In-flight Essentials

My husband and I are leaving for New Zealand soon (eeeee so excited!) and have an almost 16 hour flight ahead of us. Though I’m super pumped for the trip, the impending long flight ahead always looms over me.

After our trip to Greece last year, I picked up some helpful tricks for making a long flight bearable. Beyond the typical comforts like wearing loose clothing (my go-to outfit is: yoga pants, t-shirt, cardigan, scarf, tennis shoes, and compression socks – yes I totally rock these), there are several small personal care items you can pack that make a world of a difference. I just throw the below items into a small ziploc baggie, put it in the seat pocket during the flight, and can instantly find anything I might need in flight.

in flight essentials

  1. Make-up remover wipes – On long flights I usually fly makeup-free, but even so, I like to “wash” my face at least once or twice during a flight. These easy to use towelettes remove travel grime and just makes it feel less yucky to not have showered in so long.
  2. Facial mist – It’s like pressing an instant refresh button with every spray. I can’t get enough of this Evian facial mist on flights and spray it whenever I’m feeling dry.
  3. Moisture-rich hand lotion – As you’ve seen from previous posts, I love Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. But what makes it great for flights is the barely-there scent (so you don’t overpower seat mates) and it’s rich formula that will keep you moisturized for hours.
  4. Disposable tooth brushes – I don’t think anyone should go 16+ hours without brushing their teeth, and these disposable brushes make it easy to do in-flight – no sink or water required.
  5. Luxurious face lotion – Travel is the perfect time to break out those samples you have squirreled away. I love Caudalie’s Premier Cru The Cream, and this tiny sample is perfect for one or two lotion applications.
  6. Lip balm – Another favorite, this Vaseline lip therapy is ideal for dry climates and will keep you lips moisturized for hours.
  7. Earplugs – Seal out the sound of crying babies or snoring neighbors and get some shut-eye.
  8. Zinc lozenges – Zinc is said to help prevent and shorten colds. Who knows if that’s actually true, but at least if your mouth feels dry it’s something to suck on, and can possibly help keep you healthy amid a plane full of germs.
  9. An extra hair rubber band – An obvious one, but no one likes to get stuck without a hair tie when you want to throw your hair up in a ponytail or bun.
  10. Advil – I take one to reduce swelling on flights, and also good to have on hand for headaches or any other aches you might develop from sitting for so long.
  11. Hand sanitizer – Kind of a no-brainer, but definitely keep this on hand and apply liberally whenever you may have come in contact with germs.

What do you bring on long flights to make the experience more comfortable? Did I miss any of your must-pack items?


Girlfriend Getaway to the Madonna Inn

Madonna Inn arrival

My best girlfriend currently lives in Los Angeles, so we decided we needed a girls getaway to catch up. One of our favorite bloggers had stayed at the Madonna Inn last year, and ever since then, it’s been on our radar as a must-visit destination. Seeing as it’s almost an even halfway point between SF and LA, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to meet in the middle and stay at this landmark hotel.

Mini Maxi

Stay: Well of course, the Madonna Inn. But more specifically, we chose to spend our 2 nights there in the Mini Maxi room (#146). It is touted on the website as being “ideal for an anniversary, honeymoon or any special occasion,” so the whole weekend we joked we were on a romantic getaway. Romance factor aside, we couldn’t resist the plethora of pink decor and the gigantic rock fireplace that sits directly at the end of the king bed. It also features a rock shower and rock sinks, and a fully equipped Toto toilet that introduced us to the wonderful world of heated toilet seats.

Mini Maxi bathroom

Some honorable mention rooms that also topped our list were: Carin, Love Nest, and of course the Madonna Suite (but it was too pricey for us that weekend).


Play: Even though I’m sure there are a ton of fun things to do and see in San Luis Obispo, living in San Francisco doesn’t provide many opportunities to hang out at a pool, so I was really excited to get some quality fun in the sun time at the Madonna Inn pool. They have a large pool area with two hot tubs (one adjacent to the pool, and one tucked away near the SPA). When the sun went down, the SPA hot tub was a nice respite from the cool breeze.

Hot tub

We also decided to treat ourselves to a mini spa treatment when we got in on Friday. The Madonna Inn SPA runs specials every month, so we went with one of the February specials called the “Madonna Kiss” – a 45 minute treatment focused on the back, neck, and feet.


Eat/Drink: We both love eating and drinking, but wanted to be smart (cheap) about our choices since we were spending so much money on the room itself. We brought some of our favorite drinks to enjoy in the room: fruity beers (Stiegl Radler and Avery Brew Co. Liliko’i Kepolo), white wine (Sauvignon Republic sauvignon blanc), and of course, champagne (Veuve Clicquot and Sophia Blanc de Blancs). We didn’t end up even getting through half of it, but it was nice to have a selection of our favorite drinks on hand. And we both brought some snacks to share in the room so we didn’t have to go out to every meal (protein bars, chips and salsa, hard boiled eggs, pretzels, etc).

Novo restaurant

We basically ended up eating out one meal per day of our 3-day stay which I think was a good balance. Friday night we kept it lo-key and grabbed burritos to go and brought them back to the room, Saturday night we got dinner out in downtown SLO at Novo Restaurant, and Sunday morning we ate at Copper Cafe at the Madonna Inn. Here’s a little summary of the places we ate at:
• Taco de Mexico – Taqueria atmosphere, good for getting burritos to go. Not the best I’ve ever had, but a solid choice if you’re on a budget.
• Central Coast Wines – Go to the back tasting area and try a flight. A downtown tasting room and store convenient to restaurants and shopping (and right near Novo Restaurant).
• Novo Restaurant – The cutest backyard patio (definitely eat outside, they have heat lamps!). We shared the fresh avocado shrimp spring rolls appetizer, and I got the Thai green chicken for dinner (get it with the Forbidden black rice!). Reservations recommended, but you can always grab a drink at the bar while you wait.
• Copper Cafe – We had to try a least one meal at the Madonna Inn, so we opted for breakfast which was cheaper. I went with the Eggs Benedict (with a huge thick-cut piece of ham) and it was legit – I’m very picky about benedicts, and this was a good one. Reservations also recommended here – it was packed, and we opted to eat our breakfast in the bar rather than waiting an hour for a table in the restaurant.

Overall the weekend was so fun, and I’d really love to go back sometime and try a different room (though ours was awesome). And if I had another day there, I’d also like to explore the wine country around SLO a bit more, or even try out one of the many hiking trails in the area.

Have you ever been to the Madonna Inn? What room would you choose?