Let’s face it, while air travel is super convenient, it really sucks. Especially if you’re not particularly a fan of flying like I am. The seats are too small, someone is continuously coughing and expelling germs into the air, a baby is crying loudly, and the food leaves a lot to be desired. Luckily, there are some things that you can bring along to make your plane ride more comfortable and even enjoyable. These items are a part of my carry-on essentials and are crucial to pack for in-flight comfort.
What To Pack For In-Flight Comfort: 13 Long-Haul Travel Essentials
I was doubtful about the power of a blanket scarf before I actually tried one, and now I have been converted. It’s multipurpose and extremely useful. Need to dress up an outfit? Wear a blanket scarf. Are you cold? Use the scarf as a blanket. Need a pillow? Use the blanket scarf. I could go on and on and on, it’s definitely worth tossing into your carry-on.
Book or Kindle
While physically you may be crammed into a metal tube 1000 feet in the air, mentally you can be walking the grounds of Hogwarts or surfing off the coast of California but the possibilities are endless. Reading is the best way, at least for me, to take my mind off the current situation and it’s a great way to pass three or twelve hours in the sky.
Journal and a Pen
Plane rides are some of the best times to do some journaling (unless you have a super noisy neighbor, of course). Hours of uninterrupted writing time – it’s almost better than shower thoughts! I love to write down a stream of consciousness, blog post ideas, to-do lists, but the possibilities really are limitless. Writing is so therapeutic no matter where you are, but it’s extra calming while you’re thousands of feet in the air.These items make plane rides SO MUCH better!Click To Tweet
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than dry eyes so I don’t go anywhere without making sure I have some eyedrops in my purse. I tend to get dry eyes during car rides if the air/heat is on and during plane rides (ugh, airplane air…) so to ensure I combat that problem, I pop in a few drops at the beginning of a flight and aaahhhh – relaxation.
I suppose this could be debatable as to whether or not it’s a “comfort item” but for me, my laptop is basically my security blanket. While travel blogging is not my full-time gig (yet – by day, I currently work in digital media marketing), I am constantly working on the blog and doing research about everything that goes into running a successful blog and various different bits and bobs of admin work, I feel lost if I don’t have my laptop and am not working on something. Even though airplane wifi isn’t the fastest, it’s nice to have something to do. Although, I could always pick up a journal and pen like I previously mentioned.
I don’t know about you but if a flight is longer than five hours, I feel the overwhelming urge to go to sleep. Unfortunately for me, I have bad insomnia and often rely on sleeping aids to help me fall asleep and stay asleep so I can’t travel anywhere without packing a bottle of these. These definitely aren’t a necessity for everybody but I thought I’d include them in case you want to catch some zzz’s.
I used to be an anti-sock person. Even in the dead of winter, you wouldn’t catch me in a pair of socks. Which is saying something because I live in the Arctic of the continental United States (aka South Dakota) where socks are necessity 11 out of the 12 months of the year. Anyways, after years of cold feet, I threw on a pair of socks and I haven’t stopped wearing them since. I love socks so much, I always pack a pair in my carry-on because I don’t really like to wear shoes while flying which is kind of gross but it’s so much better than walking around in your bare feet. Plus, airplanes are FREEZING and a pair of fluffy socks just feels so nice and cozy.
I know I just mentioned that I don’t like to wear shoes on the plane BUT I love slip-on shoes for bathroom trips or stretches in the aisle. People who use the bathroom in bare feet make me cringe, so I am definitely not one of those people. I wrote about this in my Airport Hacks post but slip-on shoes are so much more convenient while en route to your destination. I don’t even waste my time on shoes that you have to tie anymore.
This might be my favorite section – snacks galore. I’m going to write a blog post all about the best snacks you should include in your carry-on so I won’t get too much in detail here but always bring along a granola bar or trail mix or whatever. Hungry and angry (ie. hanger) people are basically the worst type of people and I should because I get very hangry and I’m sorry to anyone who has witnessed that. On our twelve-hour flight to Amsterdam, I packed like twenty granola bars which may seem excessive but it was entirely necessary.
I know that some airlines provide you drinks but often, they are too tiny and do nothing to quench your thirst. Luckily, you can bring an empty water bottle through security and fill it up at the nearest drinking fountain and you don’t have to worry about being thirsty on your flight! Plus, if you’re nice to the flight attendant – they might keep it topped off for you during the flight.
Guys, let me tell you about the IMAK compression eye mask. This eye mask has changed the quality of sleep that I get for the better. According to my sleep tracker app (I use Sleep Cycle), my average sleep quality was only 23%. Until I purchased this mask. Now, my sleep quality often ranges between 97% to 100%. Yes, you read that right. I credit that to this eye mask. I initially purchased this because I started to get horrible migraines after getting my concussion last year and I’ve heard great reviews about the effectiveness of this mask. And I can agree that my migraines are alleviated because of this mask (and some Excedrin Migraine). What those reviews didn’t say, is how awesome you sleep while wearing one. I don’t sleep without wearing this now.
Much like the blanket scarf, I was also doubtful of the neck pillow. But when I combined the two, it was instant relaxation. Add those two items plus a sleeping aid and a sleep mask, I can pass out harder than a WWE wrestler and a milk-drunk baby. If I could, I would wear a neck pillow every day but it’s frowned upon by society so I take full advantage of it during flights now. This Trtl pillow is one that I recommend, even if it looks like a beard – it’s fantastic.
Noise Canceling Headphones
Nothing gives me a headache quite like the sound of roaring plane engines, screaming babies, and snoring neighbors. Even thinking about it now makes me want to pop some Excedrin. BUT thankfully, noise canceling headphones exist and they are such a game changer. I can listen to audiobooks, music, podcasts, or nothing and I still can’t hear the outside world. While spendy, I recommend the Beat’s Studio3 Wireless headphones because both the sound quality AND noise cancellation is out of this world amazing.
PS. I’m now officially an Amazon Influencer and I have my own page on Amazon in which you can shop all of my favorite travel products (it includes the headphones mentioned above)!
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