Five things I never fly any sort of distance without

Never is a pretty bold statement, and obviously this depends on the length of flight, but here goes:

1) Kiehls In-Flight Refreshing Facial Mist

Cabin humidity isn’t just for your insides. Though this product has been relabeled as Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist, I have been assured it is the same stuff. I spray this stuff liberally on my face and neck, and honestly anywhere else. It smells great and a bottle lasts forever. Make sure you buy the 2.5 oz size because this is a carry-on essential. Who checks bags anyway? Things are better if you’re on a 787, but I still bring it.

2) A large, thin scarf.

Blanket, headwrap, skirt, privacy shield…what you can do with a scarf is endless. I recommend something at least 6 ft long and 3 ft wide. Linen is great, cotton blends are great, silk is ok. Fold it up, wear it on, whatever. If you’re in economy, make yourself a little privacy sleeping hood. Anything that makes you feel a little less like you’re mere inches away from the face of a stranger.

3) Water Sac

Sure- most planes will give you free water. But it is never enough. Seriously you need to drink more water on planes. One liter for every four hours of flight, even more if, like me, you love to drink the free booze. I do this even when I am in premium cabins, as it is personally more annoying to continually ask for water or deal with trying to hoard mini bottles at your seat than to just bring some of your own. Water sacs are nice because they flatten and are reusable, but if push comes to shove, buy a liter at the airport. If I am going to a destination where the tap water is not drinkable, I will bring one with an attachable purifier.

4) Thick socks or slippers.

My shoes are coming off but I am not going to walk around the cabin in my regular socks. Slippers are ideal- better protection from the floor, but socks are easier to pack. If I am in business or flying economy on airlines like Qatar or Korean, this will be provided. Always be prepared though.

5) Noise cancelling headphones

I like these, which are small and I can crumple up and abuse. I can’t sleep with giant domes on my ears. I also love that you don’t have to charge them. Remembering to charge your electronic devices before leaving is obnoxious. Between computers and cameras and phones and battery packs, the last thing I want to worry about it my headphones.

Disposable face wipes, toothbrush/paste, eye cream, and a non-aerosol dry shampoo are my runners up.

No, I don’t receive compensation for this but I am totally open to product bribes.

The Final 2018 Holiday Thing: 34

So, it is Christmas and I am about to get all sentimental. My final favorite thing is all of you. I truly would be lost without my friends. It is so important to acknowledge, value, and appreciate the family you choose. As a raging extrovert, I need to process almost everything that happens to me with multiple people. Thank you to the friends who listen, gossip, advise, love, challenge, embrace, and push me to be better.

Almost every year, one of my goals is to put more work into my friendships. I look forward to doing so again in 2019.

You are all the best.

Abbey (& Bei Bei)

the big three-oh

Get thee an enormous, modal scarf. Make sure there aren’t any serious danglies or tassles. And use it for everything (you hear that Tiffany in Washington?!) Need to lay on the beach? The scarf’s got you. Need a fashion accessory that doubles as a blanket for travel? Scarf. Need to hide? scaaaaaaaaarf. Wear it as a dress when you’re doing laundry. Use it as a head covering when you need privacy or modesty, use it as a cover-up on the beach. It folds into almost nothing, it’s comfy, it’s lovely, and it can transform any boring outfit into something spectacular as a fashionable cape. GET THEE A SCARF. Bigger the better, as long as it’s thin.

TIP: Rewatch Frasier. It’s so worth your time.


I love sweaters. And cardigans. And wearing bags on my body. And sometimes all of these things lead to pilling and bobbling. Suddenly, something nice is covered in fuzz nuggets. Which suuuuucks. But, that is where Beautural Portable Fabric Shaver comes in. This lil’ workhorse keeps your clothing, throw pillows, carpet AND drapes, and other things looking like new. Keep the cash in cashmere: shave your fabrics. Go slow, take your time…it’s worth it.

I keep one at home and one at my desk at work. You just never know! Andrew in Oakland will soon be in the Sweater Shavers Club.

TIP: Dr. Bronner’s is an excellent travel product. While I am not sure there are even 19 different ways to use soap, I frequently use it to sink wash garments, and also as a body and face wash. The containers the travel size soap comes in are also excellent. When empty, I use the bottles for other liquid personal care travel toiletries because they are better (and cheaper; plus free soap) than most other 2-3 oz bottles out there. Find the travel Bronner at Target, REI, and many other retailers.

Thing 17

It’s another catch up day! I am here to proclaim your chafing and blisters at an end. Feet, thighs, nipples, armpits, etc…they’ve all been saved! When I discovered Band-Aid brand friction block after I started running, I soon made the leap to rubbing the stuff all over my body. But it was impossible to find. I would hop around from CVS to CVS looking for that magic little tube, filling my cart like I was on that extreme coupon show if I hit the jackpot. And now it is discontinued.

But one magical day in October 2016, a flagship REI opened on my block. I walked through all of the hip displays, full of pricey camping and outdoor products, imagining myself taking up new hobbies based solely on proximity to gear. And then I saw it: an entire rack of friction reducing products in glorious colors and sizes. My heels and thighs were saved!

Body Glide has products for her, for feet, for body…and a few other things. But honestly, all of the tube types are very similar. There are large sticks, the size of a deodorant, and tiny little ones that fit in any bag/purse/clutch/pocket. Hopefully Ed in Pittsburgh enjoys a friction free life!

TIP: Make sure to clock the mileage on your running shoes. After 500 miles (sometimes less!) you need to get a new pair. Only use shoes you have maxed out on for biking or tubing or anything where you’re not walking.

Dozen: Tights

I love tights (and bread). For years I overpaid for tights that were quickly ruined by all sorts of things. And then some listicle turned me on to these. And they are great, but you don’t have to take my word for it! Here are some highlights from the Amazon posting:

  • These stylish fishnet tights have the most desired hollow out jacquard patterns voted by thousands of loyal Vero Monte fans (hahaha)
  • They tend to look better on your legs than in the product photos. (truth)
  • The quality, the style, and the classic color make these fishnet tights perfect for your wardrobe collection. (sure thing)
  • These fishnet tights are the best bets of Vero Monte for Fall & Winter 2018.
    Competitors may look similar to Vero Monte, but definitely not the same quality nor the exact patterns as Vero Monte. (don’t be fooled!)

Plus- they are under $4 a pair. And I am sure Maite in Houston will enjoy hers 🙂

TIP: Use IKEA bags at Costco and basically everywhere else. The giant reusable bags make carrying big, boxy things easy.