Whether you are flying for business or pleasure, it’s important that you pack these travel accessories to maximize your enjoyment, sanity, and hygiene during a long-haul flight. (And before you interject, alcohol is not one of those essentials, although it is an added bonus.) Put these products on your packing checklist and arrive rested and ready for your next adventure.
While the lights are usually dimmed on a long flight, sometimes you have to contend with the passenger that turns on the reading light or the sun as it sits at just the right angle to enter the window. Avoid the discomfort by bringing your own eye mask and help insure a restful sleeping opportunity. We like the Eagle Creek Sandman Eyeshade ($13) for its soft, washable fleece exterior.
Whether it be a crying baby, a loud chewer, or a particularly chatty seatmate, there’s nothing more irritating than the commotion of a crowded airplane. That’s why keeping a trusty pair of noise-canceling headphones in your carry-on is a must. There are a lot of great variations on the market, and on of our favorites is the sleek Wireless WH1000XM2 Headphones ($348) from Sony due to the adjustable volume settings and astounding 30-hour battery life. (For more suggestions, check out our brother site, Digital Trends.)
Collapsible Water Bottle
To prevent yourself from getting dehydrated on a long flight, throw a collapsible water bottle in your carry-on. It won’t take up much space and will help you feel refreshed throughout your journey. We suggest the 17-ounce version from Samsonite ($15), which rolls up into a compact ball for easy storage.
Travel Wrap aka Scarf/Pillow/Blanket Combo
If you’re someone who gets cold easily, consider taking a travel wrap with you on the plane. Though most airlines will provide blankets, they’re usually thin and not very comfortable. This cashmere scarf from The Travelwrap Company ($320) can also be used as a blanket or pillow, and the neutral colorways ensure you can find one to match with any outfit.
Nothing dries out skin like a few hours in the air, so plan ahead by bringing some travel-sized toiletries with you to keep your body feeling in tip-top shape. This travel kit from Kiehl’s ($43) includes a comforting facial moisturizing treatment, hand salve, and a rejuvenating face wash, as well as body wash and shaving cream for later.
All of us can forego the shower as needed on long commutes, but nothing feels better than cleaning your teeth after an in-flight meal. The single-use, disposable, water-less toothbrushes are particularly helpful and can fit in your shirt pocket for easy storage. Colgate Wisp ($12 for 32) is a great option to try.
Keep your hygiene game going strong by stashing some hand sanitizer in your bag. We’re fans of the Not Just For Hands Sanitizer spray from Jao Brand ($10), which combines alcohol with soothing essential oils for a spritz that will not only protect you from airborne germs, but will have your hands feeling great too.
If you’ll be traveling for over eight hours, it might be a good idea to keep a sleep aid on hand. While you won’t want to knock yourself out completely, popping a melatonin ($8 for 240 tablets) an hour into your flight will lull you into a satisfying slumber that will have you feeling energized once you land.
A long flight is a great time to indulge in some serious entertainment, whether it’s by diving into a good book or binging a new TV series. The easiest way to access these fun activities is with a tablet. There are a ton of options, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab ($256) is a standout among the pack. It’s got a sleek 10-inch screen, great optics, and a long battery life, which makes it perfect for hours spent on the plane.
If you don’t want a tablet, consider taking a few books on the plane. We’ve rounded up the best classic novels to read (or re-read) this year. Some exciting 2018 releases include Feel Free by Zadie Smith, The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin, and An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.
Pen and Paper
Rarely are we given the opportunity to just sit alone with our thoughts, so take advantage of time alone by jotting down a few ideas. Pack a pen and Unni notebook ($11) and tinker with your itinerary, reconsider some life goals, or even flex your creative muscles by writing a short story about the noisy passenger in 12B.
Backup Battery Charger
If you’re going to be in the air for more than just a few hours, you’ll definitely need a backup battery charger to juice your electronic devices. This portable charger from Anker ($50) boasts days worth of power and charges up completely in just five hours. It’s also very slim, so it’ll slip into a side pocket with ease.
Though you’re guaranteed some food on a long flight, it’s best to go ahead and bring some of your favorite snacks on board just in case you get peckish. We suggest loading up on dried fruit, unsalted nuts, and beef jerky to ensure you’re getting energy-sustaining protein without subjecting your fellow passengers to any unpleasant aromas.
Once you board the plane, treat yourself to this travel playlist: