HALLIE EPHRON: I'm just back from a 10-day trip to the back of beyond (Trinidad). No email. No Internet. No phone, mobile or otherwise. And just a smallish backpack for luggage.
As long as I don't have to bring a coat, snow boots, and a ball gown, I'm great at traveling light. I never EVER check a bag so it can't get lost, and so I can fly standby if I need to or offer to give up my seat for those big bucks (though I have never managed to actually score.)
I bring wash-and-wear that's quick-dry, along with a packet of powdered detergent. Never travel without nuts or trail mix, because you never know when the airline will run out of Snack Packs or when your plane will arrive for a layover at the same time as the airport restaurants shut down.
But invariably after 10 hours in the air and waiting around in airports, my (ahem) digestive system shuts down, and then it's a few days before "things" start moving again.
So I'm looking for tips about how to keep the digestive system in motion when you're on the move. What to eat? What not to eat? What to take? Exercises en route? And any other tips for arriving a) refreshed, b) richer, or c) "regular."
And how do you manage to pack something that looks classy and fancy and still travel light?
RHYS BOWEN: We went around the Australian Outback with one small suitcase for three weeks. Secret -- color coordination, T shirts, pants, one khaki skirt, one pair shorts. Buy underpants and socks that can be washed out in sink overnight.
When I travel on business I stick to black pants, a couple of good jackets, white tops and a couple of scarves.
My secret for staying healthy: drink plenty of water. When people think they have an upset stomach it's often simple dehydration. Water is also necessary to keep you "regular" Hallie. Never eat unpeeled fruit or salad in less advanced countries.
Things I always take with me: inflatable pillow for those long flights, flashlight in case hotel electricity goes out, change of underwear and toothbrush in carry-on in case bag goes to Bombay when I'm going to Barbados, mini clothes-pins, eye mask, ear plugs.
ROSEMARY HARRIS: I don't usually have many health issues when I travel although I do try to be mindful of them. Last month I flew to Dar es Salaam and since I knew I'd have so many hours on planes I bought a supposedly hypo-allergenic seat cover - seat, backrest, tray table. I used it once and felt like an idiot. I bring a baggie of vitamins and a bottle of Airborne chewables. Moisturize, drink water. Sometimes on trips when I know vegetables will be scarce, I bring a travel-sized bottle of olive oil. Changes everything.
As far as looking better than you feel - I like to fly in black yoga pants and a cami with a big sweater. Sunglasses, a big scarf and anything but sneakers. I don't know how fancy it is, but I convince myself it's what Victoria Beckham might be wearing.
LUCY BURDETTE: Hmmm, a little dumb here, but what the heck do you do with the olive oil??
We never check a bag anymore either, though no one could pack as lightly as Hallie! And I did borrow the yoga pants idea from Ro last year when we went to Hungary on our bike trip. Unfortunately the look was spoiled because I had to wear my clodhopper hiking boots--too bulky to pack but I had to have them.
Oh Ro, wish we had a photo of you in that hypoallergenic seat and tray cover! My neighbor has me convinced to bring those little sani-wipes and wipe everything down before you get settled...
And about that other matter, Hallie, walk as much of the terminal as you can. I don't take the automated walkway unless the plane is late. Oh, and always pack a sandwich at home. The problem is I usually eat it before I get to the airport...
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Oh, I know, Lucy! Once I know the sandwich is there, I HAVE to eat it!
HALLIE: My favorite takealong: homemade fried chicken and an orange. It's no wonder I start each trip with grease spots. Which reminds me: SHOUT stain remover packets with those little towelettes. Indispensable.
JAN BROGAN: Okay, I've just gotten the best advice ever from Rosemary and I'm taking notes. Olive oil? That advice could only come from a travel pro. And if there's anything I have A LOT of in my wardrobe it's black yoga pants. Also hate sneakers for travel, and not just because they look like you've given up, but because they are hard to take off and on during security. So I try to wear shoes that slip on and off.
Agree totally with Rhys on lots of water. And Emergence-C works great when you are insanely dehydrated. As far as traveling light? My husband would laugh his head off if I pretended to give anyone advice on that subject.
HANK: I have reformed so much from my old ways of overpacking!
I have a carry on suitcase.. And whatever I can fit into that, goes. Wear socks under my travel Uggs. Really ugly but warm comfy and can also be slippers. Travel shawl , black , doubles as blanket on plane and evening wrap. Water water water and I always have a bag of almonds. Almonds are always appropriate. I never drink on the plane. And I always eat breakfast-- egg whites are the best.
HALLIE: Now I know what to do with the olive oil. Sprinkle it on the egg whites!
DEBORAH CROMBIE: From Pappadeux Seafood restaurant, DFW Terminal A, en route to Orlando. Roll on size bag checked because I'm carrying my laptop, as always, in roll on backpack.
Travel musts: emergency meds, including immodium, naproxen, benedryl, and prescription anti nausea pills (many unpleasant experiences with overseas bugs an d no available doctor. And once in London my daughter had a bad allergic reaction to something she ate, so benedryl a staple.)
On plane, socks, blanket (since they no longer give them to you on domestic flights) and comfy sweater. Bottle of water. Earbuds or headphones.
Emergen-c is great rehydrator, I agree with Jan. I carry fish oil caps, fiber caps, and magnesium, but olive oil great idea too. And LOTS of water.
And now, bon voyage!
HALLIE: Let's hear it for water and olive oil!
So, Red Readers, what are your most cherished travel tips, and who do you want to look like when you're on the road?