Not only have the Traveling Moms “been there”, we’ve had to get there with our share of long haul air travel. How your trip begins depends so much on how you feel when you arrive. While we can’t turn your coach seat into a lie-flat bed, the Traveling Moms do have some long haul flight must haves to make you more comfortable up in the air.
Here at Traveling Mom we have packing lists for the beach, for camping, for ski trips and day trips. I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of the stuff we bring along when we’re stuck on a plane for the long haul. Most lists you see about what to bring on long haul flights have a few set items. While we recommend the basics, we have added some hard-learned additions to our flight bag.
- Lip balm. Can’t stress this enough! Plane air turns lips into sandpaper in no time flat.
- Unscented lotion. Overpowering scents spread quickly in a confined space- keep it simple for the benefit of fellow passengers.
- Speaking of scents – I like to have an essential oil handy to inhale in case someone nearby doesn’t have the same hygiene standards I do. I just dab a little on my wrist and sniff. Lavender and peppermint are good choices. Neither scent will spread all over the plane (see above).
- Chargers. Many modern planes now have USB ports even in coach, you just need a charger cord to get your gadget to 100%.
- Earbuds or headphones you actually enjoy wearing. Yes, the airline will likely give you a pair, but will they fit?
- How about an old-fashioned journal? E-stuff is fun, but long flights are perfect for deep thoughts. (At a minimum BRING A PEN. You’ll need one for Customs forms.)
- An important safety item: compression socks. Deep vein thrombosis is real, folks! Be sure to get up every couple of hours to stretch your legs as well.
- Pain reliever and sleep aids (try melatonin gummies). Headaches that are easily solvable with Motrin on the ground are agony when none is around.
- Yes, gum is good for going up and down but get ginger gum and you’ll get a nausea remedy, too.
- Dry Shampoo, because there’s almost nothing else you can do with plane head. (PS: Baby powder works in a pinch, but apply VERY lightly unless you’re channeling your inner Hamilton.)
- An empty water bottle is a must have. You can’t bring liquids over 100ML through TSA, but you also don’t have to pay $4 for a bottle at the gift shop. Just use the water fountain on the other side of security to fill ‘er up.
- No need to be held hostage to airline food. I find portable protein to be the most expensive and hardest to find in the airport- try beef jerky or nuts as both will pass TSA muster. As far as fruits, try raisins and rollups. GoGo Squeez is also TSA compliant; don’t let them tell you otherwise.
- Disposable single-use masks. At less than $1 each, they’re an inexpensive way to feel both moisturized and luxe at 30,000 feet.
- Spray toner is another terrific pick-me-up. Just be careful not to hit your seat-mates.
- Adding kids to the mix? Add diapers, wipes and change of clothes to the carry-on. We mean a change of clothes for both baby and mom!
- Along the same lines, bring DOUBLE the diapers, wipes and fresh clothes you’ll think you’ll need. Air pressure changes cause gas which causes more blowouts than you can imagine. Trust me on this one! And read thisguide to changing diapers on a plane.
- A note about toys. You probably need fewer than you think. My kids got tons of entertainment out of plastic cups, magazines, and even barf bags! I know keeping the wee ones entertained is important, but don’t weigh yourself down with stuff they’ll use for five minutes, tops.
- Hoodie or wrap. No matter how hot it is outside, airplanes at altitude get chilly. If you want to go deluxe, I love my lightweight cashmere wrap but any ol’ pashmina will do.
What’s on your long haul flight must have list that didn’t make ours? Please share in the comments.