The author has dialed in a routine.
The author has dialed in a routine. (Photo: Courtesy of Sasha Digiulian)

What Sasha Digiulian Always Has in Her Carry-On

The pro climber's 10 essential travel tools

The author has dialed in a routine.

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I travel about 300 days of the year, and it’s not unusual for me to visit three continents in one week. Once, I went to Beijing for a weekend, returned to New York City for class at Columbia University, then flew to Germany the next day. 

Over the years, I’ve learned how to dial in a routine that gets me through TSA quickly and minimizes the stress and the exhaustion of long hours in a plane seat. There are obvious things that most people bring on a flight—like a laptop, headphones, and ear plugs. Here are the other items you might overlook but that I've found to be totally essential. 

Hydra Molecular Hydrogen Tablets 

(Courtesy AquaH2)

These are concentrated additives that you put in water, where they release tiny bubbles the company claims hydrate you better. I put these into a water bottle, but you can also take them in pill form. 

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Graston Tool

(Courtesy Leosense)

My physical therapist introduced me to graston as a way to release tight muscles and break up scar tissue. I use this kit together with the argan butter, below, to loosen up after hours in a plane. 

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Argan Butter 

(Courtesy Nourish Organic)

I bring a small jar of this stuff to apply with the graston tool on my hands and forearms. 

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Face Lotion 

(Courtesy Isdin)

Air planes’ dry air makes my skin feels like sandpaper if I don’t keep it hydrated. I like this water-based formula from Isdin because it’s light and absorbs into my skin quickly. 

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Massage Ball 

(Courtesy Therapist's Choice)

Use this (or just a tennis or lacrosse ball) to massage out trigger points in your back and shoulders to keep from getting stiff in the plane seat. 

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Compression Tights and Arm Sleeves 


These increase your circulation and will keep your feet and arms from swelling. 

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(Courtesy Lipton)

While traveling, I avoid coffee and its caffeine high, so I can get some real rest on the plane. Most airlines offer free Black Lipton, though I usually bring my own non-caffeinated herbal variety. 

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A Good Book. Or Three. 

Here are three books that I've read recently and really loved.

Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” 

(Courtesy Penguin)

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Garth Stein’s “Art of Racing in the Rain” 

(Courtesy HarperCollins)

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Arianna Huffington’s “Thrive”

(Courtesy Crown Publishing)

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Air plane food sucks, so I bring my own. For snacks, I bring Perky Jerky, some of my homemade nutrition bars, fruit, and carrots with Justin’s peanut butter. 

Perky Jerky 

(Courtesy Perky Jerky)

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Justin Peanut Butter 

(Courtesy Justin's)

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Stasher Bags

(Courtesy Stasher)

For packing, I recently discovered “stasher bags,” which are basically reusable Ziplock bags that I use to store my snacks, toiletries, and other small essentials.  

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Lead Photo: Courtesy of Sasha Digiulian

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