Our Flyavel team are quite used to long-haul flights, but we’re still not excited about them. Most people dislike flights that last more than just a couple of hours. We think they’re bearable if you know how to prepare for them and if you pack the right things. While some airlines take good care of their passengers, others do not. But in either case a long flight is still going to be long, and in some situations even the airline can’t help you.
According to our experience with various airlines and flying to different parts of the world, we have learned what we need to pack for such a journey. Our list includes basic things, and most travellers would probably agree with our selection. You might have some personal preferences and objects you just can’t live without, so go ahead and pack those, but don’t forget the basics from our list.
1. Warm clothes
Most airlines will provide you with a blanket to keep you warm throughout the flight, but those are usually quite thin and small. They definitely help, but don’t count on this too much. Even though you might be flying from one tropical destination to another, if the flight takes a few hours it will probably still get a bit chilly up there in the sky. So, put on some comfortable long pants. Also, we would advise you to wear a few layers of clothing, which will make it easier for you to adjust to the temperature. At the beginning of the flight it might be warm, but later on it will get colder, so you can put on a layer by layer. Something with a hood can be a comfortable choice, because you can pull it over your head and cocoon yourself to feel more cosy.
2. Bottle of water
It is often said that you can't a bottle of water on a plane, which is not entirely true. Actually you can, but you can’t take it through the security check. Flyavel team suggest you take a bottle, but it needs to be empty. So far we have never had any bad experience with that. Security should let you pass.
Of course it depends on where you’re travelling, but in a lot of countries tap water is drinkable, so you can fill the bottle up at one of the restrooms, at water fountains and even most flight attendants are kind enough and they’ll refill your bottle if you ask them to. In the worst scenario you can buy a bottle of water at the airport. The flight attendants on the plane are mostly willing to bring you some water or juice when asked, but sometimes it just takes a while before they stop by your seat. Also, it can be really annoying to have a cup of water on the tray table, as you risk spilling it. That’s why a bottle is the best solution.
Food. We all love food! When you travel for hours, or even days, some good food can definitely help cheer you up. Most airlines will provide you with a meal on a long-haul flight, but that food usually doesn’t taste that good. Sometimes you’re lucky and you get a good meal and a tasty snack, but don’t count on it too much. It’s always good to have some food with you. But be careful with your choices. The security checks are quite strict and will not allow you to bring on board just any food. Good options that should be ok with the airport security are chocolates, dry fruits, nuts, cookies, candy and other similar snacks. If you’re planning to pack something else, we suggest you check with the flight company you’re travelling with. Sometimes it’s ok to have fresh fruits, vegetables or even cooked meat products with you, but very often you won’t be able to take them off the plane in case you don’t eat them during the flight.
Also, don't forget to take along some mints that will refresh your breath if necesary. You may even skip brushing your teeth if you have a box of mints in your pocket.
4. Travel pillow
We know how it is when you travel without one, so we suggest you get it. Some airlines will provide you with a tiny pillow, but use that one as an extra if you get it. We definitely suggest you have your own, possibly the one that offers a good neck support. It will be so much easier for you to get some decent rest and your neck won’t hurt at the end of the flight. Find one that suits you best, there are quite a few options out there. Most common ones are the U-shaped ones, some are inflatable, others not. But if that’s not your type of pillow, search the internet, new cool options are coming to the market all the time.
Most airlines will provide you with their own headphones, so you can watch the movies, listen to the music or whatever else you can do on those flight entertainment systems on board. Flyavel suggest you bring your own headphones. The ones you get on a plane are often uncomfortable and have low sound quality. Also, there were rumors going around that those are reusable headphones, which means they are sanitized and then repacked for the next traveller. It’s even better if you have noise cancelling headphones, so even if you don’t use them to listen to movies or music, you can keep them in your ears instead of ear plugs. Ear plugs can be a convenient solution as well.
6. Entertainment (book, magazine, phone)
Airplanes for long-haul flights usually have good entertainment systems installed. They offer wide selection of movies, games and music, but sometimes you just don’t like any of those, or you want to do something else. It can also happen that by some unpleasant coincidence the screen in front of you doesn’t work. In that case you can ask the staff to find you a different seat if possible, but if that’s not an option it’s better to be prepared. So bring with you what you like - a book, a magazine, your phone with the games and music you like.
7. Eye mask
Some airlines will provide you with one of these, others won’t. Sure, eye masks look kind of silly, but once you go past that and focus on their usefulness they are pretty awesome. It’s not that bad if you’re flying during the night time, then all the lights on the airplane are usually dimmed and people have the window shutter down, so it’s pretty dark. But sometimes your whole flight is during daytime. In that case it helps so much to have an eye mask. Put it on, then just relax and get some rest.
8. Spare clothes
Most people don’t think about having any spare clothes packed in their carry-on luggage, but our Flyavel team haave seen and experienced cases where some spare clothes could be a simple solution to a problem. Imagine you spill a drink, or somebody accidentally throws up on you, or who knows what else can happen during the travel time.
It also happens sometimes that the check-in luggage gets lost or misplaced, and it might take a while before you get it back. In such situations it’s great to have some spare clothes with you. We suggest you pack extra underwear, socks, pants and a t-shirt. That should save you in most cases.
Sitting on an airplane for a few hours makes you feel disgusting. Your breath starts to smell, you sweat, you use those weird airplane toilets… It’s not very pleasant. If you’re lucky, you might get a small toothbrush and a toothpaste for free on board the plane, but in most cases you won’t. Another useful thing is a small deodorant (roll-on or gel) to make you feel a bit fresher. So it’s smart to pack a travel size toiletries in your bag, but be aware about the sizes before you go through the security check, since you’re not allowed to take packages with more than 100 ml capacity. We also suggest you take some face wipes, a lip-balm and a small hand sanitizer.
This might sound funny, but a pen is a useful thing when you travel. Before you land, or when you have landed, you often get asked to fill out some forms. Usually immigration forms. It can be quite annoying to ask people for a pen, or to search for one, so be smart and bring your own.
Now that you’re ready to pack for a flight to a place far away, search for some deals by using Flyavel.