Video: How I pack for long flights
I’ve flown all over the world and I’ve had some great flights and some not-so-great flights. The rough ones tend to be the longer legs, like the US to Asia or Eastern Europe, anything over eight hours. Add to that the layover times, and a one-way trip can turn into 48 hours. If you’re not prepared for that kind of journey, it can be pretty uncomfortable. The good news is, a little bit of planning will ensure you get to your destination rested and relaxed (at least as much as possible). Here are my recommendations to get you there.
First things first. There are plenty of little, lightweight items you’ll want with you on the plane. If you fly a lot, these little things tend to get lost. I’ve lost my fair share of earbuds and sleep masks. So you’ll want a way to organize all this stuff and keep it one place. The ESCAPADE Gear Pouch fits this role perfectly because it's small enough to easily slip into the seat pocket in front of you, yet it's obsessively organized and large enough to fit all of the essentials.
Here’s what I keep in there and I’ll go into more detail later in this post.
- ESCAPADE Gear Pouch
- Noise Canceling Earbuds
- Kindle Paperwhite
- Sleep mask/ear plugs
- Protein bars or almonds/peanuts
Airplane food can be pretty gnarly, so you don’t want to rely on it to sustain you. I don’t go for chips, popcorn, rice cakes, etc. High glycemic carbs won’t satiate. Instead, I go for a protein bar or almonds/peanuts. They’re calorically dense and won’t make me feel hungry again in 10 minutes.
I have a Kindle Paperwhite to read books. It reduces eye strain and the battery lasts forever. I have my iPhone for audio. I’ll preload enough music playlists, podcasts, and audiobooks to last for days. The most important piece to audio is noise canceling headphones. Crucial for any flight. Listen to music, drown out crying babies, etc. I like the Bose QuietComforts. Expensive, but good.
It’s good to dress in layers on a flight because they usually blast the aircon. I bring a thermal long sleeve shirt. I find that this is plenty but you may want something thicker like a sweater or hoodie. I also always have my fleece beanie. In addition to being warm, it’s so comfortable that I just like having it on. Kind of like a security blanket.
- You’ll usually have to fill out customs forms on international flights, so don’t forget a pen.
- Notetaking: I tend to listen to podcasts and audiobooks on long flights and I always take notes on things I don’t want to forget.
- If you have a nice chat with your seatmate, you may want to jot some notes or exchange contact information. You can do this with your phone of course, but it’s nice to have a backup.
- The air on airplanes tends to be dry. I always bring chapstick or some type of lip balm. Some people also bring a small bottle of moisturizer.
Long, international flights can be brutal, but a little planning can go a long way. Make sure to take the essentials to get you to your destination in one, rested, sane piece. You'll also need to keep your kit together so you don't lose any small but crucial items, like earplugs or headphones (they like to fall into seat crevices). The ESCAPADE Gear Pouch is perfect for this because, while it's small enough to easily slide into the seat pocket in front of you, it has the organization to keep all of your gear at the ready. Click here to learn more.
What do you pack for a long flight? Let me know in the comments below!