So you’re getting ready to head out on that trip. Congrats! Wondering what to take with you for the flight? Read on for some of my favorite items that help me make long-haul flights more comfortable. My most common long-haul flights have been somewhere between 8-9 hours, with the longest at 11 hours non-stop. I’ve figured out a formula that works for me to both keep me entertained and helps me get some much-needed rest, even while cramped in coach. These items go in my personal bag which goes under the seat in front of me – always within reach.
I prefer to fly Delta whenever possible as I find they have the most non-stop flights out of New York. After time and again booking with Delta for my international trips, I decided to sign up for the Gold Delta SkyMiles® credit card with American Express a couple of years back. You can earn double miles on flight purchases and includes a free checked bag, priority boarding, and it lets me use my miles as partial payment when booking directly on the Delta.com website. This last feature helps me upgrade my seat to Comfort+ without having to pay out of pocket!
I like to keep myself entertained until after they’ve served and cleaned up dinner service. Depending on which airline you’re flying with, you may or may not have a meal service included. In general, this will be about 2-3 hours into the flight. To ensure I have the most pleasant flight, here’s what I bring with me.
Most airlines will provide headphones at a cost for you to use their seatback entertainment systems, so it’s better if you bring your own. I’ve been using my trusty Sony earbuds for years. I know Bluetooth headsets are all the rage these days, but I just don’t want to worry about having to re-charge yet another device.
» Portable Charger
Some of the newer aircraft may have built-in USB charging ports or AC outlets available at your seat. If you know your plane won’t have this or you don’t want to chance it, bring with you a portable charger. My favorite is the Mophie Powerstation 3X. It’s only slightly larger than my iPhone 8, but just as slim so it doesn’t add extra weight or bulk to my bag.
» Kindle Paperwhite
I love a good book! In the past, I would always pack a physical book to read. These days, it’s so much easier (and lighter) to bring along my Kindle Paperwhite. You’re able to download a few good books, and the soft lighting from the Paperwhite makes it easier to read even when the lights in the cabin are turned off without disturbing your neighbors. The e-ink screen is better for your eyes during an extended reading time and is perfectly visible even in bright sunlight –– perfect for reading on the beach!
While I love my Kindle for reading, I also take my iPad Mini 4 along. I use this to play games and download movies/tv shows for offline watching. Check out FandangoNow for new movies and tv shows. You can either buy or rent for 24 hours. Use my link and get 20% off your purchases for the first month.
Now, Let’s Get Some Rest
» Contoured Eye Mask
This is my must-have item for getting some sleep while on the plane. Being woken up by bright lights in my face is a guaranteed formula for giving me a raging headache. The best eye masks are contoured and don’t rest on your eyelids, like the Bucky mask pictured below. Make sure there’s a piece that comes over the bridge of your nose to block out light sneaking in from below.
» Blanket Scarf
Planes are notorious for being cold, especially if you’re seated by the window –– which I prefer for sleeping. I travel with a nice large blanket scarf that allows me to snuggle up and stay warm. I found this gorgeous and insanely soft teal scarf at Target, of all places, for under $12!
» Travel Pillow
Everyone has their own preferences for travel pillows. I keep coming back to the Total Pillow. I love that I can twist it into different shapes. It works great for your head/neck, or even as lumbar support. Usually, I use the little pillow that the airline provides as my lumbar support and use this pillow to rest my head against the side of the plane.
» Inflatable Footrest
If you suffer from lower back pain like I do, you might want to look into an inflatable footrest. When deflated, they take up very little space in your personal bag. It only takes a few puffs to inflate it and you get to comfortably raise your feet which relieves pressure in your lower back, thereby relieving back pain.
I hope this helps give you some ideas on how to make your next flight more enjoyable. What are your favorite things to take on a flight? Let me know with a comment below.