I take three to four international trips per year and I usually spend a day or a day and a half on the actual flight and on layovers. When you are strapped into a seat or in the airport waiting to board your plane, you have to have some coping methods to get you through until you reach your destination.
Below are some of my travel essentials; hopefully they can help you with your long-haul travels.
Comfortable Travel Outfits
No matter what the climate is going to be at your final destination you need to prepare for the temperature on your flight. Airports and airplanes seem to always be cold. So make sure you consider this climate when flying. Layer your clothing. Instead of packing bulky items, opt for layers and versatility. Layering up means you can add and remove with ease. Versatility is like a sarong that can double as a light blanket.
Below is my ideal wardrobe when flying. I need to be comfortable and prepared. This wardrobe keeps me warm on the plane and allows for me to remove a layer so I can be cool while in the airport or on my way to my final destination.
Leggings or yoga pants — I like my legs to be covered, so I opt for leggings or yoga pants. If I do opt for a pair of jeans, it would be a pair of boyfriend jeans and I would only wear them on shorter flights. Jeans tend to lose their comfort on long-haul flights.
Travel Jackets & Hoodies — I travel with either a hoodie or a cardigan. Of course, a hoodie can cover your head and ears and give added warmth. You may want to opt for a travel jacket that can offer comfort and protection. I have a ScotteVest jacket and hoodie, and they are highly functional and comfortable. Get a 30% discount on your first purchase.
Scarf or Sarong — A Scarf or a Sarong can double as a blanket and a cover for your eyes if you forget your eye mask.
Your most space-consuming wardrobe item, shoes — Wear them. This will give you more room in your luggage. I would not recommend wearing heels on the plane for long- haul flights, but if that’s your thing. Do you, Boo!
Backpack or purse — A backpack or a purse is essential. I have all my in-flight necessities in it. A change of clothes, in case the airline loses my luggage, electronics, toiletries, and snacks. Having these items with me means that I have easy access to the things I need most under the seat in front of me.
Glasses — Glasses or contacts? If you wear contact lenses, you may want to wear your glasses instead. The air can be dry and contacts may irritate your eyes.
I hate to fly. Honestly, I’m afraid to fly, but it’s the only mode of transportation that will allow me to explore some of God’s beautiful lands. You would think I would have a problem sleeping on the plane, I don’t. Honestly the minute I get on the plane I can fall asleep. My friend thinks I’m a horrible travel partner because of this. LOL! But, for those who can’t fall asleep or have problems falling asleep here are some things that may help.
Earplugs — I always have a pair or two of earplugs with me on the plane. The airplanes adult earplugs work wonders. My funny story is my friend is deathly afraid of bugs. I had the earplugs on, and she was yelling my name because there was a bug in the shower with her. In the same room, I did not hear her; our neighbors did, but not me. Hilarious!
Headphones — If you don’t want to be completely shut off from the world while you’re in flight you can always slap on a pair of headphones.
Sleeping mask or beanie — sleeping around strangers who are turning their overhead lights on and off can interrupt your sleep. An eye mask or a beanie pulled over your eyes can help you shut out the world and any light that might be disturbing.
Neck pillow — A neck pillow is a significant investment. I’ve always been hesitant in owning one because of the bulkiness. I’ve found two that work wonders. One is inflatable and comes with a small carrying case that you can hook onto your backpack or carry on luggage. The other is the TRTL Travel Pillow. Yes, it looks odd, but it really works wonders. An added benefit is these pillows not bulky.
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Melatonin — Remember, I’ve never experienced problems sleeping on a long flight, but I do bring Melatonin with me just in case. Melatonin It is known to help with jet lag. Jet lag symptoms range from daytime fatigue and trouble concentrating to muscle soreness. The Mayo Clinic states the body treats melatonin as a darkness signal. Please, visit The Mayo Clinic for additional information.
Moving Around The Plane — You’ll need to stretch your legs on long haul flights. If you don’t, then you put yourself at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Moving around will keep circulation flowing in your legs. You don’t have to walk up and down the aisle during your entire flight, but once every hour or so will suffice. You can also do some ankle circles, and foot pumps to keep circulation in an area that has limited space for movement. There are studies that show that wearing compression socks during long flights can help reduce the risk of DVT as well.
In-Flight Entertainment and Snacks
Snacking and entertainment are essential to me. It helps with those long-haul flights.
Snacks — I’m someone who finds it necessary to have carry-on snacks on the plane. The airlines really don’t have snacks on hand, so make sure you stock up and pack them in your carry on. When you are traveling through several time zones, you’ll get breakfast at your dinner time, and dinner at your breakfast time. Snacks ensure that when you get hungry, you have something available. You may not want to wait until you get to the airport; you’ll spend an arm and a leg for a measly bag of whatever. I opt for trail mix and/or protein bars. I love the go macro protein bars. I also bring packets of crystal lite.
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Reading Materials — I’m not one of those people who enjoy reading. Don’t judge me! But, if you are someone who loves to read, downloading your books on your electronic devices can save space in your carry on. You may like to journal, this is the perfect opportunity to write down your thoughts about your travel adventures.
Computer or tablet — Most airlines provide free movies and some charge a nominal fee. In addition to the movies airlines may offer, I always pre-download movies and shows from Netflix to my iPad. The added benefit of having movies downloaded to my iPad is being able to connect my iPad to the television in the room to watch a movie, in English. All you need is an adapter for your phone and an HDMI cable. You can just store the adapter and the HDMI cable with the rest of your electronics. Don’t make the mistake and board your plane unprepared. Bring anything that can help pass the time!