I can’t think of any time I am more genuinely excited than when I’m booking a trip, and planning out all of the little details to follow. The only part of this process I do not jump at is the most tedious – packing for the trip.
Especially when traveling overseas, I am so paranoid I will forget something critical that I won’t be able to find in my destination. What is more worrisome to Luke and myself is forgetting something for the actual travel itself (you can always compromise as long as the item left behind isn’t a passport, wallet, or something of that crucial nature).
Flying is not my strong suit. Some of the ways I have overcome flying anxiety are becoming more accustomed to flying and better understanding turbulence, and also to have a go-to list of things to pack for a more comfortable flying experience.
Next time you find yourself about to hop on a plane to jetset somewhere awesome, try these packing tips for a comfortable long flight:
1. A water bottle
This sounds basic, but you’ll be glad you brought your own when you see the price on airport water bottles. It is important to stay hydrated when you’re in the air for a long time to avoid feeling tired upon landing.
Don’t forget to fill it up after you’ve gone through security since you can’t take through liquids over 3 ounces. There are always plenty of water fountains scattered throughout the terminals to fill up before your flight.
I also suggest not using the water in-flight in the restroom, so this comes in handy when brushing your teeth or washing your hands.
2. A pair of warm socks.
Even if your destination is a brilliantly sunny desert, you want these bad boys with you on your long flight.
Make sure these aren’t tight. You want to make sure your clothes enable good circulation while you soar through the above. Having cold feet for 8-12 hours just isn’t the most fun thing in the world.
3. Snacks and something hardy in case there is no meal served.
I have been fooled and thought that because a lengthy flight crosses over traditional dinner time, there is a meal guaranteed. This, my friends, is false.
Be prepared for no food to be served, and be pleasantly surprised if it is. Protein bars, mixed nuts, and trail mix are life savers since they’ll satiate your hunger and keep it at bay for hours.
4. A change of clothes.
This is my favorite packing tip, especially if you’re taking a red eye. Wearing the same outfit for way too long tends to disoriente your inner clock even more.
It helps me to actually sleep to “get ready for bed” on overnight flights. Maybe it’s more of a mindset matter than comfort, but brushing teeth and changing into comfy clothes helps you maintain a little bit of your nightly ritual and makes a night flight more comfortable.
5. Sleeping mask.
I know, it feels ridiculous to wear these things. I never caved and brought them with me until we fly from Tampa to NYC – three hours – NYC to Dubai – 12.5 hours – and then six to Bangkok. Yikes!
Having a sleeping mask to have complete darkness was so helpful to actually be able to sleep.
These are also great pack when traveling somewhere new because the sun rises surprisingly early in some cities (4:30am in Beijing was a shock!).
6. A scarf.
Your scarf can serve many purposes in the air. Got a window seat? Scrunch it up against the window and you’ve got yourself a pillow.
If you’re stuck in a middle seat, although it looks a bit silly, you can stuff it under your chin to keep your head from bobbing all over the place.
And, of course, your scarf is the ultimate travel blanket. I accidentally packed this in my luggage rather than my carry on, and I almost cried, no joke.
Depending on your airline, you’ll have an individual screen with movies, TV shows, and music. You can sometimes buy headphones, but for a price. Needless to say, headphones make your hours go by much faster.
After landing from your lengthy trip, having your toiletries is going to make you feel like a new person. Especially since -hopefully this doesn’t happen but best to be prepared – something could go wrong with your luggage and you could possibly not get ahold of it for a couple of days.
Long trips are very daunting and cause a lot of anxiety, but being prepared can be a game changer. I hope these 8 packing tips for long flights help to ease the dread and prove to assist with creating a more pleasant experience!
What are your tricks and tips for packing for a comfortable long flight?
Want more on packing? Check out:
- 10 items you’ll always find on my carry on
- A guide to packing light
- What you need to pack for Europe