Reality is, there is nothing glamorous about long haul flights, especially for those of us stuck in economy. The space is claustrophobic, stretching is prohibited, the air conditioning dries you up, finding a somewhat comfortable sleeping position is mission impossible, I mean I could go on and on about all the cons. But when you look at the bigger picture, you get transported from point A to point B and it all somehow seems worthwhile when you arrive at your lovely destination.
My most recent long haul flights made me realize that being prepped and prepared is crucial. They are a brutal test of endurance, but, there are little ways of making the whole experience slightly more bearable. I’ve narrowed down the ten items I always make sure to have when flying long distance.
1. Eye Mask. ABSOLUTE MUST. Whether you are flying during the day or night, you will need an eye mask. I recently invested in a 3D eye mask as I no longer could rely on the ones the airlines provided with light creeping in from all angles. The shape of the eye cup allows it to sit comfortably on your face without the pressure on your eyes and enables a better light blocking effect. I tested it on my most recent flight to Singapore and worked wonders. I now also use it in the mornings at home if I wake up before my alarm rings and can’t get back to sleep.
2. Hand Sanitizer. Only God knows how many people have sat exactly where you are sitting for 10+ hours. Between 50-70 billion cells die per day in an average adult…. so you catch my drift. I like to use:
3. Empty Water Bottle. This is a new one for me too, but make sure you board the plane with an EMPTY bottle as the droplets of water the crew provide, are just not going to cut it. The conditions on planes are extremely dry and really bad for your skin therefore it’s essential you remain hydrated for the entirety of the flight. Ask one of the crew members politely to fill your bottle with water. A plastic bottle will do however I recently purchased this fold-up bottle which is practical and takes up no room in my bag when I am not using it.
4. Battery Bank/Charger. Most airplanes have plug sockets, however if you find yourself on one that doesn’t, at least you are prepared with all the battery life you need.
5. Your Own Pillow. If you plan on trying to get some shut eye, you’re going to need one of these.
6. A book. Unless you are able to watch 5 movies all in a row, a good alternative for entertainment is a book. I love to read in general and I find the perfect time to catch up on my reading is on the plane. My latest reads:
7. Extra Layer. Planes tend to get chilly, so be prepared with an extra jumper, scarf, or an actual blanket if you require maximum comfort like me.
8. Slippers. I’m one of many who removes their shoes on planes, however this does not mean that I will walk around bare foot. Call me extra, but in my bag I bring a pair of slippers to wear for bathroom breaks and walking around the plane. You can also use fluffy slip socks and wash them once you are done.
9. Noise Cancelling Headphones. The headphones airlines provide are unreliable, so bring your own. The best type, are noise cancelling ones, they work wonders on planes and only realize how much sound they are blocking off until you actually remove them. If yours are also bluetooth, just remember to also bring the cable so you can connect them to the screen (mine was cleverly forgotten at home..) The headphones I am currently using are the Marshall Major 3 bluetooth. they have a great amount of battery life and the sound quality is excellent.
10. Snacks. You can’t always rely on the food provided as a ‘good plane menu’ is unheard of. Instead, whether you purchase them before hand or after security, opt for nutritious snacks like protein bars, dry fruit and nuts to fill you up as much as possible without indulging in chocolates and crisps.
A few more tips:
- Remove your makeup or if flying bare faced, apply moisturizer and keep hydrated. I remove my make up with Bioderma micellar water, apply moisturizer and lip balm.
- Try and get as much sleep as possible the night before. I know the thought of not hearing your alarm is frightening or just anxiety are all factors that can show up before flying, but even a few hours will do. Flying can be extremely draining.
- Choose your seats beforehand if you prefer a seat next to the window or on the aisle.
- Choose your attire wisely. Whether it’s a tracksuit or loungewear, make sure you are wearing loose, comfortable clothing that allows you breath.
- Relax! Try and think of the positive, how long you’ve been waiting for this moment and treat it as some personal time, where you can catch up on work, the book you’ve been dying to read or the movie you didn’t have time to watch.
So there you have it, my very own survival kit of necessities to power through a long haul flight. As I love to travel, I have trained my mind to think it’s ok to be trapped on a plane for 10-15+ hours. It’s all worth it in the end once you reach the other end.
Sincerely, Stephanie x