As you all know, I’m currently packing for a 3 month long stay in New York City. If you didn’t know this, head over to my post New York City calling. 😉 I know, this is for sure not interesting to all of you, but some might find it useful to see what other people pack to make a long haul flight more ‘enjoyable’ (I don’t particularly like flying…). That’s why I figured I would write a little long haul in-flight essentials post. I’ll soon be traveling for good 15 hours, with the longer flight being nearly 9 hours. So what do I take with me? I normally carry a small rolling suitcase and a small handbag with me on the plane for long haul flights. This time especially, because I will bring my checked luggage to the airport the night before and stay in a hotel nearby – therefore I also have some clothes for the night, a pair of flip flops and the clothes for the travel day in the suitcase as well. The joys of having a flight very early 😉
One of the most important things for me: a large, cozy, soft scarf.
I get cold very easily, and a lot of times it’s really cold on planes. Even though they do provide you with a small blanket most of the time, I already need that for my legs. I have also used this scarf to put over my head on over-night flights, when for example the person next to me would just not turn off his/her light. Very useful in such occasions when you really want to sleep!
Along the same line: warm, knitted socks.
As I prefer to take off my shoes on long flights, I need something on my feet to keep them warm. Thick, woolen socks are the perfect solution for me, as I live in those kind of socks during the colder months. They don’t have to be hand knitted, any kind of warm socks will do.
Health & Hygiene:
- Disinfectant Gel – that one is probably quite self explanatory: planes are not the most sanitary place on earth, and now that people start to get colds again, disinfecting your hands before you eat etc. does not hurt (I love this Lavender scented one from Bath & Body Works!)
- I personally take Nux Vomica D6 Globuli with me – the help me when I feel nauseous, or the airplane food just didn’t sit well with me (more on food further down!). This is a homeopathic remedy, in case you are not familiar with this. It’s readily available at the pharmacy here, and works really well for me. But, everyone is different and I’m no doctor, so please talk to a pharmacist or even a doctor first before you take any kind of remedy, even a natural one.
- Saline Nasal Spray – the air on planes get’s incredibly dry, so dry that I sometimes feel like my nose closes up. This helps me to keep my airways nice 😉
- Bach Resuce Remedy Drops – I’m a nervous flyer, so I do like to have something with me to calm me down. This is again a natural remedy, but as far as I know it’s also pretty well known in the USA by now. It’s a flower essence, where you take a few drops to calm/balance you. It does have alcohol in it, so keep that in mind.
- A Thermal Water Spray – this goes along the same line as the nasal spray, the air does get pretty dry on board and sometimes my skin starts feeling really icky. This feels nice and refreshing on your skin and is also nice if you are in an airport where it’s kind of too warm and stuffy.
- Pastilles/Candy – along with dry air goes a scratchy throat, so that’s pretty self explanatory again.
- Travel Gum – if there are more turbulences or for whatever reason I’m getting motion sickness, those chewing gums are a savior. There are not something you have to keep down, just chew on them. They are therefore also convenient for landing or take off, in case you forgot some chewing gum.
- Ear plugs – Sometimes, I just need peace. No humming engines, no screaming babies.
Skincare & Beauty:
I generally wear minimal make up and normally none when I board a plane, but I still want to look pulled together and non-shiny when I land, so here are a few skincare and make up essentials that I take with me:
- Mascara – well, I’m mostly not the most well rested person after a long flight, so anything that helps open up my eyes is welcome 😉
- Concealer/Highlighter – along the same lines, something to brighten my under eye area and conceal any blue that
might beis there
- Mattifying Powder – even though the airplane air really dries out your skin, it also makes it look really greasy. Not a cute look. So a powder compact with a travel size brush is a must for me, even though I have normal to dry skin.
- Hair tie – I normally have my hair down while flying, but whenever I don’t take a hair tie with me, I wish I had one 😉
- Moisture Serum – I’m always happy if I can get little travel sizes of moisture serum before I travel, because this will at least somewhat combat the drying effect the airplane has on your skin.
- Handcream – a travel sized hand cream can do double duty as body lotion or other dry patches on your skin. My hands sometimes get so dry on planes that they feel close to cracking – so hand cream is something I try to always pack.
- Chapstick – dry, chapped lips are not fun! So never forget this important item.
- Perfume – this is probably not soooo essential. BUT I really feel icky after traveling for more than 12 hours and my favorite perfume is just the perfect pick me up in order to make me feel fresher and more awake.
And last but not least, Entertainment:
I normally do rely on the movies you can watch on the personal screen in front of you. BUT who knows, you might catch an old plane where there are actually no screens, or it might simply not work. I at least take a long audio book with me (I’m an Audible addict), some mindless games to play and a few e-books. This time I will also travel with my laptop, so I might also do some photo editing, article writing or probably even reading for my master’s thesis (yeah, right…). What I also take with me are my Urbanears Plattan headphones. They are comfortable enough to wear longer, fold down nicely and block out pretty much all of the surrounding noise. I also got me the little attachment that you see in the picture, so if the headphone plug on the plane is not a standard one, but one of those two-pronged ones, I can still use my own headphones to what the movies and don’t have to rely on the headphones provided by the airline.
You might wonder, why there is no food in the picture. I usually don’t take snacks with me. I have found that I rarely eat it, because there are often snacks provided by the airlines. Yes, they are usually not healthy. But sometimes, I’m okay with that 😉 Regarding the ‘real meals’ on planes: until now, I have never phoned ahead and ordered a speciality meal, but I was never very happy with how much dairy I would always get with every dish. This time, I called ahead and asked for the vegetarian, non-dairy option. I’m curious what I will get and I will definitely report back about it. If your airline does not offer those options, you might really consider packing your own food. Just be aware of the liquid restrictions and that you really eat it or dispose of it before entering a new country, because you might not be allowed to bring food into it.
Oh, and not pictured, but essential to me as well: an empty reusable water bottle – to be filled up after security!
What do you think about this list of my long haul in-flight essentials? Is it excessive to you? Or do you take more? What do you usually take with you on long haul flights? Let me know in the comments!