Packing may not be the most fun thing to do before embarking on a long journey. One of the least enjoyable parts of traveling is flying for several hours, and you know that all too well.
But it’s definitely worse if you do not have all the things that you need especially if you’re out for a hours-long flight. Aside from the feeling of impatience, being seated inside the airplane for too long will definitely be a pain in the butt.
To make those extended flight hours at least bearable, bring the essential things that will make you relaxed, ease off those airborne jitters and control possible in-flight irascibility.
You don’t have to pack a lot clothes, but there are some pieces of clothing that you will definitely need for the long, long flight.
Slip-on shoes and sandals – most airport security checkouts may require you to remove your shoes. Wearing slip-on shoes and sandals will get you through security a lot quicker. They are also easier to remove when you’re inside the plane.
Wool socks – airplanes are heavily air-conditioned. So it’s best to wear comfy wool socks to keep your feet warm.
Light jacket – for keeping your upper body warm inside the chilly airplane.
Hoodie – for keeping your upper body and head warm inside the chilly airplane. Plus, you can also use the hood to cover your head if you don’t want to be disturbed while taking that much-needed long nap.
2) Eye mask and ear plugs
Sleeping on planes is not exactly easy. Plus, there’s some feeling of awkwardness when you try to sleep in your own way, in the midst of many other passengers. Not to mention there’s the noise from people chattering and kids yelling and throwing tantrums.
You want to shut yourself off from those in-flight inconveniences for a while? An eye mask and a pair of ear plugs will definitely help you as you’re trying to get a decent sleep.
A good sleep can help in reducing the effects of jet lag. Check out the article How to Minimize the Effects of Jet Lag for more tips on how to combat it.
3) Alcohol, hand sanitizer and/or anti-bacterial wipes
It’s better to be safe than sorry, right? Airplanes are high-traffic areas and the likelihood of contamination is pretty great. Some cabins aren’t even cleaned properly before passengers come in! Minimize the risk of picking up and spreading harmful bacteria and germs by applying alcohol or hand sanitizer, or getting your hands clean with anti-bacterial wipes.
4) Bring your own snacks and drinking water
Most of the time, you want to eat according to your own wants and needs, and not according to the flight crew’s schedule. So instead of waiting for the flight attendants to bring a tray of food and drinks on the aisle, pack some snacks and a bottled water to fuel yourself during a long flight. It’s better to bulk yourself up on high-fiber snacks such as nuts, seeds, trail mix, health bars, whole-grain salads (because they never wilt unlike leafy salads), and some sweets like dark chocolates. These snacks will keep you full during a long flight. Drinking plenty of water is also important as it will keep you hydrated throughout the long flight.
You have to be prepared for every fortuitous eventuality, especially if you’re going for a long-haul flight. Long flights and flying on a high altitude can have adverse effects on your health, triggering headaches and sinus problems. A cabin that lacks proper cleaning can also trigger allergies. Apart from that, most airlines prevent their flight crew to hand out pills, so it is best to carry your own, Bring small packets of medicines (such as pills, tablets, capsules or pastilles) for those just-in-case situations.
For preventative measures, you should take vitamins as a “shield” to protect yourself from colds. Wear face masks to prevent getting infected from airborne germs, or when you yourself are already infected. Or better yet, get yourself vaccinated before embarking on the long journey.
5) Entertainment for long flights
To help stave off boredom during those long flights (or if you don’t like the in-flight entertainment), you deserve some distraction. If you are the old-school type of person, bring a book of crossword puzzles or Sudoku. Or bring some magazines with you, or have a Rubik’s cube to tinker with.
Having your phone or tablet switched to “airplane mode” for a while means you cannot browse, download files and watch Youtube videos online while you’re inside the plane. So before that long, grueling flight, make sure to download apps and mobile games that can work well offline or PDF’s of your favorite pieces of literature. Sync your playlists on Spotify to your phone too so that you can listen to music even when you’re offline.
The reality of having a “jet-set lifestyle” is far from being fun and glamorous. Long flights are stressful and may take a toll on you. Coming yourself prepared by packing those above-mentioned “must-have” items is only one of the ways to surviving a long and grueling flight.