Packing for a long trip can be such a bear, that we often neglect preparing for the flight itself. An especially long flight can drain you and take away from the fun you might have upon arrival. Babies crying, smelly foods, and boundary issues, are some aspects that could wear you down before your arrival. We know your woes and like to know that you are having a good time on your journey, so we are here to give you a few pointers on how to pack for long flight, so that you enjoy (…or better tolerate) getting there too.
Dress Comfy and for Convenience
Let’s start with the airport. There are long jaunts to get to your gate, then there is the security line. Make it easy on yourself by wearing a comfy jogging suit with a hoodie and some slip on shoes. Slip on shoes keep you from having to tie and untie shoes, and a pair of joggers will keep you from dealing with a belt, and keeps pants buttons from digging into you during the flight. Invest in a good neck pillow too. Actually try them on, and see which one fits your neck better because they stabilize your neck and help you sleep if you can’t let your seat back enough for some reason.
Flights also vary in temperature. You may leave a warm flight, to enter a freezing airport or connecting flight. Your hoodie can help you keep warm and is easily shed when it warms up a bit. The hood could also hint at privacy to seat neighbors who are too excited to share their life with you. Hoodies can also shade the sunset from your eyes because there is always “that guy” who refuses to shut his window shade.
Eat For Comfort Too!
When I was a novice flyer, I would always pick the absolute wrong things to eat before flying. Soda, cheesy breakfast sandwiches, beers, colas, or Mexican dishes would be standard fare. Now I know it is best to avoid fried things, bloat-y veggies, sugar free gums, sweets, and soft drinks. Eating something very light like salads, trail mixes, dried fruits, unsalted nuts and light proteins can spare some uncomfortable and perhaps embarrassing in-flight moments. Don’t forget to hydrate either. Skipping out on water and drinking alcohol can dry you out, making it easier to get sick. You might even skip out on the jet lag by drinking more water when flying.
Nap Like A Champ
Like me, you might find it hard to get sleep on a flight after your snack. I lean forward to sleep and the in-flight movie screen flashlight comes on, that person in front of me loves adjusting their seat, or I lean back and my head rolls. It just doesn’t feel natural. A few other accouterments that help are eye masks and earplugs. Use the eye mask to block opportunist sunbeams, and cabin light from blinding you. The mask will also denote you require privacy while the earplugs could shield you from hearing unwanted, annoying noise.
Good Entertainment Is Crucial
If you find you can’t sleep anyway, some good entertainment is necessary. Select shows, movies, and music from Netflix, Spotify, and other sites can be downloaded and enjoyed offline on your smartphone or tablet. It might be a good time to re-live Star Trek TNG, listen to a super long music playlist, read a good book, play smartphone games or have a conversation with a friend, old or new. Use the night before to load your devices up and don’t forget some comfortable earphones, along with a pen and pad to sketch, write, and fill out declaration forms.
Keep It Clean & Enjoy
Another thing is feeling dirty on your flight. It can be tiring, and you will want to be sure that you can refresh fairly easily. Carry some pick-me-ups like a toothbrush, toothpaste, baby wipes, lotion, and deodorant. Put these organized items in an easily accessible area in your carry-on bag. You can refresh in the lavatory or quickly between flights to give you the boost for the connecting flight and plans after you land.
My final bit of advice it to take patience with you. Other passengers are sharing the same burden. Expecting there will be some things that don’t jib with your preferences and choosing to look beyond them will make your flight go much smoother. In closing, we wish you a great, yet prepared flight to your favorite international stops.