Long-haul flights are brutal, unless you are one of the lucky few you get to fly first class, which if that applies to you you can stop reading now. If you’re prepping for a long trek in economy class then there are some essential items that will help you cope with the fact that you’re going to be confined to a 17-inch wide seat for many an hour. We all know that plenty of reading material and some good beats are musts, but there are a few more things that you should be sure to make space for in your hand luggage the next time you’re going the distance.
1) Toothbrush and Toothpaste
There’s nothing worse than waking up after your 15th cat nap to realize that the last in-flight meal had a bit too much onion in it. Keeping a toothbrush and travel size toothpaste on hand is a must, and you seatmates will appreciate it as well.
2) Refreshing Wipes
Airplane bathrooms are barely big enough for you to get in and out without standing on the toilet seat to open the door, so we don’t need to explain much when it comes to the difficulty one faces if they decide to wash their face in the sink. To freshen up without dealing with the sink, refreshing wipes will help give you a healthier glow after all those hours of recycled air blowing on your face.
3) Eye Drops
The air conditioning in the airplane doesn’t only take a toll on your skin, but that pesky nozzle overhead blows straight into your eyes causing them to dry out quickly. Add in the fact that you haven’t properly slept and you get itchy dry red eyes. Hence the name of overnighter “red eye” flights.
4) Lip Balm
While you’re hydrating your eyes and face, don’t forget about your lips, which can easily be chapped from not only the air but from the fact that you’re trying to cut down on your liquids to not have to climb over your seatmate every 30 minutes to visit the bathroom.
5) Hand Sanitizer
Germs are abundant on planes so it’s good to always have a tiny bottle of moisturizing hand sanitizer to keep your germaphobia at bay for the long-haul.
6) Eye Mask
If you’re not one of the lucky ones who can fall asleep on an airplane, then an eye mask can help you try to get some shut eye, especially when your neighbor has the window shade fully open during a daytime flight or when the cabin lights haven’t gone down yet.
7) Ear Plugs
Chatty neighbors? screaming babies? You can block them all out with a handy pair of ear plugs. Some airlines give them to you for free, but to be sure it’s best to bring your own.
8) Glasses not Contacts
If you wouldn’t sleep with your contacts in then don’t wear them on a long flight. Saves you having to find a travel size bottle of solution too.
9) Flight Socks
An extra pair is convenient for when you want to take a “stroll” up and down the aisles without having to put your shoes back on.
10) Extra Layers
Normally airplanes are set at a cooler temperature so as to not become germ breeding grounds, so having extra layers just in case it’s a bit chillier than your normal comfort level is a good idea.
11) Comfy Clothes
There’s no need to get dressed up to fly, unless of course you’re going straight to a business meeting upon arrival, if that’s not your case then wear the most comfortable clothes in your closet to ensure you’re not fidgeting the whole flight from a too tight pair of jeans.
12) Neck Pillow
If you think these two guys look like they’re comfortable then you don’t need a neck pillow, but if you tend to lose all the support in your neck when you sleep sitting down that you end up with your head swaying from side to side and from seatmate to seatmate’s shoulder then you need a neck pillow. They make them in all types of fabrics and even travel-size inflatable ones that don’t take up half your carry-on allowance.
13) A Pen
Long-haul flights can mean customs forms before landing, so instead of having to wait for your neighbor to finish theirs so you can borrow their pen, keep one of your own handy. If you don’t have customs forms to fill out you can always start a game of tic-tac-toe or hangman to pass the time.
14) Ear Phones
If you plan on taking advantage of the in-flight entertainment, then you should bring your own set of ear buds or headphones because the quality of economy class freebie headphones isn’t anything worth writing home about.
If you have sticky fingers when it comes to the flight attendant button and asking when food will be served, it’s best to bring along a few munchies to hold you over until the food cart starts rolling down the aisles. Because you know it’s an unwritten law that the food delivery always starts at the opposite end of the airplane as the one you’re sitting in.
What are your tips and trick for long-haul flights?