Long-Haul Flight Essentials: Travel Bloggers Tell All

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. 

Melissa Vroon is the co-founder of the popular travel website FamilyFunCanada.com. Melissa travelled the globe studying, working and volunteering in more than 40 countries before she and her husband decided to make Calgary home to raise their two children. When Melissa is not planning a trip or writing about her travels, you’ll find her with sand between her toes. Here are three items Melissa can’t live without crossing continents…
Noise cancelling headphones to drown out loud engines and crying babies. I constantly adjusted the volume when watching an inflight movie with regular headphones. I had to crank the volume up when character on the show were talking to hear them over the noise of the engines and then lower the volume during explosions in action adventure flicks at risk of losing an eardrum. I finally bought a set of noise cancelling headphones and it was a life changing moment.
My kobo reader loaded with books from the library.
My personal inflight spa that includes Kiehl’s In-flight Refreshing Facial Mist for hydrating during take off and landing. I dab Origins Peace of Mind peppermint de-stesser on my temples, earlobes and back of my neck and Kiehl’s Ultimate Hand Salve.
Follow Melissa’s long haul adventures here: Facebook and Twitter
Jessica Bowman from Bohemian Bowmans
Jessica and her family of six have moved 15 times in 15 years. They’re currently in South Asia and you can find her blogging about travel, culture, and occasionally food at www.bohemianbowmans.com. Here’s what Jessica brings for those long flights…
A kindle or book. Obvious I know, but essential.

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.

See where Jessica is travelling next via Facebook or Twitter
Heather and Lisa from Klipdrifters
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:
Anxiety: A glass of wine (or three) is a must to calm the nerves (Lisa gets terrible aviophobia on long flights)

Entertainment: An adult coloring in book is a great way to pass the time when you want to take a break from your headphones.

Comfort: Neck travel pillow is one of our best ways for us to get cozy and head to dreamland.
Follow along on Facebook & Twitter

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.

Keep up with Kyle’s drifts via Facebook & Twitter 


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.

She’s here, there, everywhere and on Facebook or Twitter.

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.





6 responses to “Long-Haul Flight Essentials: Travel Bloggers Tell All”

  1. […] Miranda Post gathers up some advice from fellow bloggers on coping with long-haul flights. […]

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  3. Sarah @ Smile & Conquer Avatar

    Lots of great ideas, I especially like Melissa’s idea for the peppermint destresser. I always hate the smell of planes and that would be a nice distraction.

  4. Emiel Avatar

    I definitely have to get me some of those noise dampening earplugs!
    We always love the in-flight entertainment so books I bring along hardly get out of the bag. My essentials are earplugs (regular ones, just to get me to sleep), my camera (for shooting unexpected beauty when I have a window seat), toothbrush (I really need to freshen up after a couple hours of sleep).
    Someone told me once to always pack a set of clothes (the basic essentials) for whenever your suitcase might get lost…I always take the risk 🙂

  5. Doreen Pendgracs Avatar

    Some great tips from some fellow travellers.

    Long haul flights are brutal unless you’re fortunate enough to have been upgraded. As long as you have some of your own entertainment or reading material on a variety of platforms incase one doesn’t work, and you’ve got a pillow and some comfortable clothing on, you should be OK. Cheers!

  6. Agata Avatar

    My essential for long-haul flights would be a proper mindset. If you focus too much on sleeping and you can’t fall asleep this will make you angry. If you focus too much on reading the book and next to you there is a small baby crying all the way this will drive you crazy. The best way is to just create a mindset that in next 10 or so hours you should do your best to feel comfortable, tranquil and relaxed. Breath deeply and just enjoy!

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