As a fairly well-travelled bunch who know a thing or two about flying, we thought we’d ask around the Skyscanner office to see what items our staff never boarded a plane without. From hoodies to hair-straighteners – here are Skyscanner staff’s most essential travel items.
Gareth (Skyscanner Head Honcho)
I always travel with a book. I also take my PDA, USB Dongle, a copy of the Economist magazine (I always buy it at airport), my driving licence (obvious, but it’s really easy to forget that you hired a car at the other end), plus my swimming trunks; they don’t take up much space but I might fancy a swim if the hotel has pool.
Bon (Skyscanner Co-founder)
I’m very fussy about the bag I travel with. It has to be a shoulder bag. Dragging a trolley bag does not work for me (too slow weaving through the crowds, too awkward on steps, and makes you look like an air stewardess).
The ideal bag has to fit under the seat in front of me (means you can get a seat right up the front of the plane once all these speedy boarders have taken all the space in the overhead locker).
It’s quite difficult to find just the right bag. My old bag (Slappa) was no longer available; it served me well but has now come to the end of its travelling life after two years of abuse. So after a bit of research I decided to import a bag from the states, the Tom Bihn – Empire Builder. I’m taking it on its inaugural flight next week!
Barry (Skyscanner Co-founder)
My iPod and a small folding bag inside my luggage so that I don’t have to cart my case around everywhere with me.
Martin (Senior Developer)
Cargo trousers with lots of pockets! Means I can have everything I need during a flight actually on my person and have no need to delve into my carry-on for stuff passport, iPod, book, Nintendo DS, snacks etc.
Jenny Herbison (Account manager)
It has to be my iPod to drown out screaming kids and stop the people next to you from talking to you!
Laura (Financial Assistant)
I know it’s vain but I always take my hair-straighteners with me when I travel.
For the actual journey a good book is always useful.
Ewan (Sales Manager)
Ear plugs for screaming kids and drunken rugby teams. I also always carry spare socks, a T-shirt and a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in my hand baggage – in case of a lost bag or missed connection.
Mik (Infrastructure Manager)
Laptop, PDA, PSP and lots of portable storage (pen drives, memory cards, etc). Technology, whoooaah!
Sam (Travel Editor)
I always travel in a hooded top because the hood helps block out the world when I want to sleep, plus it’s got big pockets and they are cosy garments. My trusty Sony IXUS digital camera, a notepad and a pen are always on hand too – essential accessories for the travel writer.
I also like to carry a good book – preferably a paperback which isn’t too chunky, for space saving reasons. I like to travel as light as possible – read my Packing Tips here.
Leanna (HR Manager)
I never travel without perfume. There can be lots of smelly travellers and I like to mask the BO. Not my own, of course – others’!
I once sprayed a man in the mouth with Chanel No.5 whilst on a plane when he yawned. He was none too chuffed, but trust me, it was the only way I could have suffered him for more than 2 hours. [Skyscanner do not condone spraying fellow passengers in the mouth with anything – Ed].
Lara (Head of Marketing)
Industrial strength earplugs in case of snorers in next seat; top tip – try Mack’s Junior Safe & Sound if earplugs hurt your ears. Made for delicate little ear holes like mine!
I also take a sleeping pill straight after takeoff so I can annoy all the people who didn’t bring earplugs in case of snorers, and a book to read until pill kicks in. And the best travel pillow (it has microbeads) in the world. It even has a name – Meryl Sleep. I never get Jet Lag so I think my method of sleeping through my flights must work.
I always wear solid footwear. They support my ankles and calves, feet don’t sweat much in them which doesn’t result with unwanted smells, they don’t generate warmth but sustain temperature inside so they’re appropriate for cold (-20C) and hot (+25C) weather.
They are also great protection in crowded places and due to their steel enforced construction they’re handy during assaults or in moshpits during a concert – you don’t have to be strong, those boots are ok by themselves. [We do wonder what our staff get up to in their free time! – Ed]
Dave (Head of Database Development)
My big Can headphones are essential. I plug them into my laptop or mobile for music or movies on the go. Cans are great for flights – they don’t let you wear them when taking off/landing but after that they just kill the noise completely and you don’t realise how much stress this removes from flying. It’s not noticeable until you’ve flown with Cans – I suggest Sennheiser.
Also, an electronic toothbrush can make you feel like you’ve had a shower; you’re on the second leg of your journey but you get that dentist-clean feeling and it helps to make you feel clean all over, even if you actually smell a little.