I'm in Japan right now -- and I can say I can't imagine the 14+ hours on the plane without my crocheting! I always find the US side of things is a bit more picky than the Japan side. I use fingernail clippers to cut my yarn (I usually carry a pair in my purse, the ones without the little file that flips out). I did purchase some plastic hooks for travel, too. I didn't notice the slightest difference. I prefer Susan Bates hooks and both my plastic and metal hooks are the same brand.