Flying more than five hours usually means getting to an exotic destination, like Mexico City, Maui or Ottawa (in some circles, this place is exotic, right?). Over the years, I’ve learned the basic tenets of surviving long flights: drink lots of water, try to sleep, relax, walk around frequently. But you need some creature comforts to help you do these things along the way. When I surveyed some fellow travel blogger buddies, their answers were similar to my list of must-pack items, too.
Okay now some time for #RealTalk or as some might say #TMI for the sake of learning. I once woke up from a flight from Vancouver to Amsterdam with a trail of dried saliva on my black shirt, it was as though a snail had crawled out of the corner of my mouth and made it half way down my Club Monaco long sleeved tee. I had another full day of travel to get to Nairobi. It was surprisingly hard to clean off and the only shirt I had access to for almost 72 hours. Another time I spilled a full gin & tonic on my lap (hello juniper crotch). Since these two very graceful and suave incidents, I’ve never been able to sleep on a plane and I ALWAYS pack a spare shirt.
Other than a second, drool-free shirt here are my long-haul, must-haves: a spare change of clothes (tee, socks, comfy pants like these 100 Wash Flare Leg Pant from Mark’s Work Warehouse Athleisure line), some moisturizer like Element Botanicals’ Potion Facial Elixir and a form of entertainment like a bushel full of magazines, a page turner of a book or a million podcasts loaded up on my phone from the likes of Tiffany Han, Reply All and/or Serial. Pro-tip, I also ALWAYS carry a photo copy and/or emailed copy of travel documents like my driver’s license and passport. *
Let’s find out what my blogger friends bring, sans embarrassing travel stories.
Face wash specific wipes of some kind. Travel just makes you feel icky in the face.
A USB charger. Generally there’s a place to charge on the seat back in front of you. And there’s always some random electronic that needs charging.
Adventure couple, Heather and Lisa from Durban, South Africa is passionate about travel, adventure, outdoors, family, good food and drink, photography and discovering all the beauty this wonderful world has to offer. South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Netherlands are just a few of the countries they have traveled. Our 3 must-haves on a long-haul flight:
Entertainment: An adult coloring in book is a great way to pass the time when you want to take a break from your headphones.
Kyle Bernard from Go Drift Away
Kyle Bernard graduated from McGill University with a major in Sociology and a minor in English Literature. He loves traveling, Japanese anime, food, sports and movies. Oh, and he also loves the ‘Gram. Here are his three must-have long-haul supplies.
Food: it’s not a big deal on a shorter flight, but food is a game changer on long haul flights. It’s no secret; airplane food (even after a fancy upgrade) isn’t usually very good. I pack a few quality fruits, snack bars and maybe a cold sandwich or two. It makes an enormous difference to my stomach, and consequently my mood. I ask my flight attendant for a few extra bags of peanuts, cookies or chips, some complimentary alcohol, and BOOM! I’ve practically got myself a 3 star Michelin series meal.
Important Travel Documents: the quality of airport personnel varies as much as the destinations I travel to. Some airports are inevitably understaffed, poorly trained and sometimes the employees have language barriers. Sure, there are thousands of cool apps that store digital versions of my documents to the cloud, my smartphone, email or whatever else, but I always keep hard copies of important documents in case of tech malfunctions, less than savvy or flat out unwilling airport workers. No one wants to spend the duration of his or her vacation in some gloomy embassy.
Meds/Toiletries: airlines place TSA restrictions on anything from liquids, gels, aerosols, pills and more. After checking what is and isn’t allowed and what quantities, I make sure to pack any important meds I may need during a long haul flight. No one wants to accidentally die onboard or cause a two hundred passenger flight to turn around (awkward). I also carry a travel-size lip balm, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, face wipes and hand cream. It never hurts to be able to freshen up, after eight, 10 or even 12 hours, it does the body good.
Carmen from Carmen Everywhere
Carmen Everywhere is the blog of Carmen, a Spanish girl who aims to live in as many countries as possible while working and studying abroad, and takes trips in between every time she has a holiday. Her blog specializes in interaction with locals. She likes to meet locals, eat what locals eat and behave the local ways wherever she goes. These are the three long-haul flight essentials she can’t travel without.
A neck pillow. These are very handy to have a rest even though I can never sleep in planes but it helps to avoid neck pain after sitting in a plane for hours.
Earplugs. If I’m lucky enough to not have any passengers in the two seats next to me, I’ll definitely lye down and try to sleep. I get disturbed by any minimal noise so earplugs always help.
Something to read. Either a book or some print out from the internet. Although long haul flights provide in flight entertainment, I’m not a big fan of watching them, hence I’d rather read something interesting.
What are your three long-haul flight essentials? Share your go-to goods in the comments below.
*Please note: I have a small kid and the stuff listed above are totally selfish mommy things. I have yet to go on a long haul flight with my little dude, so I imagine there is a schwack of things I bring for baby cakes but that’s an entirely different blog post. Road tripping soon? Check out some toddler road trip tips.