Let’s talk about flying: In my opinion, unless you have your own private jet, or you can afford first class, flying is just not the most pleasant activity; the chairs, the noise, the food, the lack of personal space… it’s definitely tough :/ . On the other hand, a lot of us love to travel! Personally, getting out and seeing new places has always been a priority in my life and not even flying would stop me from doing that.
In my 27 years of life, I’ve taken a considerable amount of flights and spent a decent number of hours sitting on a plane. I don’t think myself as an expert in the subject but, with the knowledge that I have gained from all my previous trips, I’ve been able to improve tremendously my flying experiences. On this post I will be sharing my “In-Flight Essentials”, which I consider they keys to a happy flight 😀 I do want to mention that I’m not a backpacker, I don’t have kids and I don’t fly with pets; I’m just the typical gal that flies with a checked in luggage or a carry on (sometimes both), so what I’ll be sharing in this article obviously wont be fully helpful to people with other needs.
I’m classifying the “In-Flight Essentials” in three categories: for short flights, for medium flights and for long flights, but before starting with the list, I want to talk a little bit about the “Personal Item”.
*Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
The “Personal Item”, as airlines call it, is that purse, backpack, computer bag or briefcase that you put under the seat in front of you (do not confuse with carry on). The best piece of advice that I can give you is that your personal item should be as small as possible (making sure you can fit all the ESSENTIALS that you need). Since the personal item goes by your feet, the smaller the item the more comfort for you (you will have more room to stretch and won’t be struggling every time you need to take something out). I highly recommend backpacks: They are comfortable, easy to carry and they give you the hands-free freedom that you need while dealing with the rest of your luggage.
That being said, let’s start with the “In-flight Essentials” lists:
For short flights (between 1 hour and 2.5 hours): besides your phone, wallet and keys…
- iPad or tablet – for games, movies or books (it’s a better alternative than carrying a book that can be heavy and take up a lot more space).
- Headphones – so you can listen to music, podcast or movies comfortably without disturbing other passengers.
- Antibacterial hand wipes – airplanes are just hotbeds of germs. Get this alcohol-free plant based hand wipes here: https://amzn.to/2EFzrLC
- Small brush or comb – I personally recommend the Wet Brush (it works on both wet and dry hair). It’s my all time favorite. Get it here: https://amzn.to/2EEY7nJ
- Small reusable water bottle – refill it at the airport once you pass security. Contribute to the environment! Also, don’t ever drink the water that they offer you in the plane. Even though airlines claim that the water meets regulations and is safe to drink, there are lot of studies done that illustrate the fact that the airplanes water tanks can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Better safe than sorry… Get a 12 Oz reusable water bottle here: https://amzn.to/2KdlnN1
- Tissues – you should always have tissues with you, no matter what! Get them here: https://amzn.to/2MdHSUM
- Gum or mints – having fresh breath is always a must, plus the gum will help you if you are having ear pain during the flight.
- Lip balm – the low humidity in the plane can cause skin dryness. Get a four pack of Burt’s Bees here: https://amzn.to/2WbxHVs
As you can see, these are very basic items that won’t take up too much space and are always helpful to have with you. I’ve done a lot of short flights just with these and I’ve never felt I needed anything else.
For medium flights (between 3 hours and 5 hours): besides all the items mentioned for short flights…
- Chargers – you don’t want to be stuck without them.
- Snacks – if you are not okay with the food that they provide at the plane, make sure you get something that you like or that can save you in case of hunger during your flight.
- Neck Pillow – most likely you will be taking a short nap and a neck pillow will make the experience “somewhat extra”. I personally recommend neck pillows that have a flat back – so your head is not being pushed forward – and chin support. Here’s the link for a neck pillow that check all the boxes: https://amzn.to/2EG2fnl (it comes in different sizes so make sure you order the one that’s right for you).
- Sleep Mask – it takes very little space and it will help you with your nap. Get one here: https://amzn.to/2QxtnJZ
- Noise Canceling headphones – great investment! The noise inside the plane is mentally exhausting. You can probably deal with it for the first 2.5 hours of a flight but after that it’s just painful… Here’s an affordable option: https://amzn.to/2HLMsWd
For long flights (anything longer than 6 hours): besides all the items mentioned for short and medium flights…
- Footrest – it will change your life if you are 5’8 or shorter. A footrest provides relaxation and prevents swelling and soreness. This is the one I’m taking on my next trip to Puerto Rico: https://amzn.to/2Kg4LV7
- Sheet face mask – as I mentioned before, the low humidity in the plane can cause skin dryness so your face will be very thankful after you treat it with a face mask. Sheet mask are zero mess and super easy to use. Get these organic – cruelty free masks here: https://amzn.to/2MeVRtw
- Melatonin – if you have a hard time falling asleep during a flight then melatonin will be your best friend! Take one tablet or gummy (recommended dosis: between 3 mg and 5 mg) 20 – 30 minutes before sleep. Get this vegetarian – Non GMO 5 mg melatonin (my favorite) here: https://amzn.to/30NZ1Ym.
I hope this list can be helpful to some of the travelers out there! As always, I’m sharing just for guidance and inspiration. Let me know in the comments if you have other “In-Flight Essentials”.