…ok…I’ll try but I’m not buyin it“. I take back all my thoughts on that one. I spent 7 days cleansing twice a day per their instructions and it’s actually remarkable.  It seems like an aggressive declaration but don’t judge me until you try it. The Foreo Luna is an electronic face brush that helps promote clean, clear skin. What I found was that I really helps with my psoriasis flare ups and makes my skin looks amazing after a red-eye. I use the brush for one minute with a daytime and nighttime cleanser (like this one) and it looks like I just got a nice facial.  It’s also just a great tool to use when you’re jetlagged because clean skin really does make you feel more awake. The other face wash I love that always revitalizes me is the Natura Bisse C+C scrub.

FOREO luna

4. The perfect travel-sized toothbrush

I’ve been traveling with a Sonicare for some time now and it’s just…so big…and loud. It also has to be charged so frequently. I travel too much to lug the charger with me so I am looooving the Quip toothbrush. Just check out this size difference:


The Quip is small, lightweight, quiet and fits everywhere. I always brush my teeth before I land on long flights (make sure you bring your water bottle with you and never put the water from the plane sink in your mouth) and Quip has made that a lot easier. Nothing makes me feel like a human again so much as brushing my teeth. They also have a subscription service so every 3 months, not only do you get toothpaste, but you also get fresh brush heads at your door for just $5. It’s always great to not have to remember everything.

QUIP toothbrush

5. Immunity Boosters

Call me a bay-area hipster or trend-follower, but I swear by these.  If you haven’t heard of it, companies like Project Juice sell immunity shots in small 2-oz bottles that are jam-packed with nutrients. They are incredible after long flights on a stinky, bacteria filled flights. I usually get sick after long flights when I spent 15 hours in a germ-infested metal tube and these shots help to keep my immune system healthy.  I recommend the Immune Boost post-flight and the Energy Elixir the morning after. Tons of companies sell these but I like the taste of Project Juice and they deliver.

6. An easy snack

I am forever grateful to Chase Sapphire Reserve and AmEx Platinum‘s lounge network but I’m not always so lucky to get to a lounge. When I have a tight connection or a long day, I always have a snack in my bag, like the Wolo bar, because hangry Maren or Max is a bad time. I like their bars over a few brands for a couple reasons: they don’t crumble or break and they don’t melt. Nothing’s worse than a sticky, melted bar in the bottom of your brand new carryon. They’re also super high protein (15g) and very low sugar (5g). They stay good for a long time so it helps to know that I don’t need to remember to pack one. I always recommend you pack a snack to fight off the jet lag. A quick bite can do wonders to your energy levels.


7. Comfortable travel shoes

There’s nothing as nice as a good pair of slippers, especially ones that double as indoor and outdoor slippers. I discovered Mahabis through instagram and am obsessed with the concept. They make slippers with an attachable, rubber sole. This means that you can enjoy your indoor shoes and outdoor shoes at the same time. I love these, particularly for long flights, because they’re essentially a more functional slipper. You slide them on on the plane so you don’t need to put your sneakers back on when you have to use the bathroom. I try to avoid touching a plane’s bathroom floor, so a good slipper is an incredible win for a flight. The sole of the shoe comes off and you can easily clean it anytime.


These are a few of my favorite essentials that make long trips way more manageable. Do you have any must-haves for your trips? Let us know in the comments!