As a flight attendant that takes her benefits seriously, traveling has become practically a formula. Most domestic flights can fly by forcing a nap, but those international flights are no joke. In order for me to maintain my sanity (and hygiene!), I’ve created a checklist of must-haves for your next long-haul flight!
Okay, so this one is a no brainer, BUT TRUST ME PEOPLE FORGET. Most flights nowadays can provide these, but they usually only have the uncomfortable cheap ones. It’s also so easily an oversight for the airline, and then you’re stuck staring at a screen trying to master the art of lip reading. Then how else are you supposed to drown out your neighbor’s snoring?
On those flights upward of 8 hours, there’s no way I’m sitting with my feet stuck in a pair of shoes! Tennis shoes and socks are my go to, so that when I reach my seat I can take them off and get cozy. But heed my warning, this level of comfort can be taken too far. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT walk around the cabin (or into the lavatory, my goodness) with only socks on. Not only is this not your home, but you are simultaneously contaminating and being contaminated by the floor. And let’s be honest, how clean can ever it really be with 300 people trying to survive on it at any given time?
3. Water Bottle
Sure sure, you can get water during the beverage service, but certainly not as much as you need. Flying for a long period of time is extremely dehydrating, and those flimsy cups just won’t cut it. Hop onboard with a reusable water bottle (preferably full), and once it’s drained ask your flight attendant for a refill. Hydration is always key!
One of the best things I started carrying with me is a circular pill case. Of course it’s intended for each day of the week, but I fill each slot with a different type of vitamin or pill I could need. For our purposes today, I would say it’s most important to bring along Ibuprofen and Melatonin. In case you unexpectedly get a headache or are too restless to sleep, your bases are covered.
5. Ear Plugs
This to me is absolute key in order to sleep a decent amount on a flight. Even if you’re lucky enough to get a whole row to yourself or sit first class, you can’t escape the whirr of the plane engine. Truthfully, I didn’t believe in the power of ear plugs until I was in crew rest with a pair I borrowed from a flying partner. Believe you me, it makes a world of difference.
Stack me with either of these, and I’ll be all set. I always like swaddling myself (don’t clock it ’til you try it!) to give myself the illusion of being cozy in bed. On multiple occasions I’ve woken up startled as I’ve leaned into my neighbor’s personal space while trying to sleep. Wrapping myself up like a bug in a rug saves me from breaking those personal space rules, and keeps me snug.
7. Extra Snacks
If you don’t believe in the power of snack planning, you will when you’re 30,000 feet in the air and all your flight attendant has is a 2 square-inch pack of pretzels. Of course meals are provided in these flights, but to protect yourself from the midnight munchies, bring along your favorite treats just in case! Trust me, the people around you will be jealous they didn’t do the same.
8. Face Wipes
Okay this one may seem odd, but I have plenty of reasons to back this one up. First of all, this is useful for cleaning off your hands before eating, or your seat back tray before (and after) you wake up drooling on it. Primarily I like to use these wipes when I wake up before landing, because my skin always feels gross and needs a refresh before arrival. Trust me, your skin will thank you.
Now that I’ve shared my formula, I hope that you’re a little more prepared for your next long-haul flight! Please comment below and let me in on your travel necessities, and we can take on any double digit flight time together! 😉