Knowing what my favorite travel items for a long flight are has taken me years to get down to a science. At this point in my extensive travels, I would say that I’m knowledgeable about items to take. There is nothing more that I hate than overpacking, although I *may* do it every time. For my carry on items, I want to be precise and deliberate so that I’m not hauling a bunch of things I don’t need around airports and the plane. Since I’ve been traveling internationally regularly
for over twenty years, I thought it would be helpful to pass on my years of experience to you. Traveling can be daunting and overwhelming, but I will make this part as easy as possible for you. Let’s check out what’s on my list.
Taking entertainment of some sort is imperative for me. I am more of a reader than a show-watcher, but sometimes I do want to download a few episodes on Netflix to pass the time. The Kindle was more of my go-to because I didn’t have an iPad
until recently, but now that I have one, I use my Kindle app and eliminate taking my Kindle device. My husband only has a Kindle, and he is very happy to read on it. While I know that some people want to die on the hill of physical books, the device makes it a breeze to have multiple books on hand and not all the extra weight. Consider one or the other, if you don’t already have one. This is definitely one of my favorite travel items for a long haul flight, no contest.
So glad to have my Ostrich neck pillow! Can you see it on my face?
There is now only one neck pillow I will use, and it’s called the Ostrich
. I scoured the different options of neck pillows for months. A couple were even purchased to see how they compared to one another. The Ostrich is by far the most superior. It’s around $60, but it’s so worth the extra few dollars to get a pillow that wraps around your entire neck. Is there anything worse than a bobbing head or an agape mouth while trying to sleep on whatever mode of transportation you choose? This neck pillow is not only one of my favorites for a long flight, it’s also great for train rides and car trips as well.
Never underestimate the importance of good snacks. Plane food and snacks have gotten progressively lamer, and in most cases I pass on what they have to offer. Exception to this rule is Biscoff
from Delta. I’m all in for those and ask for several packs for them. If you want robust grub that keeps you from losing your starving mind, make a trip to Trader Joe’s or your local supermarket and buy yourself some good snacks. Some of my favorites are: peanut butter stuffed pretzels, plantain chips, something chocolate as a sweet treat, a type of nut (almonds or cashews) and occasionally Gardetto’s. I switch it up from time to time, maybe buy trail mix or dried okra, but those are my staples. Get a running list so you don’t have to think about it too much. And don’t buy all junk! You’ll feel terrible.
Combo towel and blanket - perfect for long flights
Having a small, portable blanket
is so clutch on the long flights. I found this one that can be used as a blanket or a beach towel. It’s a quick dry style. It also folds up really nicely and fits in whatever bag I am carrying on. Using the ones the airline provides is not my thing, as I’ve heard they don’t clean them or wash them. So…I provide my own. If you’re not that worried about being clean, by all means, ignore this suggestion. It might not be on of your favorite travel items for a long flight after all.
Now these…I take two sets with me. Fully charged and loaded. Sometimes they die, or sometimes my travel partner (AKA my husband) needs an extra pair. I have the regular ones and the pro, and I rarely leave home without one set. This is a great pairing for the iPad if you’re a movie watcher, but also with your phone if you’re a podcast or music listener. While these are my main suggestion, I still have some earphones that have the old school plane plug, and I do take those along with me. They have absolutely no other use than a plane ride, so they stay in my travel case, which I will mention below.
My sister gifted me a passport protector/cover years ago. The exterior is a nice leather and it has the United States of America emblem and wording on it. It keeps my passports nice and crisp and clean. There are tons to choose from
nowadays, and it’s just a nice nod to taking care of your your most important document for international travel. No matter which country you hail from, it’s a good idea to keep you passport nice and safe. The only downside is having to remove it from the case for various check points, but a small price to pay to keep it from getting bent. For part of your travel items for a long flight, and especially international flights, invest in one of these protectors.
The converter I found
is awesome. It can plug into most countries’ outlets, even the US. Now I just take that and some chargers, whereas I used to have to take the actual plugs as well. This one has USB and USB-C ports, making it so easy to charge all your electronics in one spot. Someone I follow had the older version of this brand, and when I found the one with the extra ports, I jumped on it. Having a great converter is so necessary to a smooth transition to another country. Without one, you’re kind of up a creek. We are all so dependent on electronics these days that having them charged will give the will to live another day. And at the very least, have an enjoyable day on your trip.
Some of the airlines still give out the disinfectant wipes
, but I have noticed most flights don’t have them anymore. To be perfectly honest, I’ve been wiping down my section for years before old COVID. I used to carry a tiny bottle of spray disinfectant, a few paper towels, and a big smile when I would offer my neighbors a good wipe down. Some would take me up on it, some would look at my like I was a complete banana. My idea seemed novel at the time, but I wonder if my past plane seat partners thought of me after the pandemic hit and everyone was wiping their shit down. I’m not claiming to be some sort of genius, but once in a while my ideas are not that bad. Having wipes is by far one of my favorite travel items for a long flight, and short ones at that. I just like being as clean as possible, ok?
I give these out like candy to clients as closing gifts (I’m a real estate broker too) because everyone needs to hydrate. Especially on a long flight, though. Security makes you dump any liquid you have, but you can refill at the water station after you get past the gatekeepers of all things liquid. Having a reusable water bottle
comes in handy during the entire trip, and I periodically clean it in the sink of wherever we are staying to get the funk off of it. Let’s face it: traveling can be gross. Check out this article from Travel and Leisure online
. I bet you’ve put your water bottle or something else in the back pocket of a plane. Anyway, a reusable water bottle can be super handy and it’s definitely one of my favorite travel items for a long flight.
There is nothing worse than trying to find chargers, cords, earphones, AirPods, or whatever else classifies as an electronic to you. I even put my recharger in there because it barely fits in the largest pocket. But it does fit. This case
keeps my electronics tidy and untangled. When I need to charge my iPad on the flight, I simply pull out my case and choose my plug. Mine is pink, and why I bought pink I still don’t know. What I do know is that I can find it amongst all my other non-pink items, so there’s that. It’s a great addition to your favorite travel items for a long flight, I promise you that. When I bought mine and used it for the first time, I knew I was really leveling up in the travel world. And what a feeling that is!
Start with a Couple, and Add Slowly
I’ve been traveling abroad for over twenty years on my own. It’s taken me plenty of advice blogs, realizations, Amazon searches to find all of the right gear for myself. Perhaps some of this won’t be right for you, but it has been wondrous for me. Each time I add something to my repertoire, it’s a jolt of energy and satisfaction. The pride I have for my travel organization should be illegal. If someone could bottle it up, they would open it and feel euphoria. Silly? Maybe. But traveling disorganized sucks. Having your list of non-negotiable items that helps your trip run much more smoothly is bliss. Take or leave the items that you need, but know that they all can serve an immense purpose in your long flight to whatever amazing destination you are about to see. Happy travels, friends!
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