Airlines

What to Pack for a Mileage Run

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I recently did a straight turn to Alaska for a status mileage run and found myself at a loss. I wasn’t spending the night, so I almost lulled myself into a fall sense of not needing to pack, and had a hard time figuring out what, if anything, I needed to bring.

If you’re going to be in the air 8+ hours, you should rethink not bringing anything. You don’t want to look or, more importantly, feel like the trip was even harder than it was!

Top priority (and apologies to those who may feel this is TMI):

  • Travel Deoderant
  • Change of underwear

With these two things you can definitely avoid offending any seatmates or friends you might be meeting up with. 🙂

But that’s just the basics. What else did I pack to make sure I was entertained and both I looked and felt as good as possible?

In my laptop case:

  • Laptop — to blog and get work done
  • iPad — because I’m addicted to Plants vs Zombies, Angry Birds, and e-books.
  • Chargers for all electronics
  • Back up battery for smart phone (most flights won’t have plugs and the last thing you want to do is get caught with a dying cell phone and a cancelled flight
  • Paperback book and/or magazine for take off/landing
  • Camera

Tumi Tote:

Tumi Bag

  • Teva Zirra sandals so I can walk through TSA pre-check with my shoes on. And if I wind up finding a random hiking trail or gym during a layover, I’m good to go!
  • Change of clothes — for me it’s usually a dress so it’s easy, but the few times I wear separates a fresh shirt fits the bill
  • Light jacket in case it’s cold on the plane or at my connecting city
  • Twistband — the only ponytail holder I’ve found that holds my hair back without creating weird bumps or kinks when I take it out

  • Comb — takes up less room than a brush
  • Screen cleaning wipe for phone, iPad, and laptop — 12 hours in the air = 10 hours of use.
  • Travel size bottle of Purell — it’s not always convenient to wash your hands before snacking
  • Items to avoid random discomfort — allergy pills, Advil, and Pepto Bismol (just in case)
  • Nail file — most of my hangnails happen in transit

In my amenity kit/makeup bag (looks like Road Warriorette’s international picks are similar to my mileage running list).


I’ve started taking the advice of Lisa Eldridge and turning long flights into mini spa sessions with the result I look no worse for the wear, and in fact, sometimes look better!

This all fits into two “personal item” size bags which means I won’t be overburdened if I want to leave the airport during a layover, but will be covered if I wind up having to overnight somewhere or just want to avoid looking greasy and worn.

By the time I hit Dallas on Sunday morning my hair was a little rough (still haven’t found a good dry shampoo) but otherwise I still looked pretty fresh.

What do you pack for same day trips or long flights?

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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

6 Comments

  1. Sheri Hardeman

    June 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Awesome tips! We do mileage runs and ya I look at little haggard after lol – dry shampoo, I’ve looked but problem is none come small enough for the liquid limit for carry on’s 🙁

  2. Sheri Hardeman

    June 20, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Oh add slippers to your list – I actually wear mine on mileage runs after I get on board 🙂 I throw the knitted kind your Grandma would make in my bag.

    • Keri Anderson

      June 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      Great idea!!

  3. Tiff

    June 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I use baby powder as a dry shampoo. It takes a bit to work it in since I have darker hair, but it’s cheap and they sell it in travel-size containers. =)

  4. Petitetigre

    November 14, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Have you tried Batiste Dry Shampoo? I’ve heard good things about it. I haven’t seen it in a small travel size though.

    • Keri Anderson

      November 14, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Thanks! I haven’t tried it before, but just found it on Drugstore.com in travel size. Doesn’t qualify for ShopRunner, so will be waiting til I have more items to order, but as soon as I do, I’ll review it!

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