10 things you absolutely need to survive a long flight
Long flights really can take a toll on your mind and body, but only if you let them. I have read too many “45 Products You Absolutely Have to Spend a Million Dollars on Before Taking a Long Flight” articles, (this is how I read them anyway), and they always leave me feeling too scattered for pre-departure shopping.
As a 20 year old woman debatably in her prime, it may come as a surprise that I turn into an absolute gremlin on flights. Between not sleeping the night before a flight; combating nerves with extra-strength, please-make-me-super-drowsy motion sickness pills; and sweating like a hog from the moment I step into the airport until the blessed landing, I tend to look a little less than my Sunday’s best.
I wish I was joking.
I dry up like a prune on airplanes, even though I drink far more liquids than my bladder can handle. I can almost never get a good nap in, I have horrible body temperature control, and I tend to have more issues with motion-sickness than a pregnant lady on the Mayflower. (My family and friends can attest to this.)
If you're anything like me, just know… all will work out. You will survive that dreaded flight with comfort and ease… if you pack the right stuff!
Before leaving, I read a really great step-by-step article on how to survive a 10-Hour flight like a lady thanks to Pinterest. I began to think about how I could make the experience of flying more enjoyable, or at least tolerable. When shopping for carry-on items, I bought certain things that I knew would combat any potential fatigue on the flight. The trip from Boston to Rome took roughly 8 hours. Ugh.
And so, I present 10 items to bring and use on a long flight to ward off your inner gremlin:
Motion Sickness Medicine: This is a must for me. This is the first thing I buy when I know I am going on a long flight. It is great because it stabilizes your equilibrium, and makes you drowsy without needing to take a heavy duty sleeping pill. (See also SeaBands: The amazing sweatband looking bracelets that keep you feeling balanced. Even if they are a placebo… they’re the best ones out there!)
A Reusable Water Bottle: Bring your favorite water bottle, trust… you are going to need it. When you wake up from plane-stupor with three hours to go and a mouth like the Sahara… you’ll need more than the baby glass of water provided by the lovely flight attendants. They will refill your water bottle is you ask, or they can show you where you can refill it yourself. Also, I think it is important to drink a lot of water so that you are forced to get up and pee, because sitting for the duration of a long flight is not a great idea for legs, feet, and kankles alike.
Headphones AND Earbuds: Okay, I know I am not alone in this, but when I have earbuds in for too long, the inside of my ears are sore and it makes me cranky! And I listen to music or a movie from the moment of take off until the moment of landing; the only time I am not listening to something is when I get up to pee. This is why I bought the cheapest yet cutest pair of headphones I could find before my flight. When I used my headphones, thinking the padding would alleviate the discomfort, I still had sore ears after 5 hours of use! So when I switched to earbuds, it was comfortable for the rest of the flight.
Inflatable flight pillow: Okay... so neck pillows suck. Honestly I didn’t even use the one I bought, but what I did use was a plush inflatable pillow and neck pillow given to me by the loveliest of friends before departure. It was great because I didn’t have to walk around with the crazy horseshoe-shaped pillow that takes up so much space, but when I needed a rest, I could just use the inflatable ones. They came in a kit, one regular, rectangular pillow and one neck pillow. Best idea ever.
Facial cleansing wipes: Bring these, it is pretty self explanatory. Use them on your face, use them on your hands, use them everywhere. I freaking love these things.
Thick, super moisturizing, ultra-hydrating facial cream: Once again, use this on your face, use this on your hands, use this everywhere. Lotion is your best freaking friend on a flight.
Ginger Chews and/or Minty Gum: Popping ears and bad breath are just no fun. Ginger chews also help ease an upset stomach, a huge plus for a nauseous flyer.
Hand Sanitizer: When that airplane meal rolls around, you’re not going to want to dig in with dirty hands. Although, you probably will because you’re starving. Don’t be lazy! It is a scientific fact that you are a million times more likely to get sick on an airplane… okay so I don’t know the exact numbers but still! Use your hand sanitizer when you are going to eat, you will be happy that you did later.
Portable phone charger: This will certainly come in handy whether you use it on or after your long flight. Your phone will probably need a boost right before landing, so it is wise to save yourself the energy of finding an outlet and just use a portable charger.
An extra pair of fuzzy socks or slippers: This sounds strange, and maybe a little gross, but I could not get comfortable while wearing shoes on the plane. Also, I was traveling during the middle of a New England winter, so I brought my heaviest boots with me to wear on the plane for space-saving purposes. When I got on the plane, I immediately removed my boots in an effort to get comfortable, and changed into my favorite pair of fuzzy socks. I was able to have a little more freedom than I would wearing my almost knee-high leather boots. (When I got up to walk around though… I put my shoes back on!)
Hopefully this somewhat common sense list offers help to those traveling in the near future.
Personally, I think comfort should remain a top priority, traveling on an airplane is by no means a beauty contest. (I would lose but whatevs because I am cozy.)
Thinking of your own inflight survival items? Leave your suggestions for fellow travelers below!