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25 Things to take on a long flight

The long-haul flight is probably the only thing about your dream destination that you are not looking forward to. The mere thoughts of uncomfortable seats, noisy passengers, unpleasant food, and a crowded cabin are daunting enough to make you want to cancel your booking.

However, all you need is some good planning and the right items to make your journey much more comfortable. Here are 25 essential things that will get you through.

Image: A closeup photo of a woman sitting on a bed, with an open bag beside her and a much smaller bag in front of her, packing and organising her belongings for travel.

1. Neck Pillow

First things first, a neck pillow. You would probably be sleeping for a good part of the flight and this is where a good neck pillow comes in handy. It offers crucial support and comfort for your neck during those long hours of sitting.

It can help prevent stiffness and soreness, and provides a cushioned resting place for your head, promoting better posture, and reducing the risk of neck strain.

2. Noise-cancelling headphones

Don't forget to bring your noise-cancelling headphones. There will be a lot of noise in the cabin, whether that is from chatty passengers, crying babies, or even the engines. A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones will allow you to block out the ambient noise of the aeroplane and enjoy some peace and quiet.

They work by using specific technology that reduces the sounds around you, creating a more tranquil environment for rest or listening to your entertainment (music, watching a movie, etc.).

Alternatively, you can opt for earplugs. These can also help reduce noise distractions. They create a quieter, more peaceful environment for sleep, reading, or relaxation and are small, and easy to carry.

3. Eye Mask

An eye mask is essential for a long-haul flight. It blocks out the light, creating a dark environment, which is crucial for getting a good sleep. This helps you relax and improves the quality of your rest. It also provides a sense of privacy in the crowded aeroplane cabin, allowing you to escape into your own peaceful world.

4. Travel Document Organiser

You should have a travel document organiser to keep your passport, tickets, and other important documents secure and organised. It may seem like an insignificant item but it makes it easy for you to access your travel documents during check-in, security checks, and boarding.

It can also hold your boarding pass, itinerary, and any other paperwork you may need during your journey.

5. Travel Blanket

A travel blanket is a cosy companion for long flights. It provides warmth and comfort when the cabin temperature drops. Typically, travel blankets are lightweight and compact, which makes it easy to pack in your carry-on.

They also come in handy when you want to nap, ensuring you stay comfortable and relaxed throughout the journey.

6. Compression Socks or Slippers

Compression socks or slippers are a must-have for long flights. These help improve circulation and reduce the risk of swelling in your feet and legs.

They apply gentle pressure to your lower legs, helping to maintain blood flow and prevent discomfort as you move around or even while just resting in your seat.

Image: A photo of a person wearing a pair of colourful compression socks.

7. Portable Charger

A portable charger ensures your devices stay powered throughout the journey. It allows you to recharge your phone, tablet, or other electronic devices without needing to find an outlet. This means you can stay connected, entertained, and productive during your flight.

8. Snacks

Bringing your favourite snacks on a long flight is a great way to stay satisfied. You also wouldn't rely on aeroplane food, which you may not like anyway.

Make sure to choose snacks that are easy to pack and eat, such as nuts, dried fruits, granola bars, or crackers.

9. Reusable Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is important for your comfort and health, which makes a reusable water bottle essential for the trip. After passing through security, you can always fill it up at a water fountain or ask a flight attendant to fill it for you.

It ensures you have access to water whenever you need it, without having to wait for the beverage service.

10. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is a travel essential, and long flights are not an exemption. In the cabin, where you are in close quarters with others, it helps keep your hands clean and free from germs, reducing the risk of getting sick.

11. Disinfectant Wipes

Disinfectant wipes are handy for keeping your seat area clean and germ-free during a long flight. You can use them to wipe down tray tables, armrests, and seatbelt buckles to reduce the risk of exposure to germs.

12. Comfortable Clothing

Wearing loose, comfortable clothing will help you stay relaxed and cosy during the journey. Choose breathable fabrics that allow for easy movement and won't constrict you during long periods of sitting.

13. Extra Layers

Bringing a sweater or jacket is a smart choice for a long flight, as aeroplane cabins can sometimes get chilly. They are easy to pack and can be a lifesaver when the air conditioning is too cold. They are also easy to remove when the temperature goes up, which allows you to stay comfortable throughout, regardless of the temperature in the cabin.

14. Toiletries

A travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and face wipes are essential for freshening up during a long flight. Brushing your teeth and washing your face can help you feel refreshed, especially on overnight flights.

Image: A top view of a hand, packing toiletries and other basic essentials in a small blue bag.

15. Lip Balm

Lip balm is a must-have on flights where the cabin air can be dry. It helps prevent your lips from drying out and becoming chapped, keeping them moisturised and comfortable all through.

16. Moisturiser

The dry cabin air can lead to skin dehydration, making you uncomfortable. A travel-sized moisturiser helps to replenish lost moisture, ensuring your skin stays soft and hydrated. Applying regularly and after touching water can prevent skin from becoming dry, and tight.

Image: A photo of a person applying moisturiser from a sleek amber glass bottle.

17. Entertainment

Bring books, e-readers, or tablets loaded with movies and games during a long flight. They help pass the time, while allowing you to enjoy your favourite entertainment whether that is catching up with your favourite TV show, watching the new season of your favourite movie, or listening to your favourite podcast.

18. Portable Phone Stand

With a portable phone stand, you can prop up your phone or tablet for hands-free viewing, making it comfortable for watching movies, reading, or video chatting.

19. Pen

Most people forget this or rather don't see the need for it. However, it is a handy tool to have on a long flight, as you may need it to fill out customs forms or jot down notes. It is small and easy to carry, so it should not be a problem to throw it in your travel bag.

20. Sleep Aid

Melatonin or other sleep aids can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle and promote relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep in the aeroplane environment.

Note that sleep aids should only be used according to your doctor's recommendations and only if it is safe for you to do so.

21. Essential Medicine

Besides sleep aid, you may need to bring any other necessary medication on a long flight. If you have specific health needs or conditions, make sure to carry your medication in your carry-on bag to ensure you have access to it at all times.

Having your essential medicine with you provides peace of mind and ensures you can manage your health effectively during your journey.

22. Sheet Mask

The dry cabin air can be harsh on your skin, leading to dryness and dullness. A sheet mask provides a quick and easy solution, delivering moisture and nutrients to your skin.

You may look ridiculous wearing a sheet mask on the plane, but your skin will look nice and healthy after. It is convenient to use and can help your skin stay hydrated and refreshed during a long flight.

23. Drink Holder

A drink holder is a convenient accessory for keeping your drink secure and preventing spills during the flight. It attaches to your tray table or seatback pocket, providing a stable place to hold your beverage while you relax or enjoy your meal.

24. Gum or Mints

Gum or mints can help with ear pressure changes during takeoff and landing. This is because they encourage swallowing, which can help equalise pressure in your ears. They also freshen your breath, which can be a nice pick-me-up during a long flight.

Image: A photo of three packs of Wrigley's Spearmint chewing gum arranged neatly together.

25. Foot Hammock or Portable Footrest

A foot hammock or portable footrest can provide much-needed support and comfort for your feet during a long flight. It allows you to elevate your legs and reduce pressure on your lower back. This helps promote better circulation and reduces the risk of swelling.

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