Years of travel experience thought me to travel light and bring only essential and versatile things. I have to admit, I absolutely despise those boomerang-shaped neck pillows - they are too bulky, take too much space, and, frankly, are not all that cozy. \nSo, you are planning to travel this summer - awesome for you! Below is a list of my top twelve travel essentials to bring on a plane - tried and true. \n \n1. Thick and Cozy Sweater \nPlease don't rush to a store and buy a brand new outfit to wear on the plane - save that crisp linen shirt and freshly pressed trousers for later. Instead, take along with you your favorite, coziest sweater, as long as it has not been worn to death and it still looks presentable - it will keep you comfortable during the flight and can also serve as a head pillow. I love a good quality wool sweater - English-made is the best. Under a sweater, I usually wear a good quality cotton t-shirt, though I upgrade to a cotton shirt for business class flights. The non-iron Supima cotton shirts from Brooks Brothers are great. In cooler seasons, I throw on an extra layer - corduroy or tweed jackets travel well.\n2. A Pair of Cotton Socks\nIf you have never been aboard a long flight, let me tell you - it gets really cold. In the good old days, most airlines offered (for free!) useful little flight kits, which usually contained noise canceling foam earplugs, eye sleep mask, and a pair of disposable cotton socks. Nowadays, these are reserved for business and first class passengers. Those of us that fly economy most of the time, are lucky to get away with a free movie! So, I bring along with me a pair of simple cotton socks - they hardly take up any space but can be a real flight savior. As soon the plane reaches its cruising altitude, I take off my shoes and put on the socks - they keep my feet warm and comfortable.\n3. A Good Book \nMost airlines today offer in-flight entertainment, and, if you are lucky, you can catch up on the latest movie releases. I spend several long hours per day looking at a computer screen, and, when not working, I try to limit exposure to artificial blue lights. A good book can busy your mind for hours without putting too much stress on your eyes. At times, I go for an audiobook instead - I relax into the chair, close my eyes, and let the narrator carry my mind away from the noisy passenger in the next row. \nI have just finished reading Head Strong by Dave Asprey, who is the mastermind behind the Bulletproof diet. Having tried his Bulletproof coffee, a delicious concoction of non-toxic coffee with butter and MCT oil, I was eager to explore the diet further, and, eventually, adopted it. These low carb - high fat based principles, along with a mindful lifestyle, have greatly improved my energy levels and overall well-being - through this is for another post!\n4. Notebook \nIf you haven't noticed already, I am a note taker and a list maker. Planning my days on the night before and keeping a daily task list help me stay on track and get things done. For this purpose, I carry with me a pocket-sized Moleskine. A long flight is a great time to get organized and collect your thoughts on a project, or a brainstorm new product idea, and, it is also a good time to unwind and clear your mind. You never know when inspiration might hit you, and, when it does, be ready to put things down with pen and paper.\n5. Leather Toiletries Bag\nA toiletries kit really goes without saying. A few years back I invested in a leather toiletries bag. It is very convenient - you can keep it in the passenger seat-back pocket in from of you, and it is easy to clean. Pack a deodorant, always.\n6. Handkerchief or A Pack of Tissues\nMen rarely carry handkerchiefs today, but they are so versatile and can become very handy when traveling. I often use mine to wipe off any food stains and spills of my clothes before they set and become permanent, or to pat dry my face after washing when a proper towel is not provided, or to clean my glasses without destroying the lenses. If you are a germaphobe, a pack of disposable tissues would probably be a better option. \n7. Portable Water Bottle with Filter\nTwo words here - security screening. If you fly often and don't like to pay $5 for a bottle of water, invest in a portable water bottle with a built-in filter, like the Brita one. You can empty it pretty much anywhere you find a restroom and fill it back up at any coffee shop or a drinking fountain if need be.\n\n8. Camera\nI like photography, and though my iPhone takes pretty darn good photos, it will never replace in me the need for a good camera. In saying this, I am not a camera snob. Frankly, I don't know enough about them to go into a deep comparison of one over another. However, having taken thousands and thousands of product photos, over the years, I have developed a bit of a photographer's eye, meaning I learned to see objects from a different perspective when I look at them. I enjoy capturing moments of life and take my camera along with me everywhere I go.\n\n9. Watch\nPortable devices are great, when they work properly, that is. When traveling, I never rely on my iPhone, tablet or laptop to keep me on time. The chances are that you already own a watch, but if you don't, consider investing in one. It does not have to be expensive, there are many affordable and elegant options on the market, like those by Daniel Wellington. I like them because they allow you to easily switch out watch bands. By the way, did you know that, at Accenti, we also make custom alligator skin watch bands? \n10. Cash Money\nThey say that cash is king for a reason, and the saying holds true outside of the securities markets. Always have some cash with you when traveling, And, if traveling abroad, make sure to buy some currency of your destination country. In the best case scenario, it will buy you a cup of coffee, though it just might save your trip. \n11. Chocolate \nI always have a bar or two of at least 85% cocoa content organic dark chocolate in my carry-on bag. Low in sugar and high in fat, it is both a treat and a snack, which keeps me satiated between meals. But it does not have to be chocolate, pack you preferred snack, be it a protein bar or trail mix. \n12. Positive Attitude \nLong security lines, flight delays, less than friendly airline staff - all can contribute to travel-induced stress and anxiety. While some things, like weather-related flight delays, most can be avoided when carefully thought through in advance. Wear simple clothing to avoid spending too much time at the security check - skip the belt, leave anybody jewelry in your bag, and use easy slip-on shoes. When booking trips with layovers, allow enough time in between flights to accommodate possible delays, which are not uncommon. Most importantly, stay positive, be friendly and have fun. A wise man once said that the shortest distance between two people is a smile - this phrase has stuck with me for years.\nBon voyage!