My In-Flight Essentials

There's no getting around it. Traveling long distances in coach sucks. Maybe you're being sent on a last-minute business trip or maybe you're planning a vacation, but when you find yourself breathing in the heady combination of wanderlust, crippling student debt and a sale on Skyscanner, here are some suggestions to make your long-distance travel as painless as possible.

1. Sleeping Stuff

One of the most stressful things for many travelers is trying to sleep on a busy, cramped plane. There will inevitably be babies and people talking and some guy arguing with his mother-in-law. Count on it being loud and plan accordingly.

  • Earplugs
  • Sleeping mask (try this cool tea bag trick by Hitha on the Go)
  • Warm socks
  • Hair tie 
  • Travel pillow (inflatable ones save space and you can stick the airplane pillow behind your back or under your tush to ease stiffness)
  • Sweater or scarf

2. Fun Stuff

Many discount airlines don't offer in-flight entertainment and long flights can be boring af. Make sure that you have several hours-worth of entertainment to stave off boredom. Load your tablet or laptop with e-books, e-magazines and music to save space in your carry-on.

  • Magazines (my favs include National Geographic and Vogue)
  • A good book
  • Music or Podcasts (don't forget headphones!)
  • Travel journal

3. Toiletries Stuff

The recycled air on planes is icky and drying, so hydration is the name of the game. Buy a water bottle once you've passed security and keep your skin hydrated. Personally, I tend to skip makeup on the flight itself and freshen up in the airport bathroom once I've landed. Remember to put liquids and gels into small bottles so they don't get confiscated.

Bonus: The dollar store sells cheap travel bottles and mini sizes of most toiletries. 

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Makeup wipes
  • Moisturizer
  • Lip balm (this can also double as an eye cream in a pinch)
  • Eye drops 
  • Hair brush
  • Deodorant 

4. Other Stuff

  • Wet Ones (to wipe down the tray table and clean up messes)
  • Compression Socks (not particularly sexy or comfortable, but neither are post-flight cankles)
  • Passport/ID holder (keep your passport, ID, boarding pass, credit card and cash in one place)
  • Battery-powered charger (most discount airlines don't have outlets)
  • Gum 
  • Pen (you'll need it for the customs forms)
  • Adaptor (in case you need to charge up on the other side)
  • DON'T BRING: tweezers, nail scissors, nail clippers, metal emery boards or metal teasing combs. They'll get confiscated.