What Do I Need For a Long Flight?

All the transportation planning, packing lists… figuring out where to stay and what to see that goes into putting together an international trip can be exhausting. Especially if your plans are for an extended stay trip. If you’re hopping on a plane for a quick trip a few states over, or even to Mexico or Canada, chances are good you’ll end up getting comfortable just as your pilot announces it’s almost time to land. But what about those really…really….really long flights? What if your vacation or business trip includes a flight overseas? If you’re headed across an ocean, long international flights can be quite a challenge. If you’re finally asking yourself “What do I need for a long flight?!” you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got a few great tips to help keep you busy (or not!), along with some other awesome must haves if you don’t know what to bring on a long flight. 

What do I need for a long flight?

If you’re a seasoned flier, you probably have a few great tips of your own to help survive a good chunk of your day in the sky. However, some of us haven’t had the pleasure of packing up and heading to an international destination. Perhaps you may not have thought of what time it will be when you land at your destination – jet lag is totally a real problem! Or maybe you have a physical ailment or disability that makes sitting for long periods of time difficult or painful. What about your devices? Do you think your tablet will stay charged for 20 hours worth of flight to Australia? Is there a way to charge your device in the air? Long international flights can test your patience AND your physical endurance, so we have a few great tips and even some gadgets to make your flight go a little smoother. 

  • Get organized – Flying internationally means passports, tickets, maybe a visa or two – that’s a lot of stuff to keep organized, and we’re sure that’s not all of it. Make sure you have all of your documents organized before you even head to the airport. Put your IDs and other important paperwork in a safe, secure and easily accessible place. Once you hit customs and touch down in a different country, you’ll thank yourself.
  • Battery power – Look, there’s nothing worse than a phone that doesn’t hold a charge well or being in the middle of something on your laptop when the low battery light flashes. Make sure your devices are well charged before heading to the airport. You could also invest in a few external batteries for your flight. Keep in mind you can find battery powered fans to help cool you on the flight too! And while some flights do have in-flight charging or outlets between seats, not all do so be sure to check before you head to the airport so you can plan accordingly.
  • Look for those upgrades – If you can upgrade your seat to business class, DO IT. Flight upgrades actually do exist, but you need to be vigilant. If you’re a frequent flier you may have a better chance. That’s not to say that airline personnel won’t help out individuals who need a little compassion – someone who has just lost a loved one, a person with a disability, or an individual who exhibits kindness to the staff. Look for the upgrades and snatch them up. They’re worth it and your body won’t forget! If you can’t get an upgrade, consider the emergency seating – it has a smidge more room and you’d be surprised how many people don’t want to sit there.
what do I need on a long flight - in flight stretches for comfor

Asking what do I need on a long flight? Sometimes just the ability to move can help alleviate  pain and discomfort. In flight stretching can help keep circulation going.
  • Creature comforts – Have you ever been in an airport where someone is walking around with a weird pillow around their neck, and something that looks like a hat on top of their head, with some odd gadgets attached to their carry-on? Chances are good you’re seeing a seasoned traveler in their natural habitat. The right neck pillow, lap blankets, ear plugs – even a cozy pair of socks can help you settle in and keep you comfy while you’re in the air.
  • Manage your pain – Traveling is a bit trying on your body even if you’re in great health. For those travelers that have physical limitations, disabilities or even acute pain, traveling can be incredibly uncomfortable. The longer you’re required to sit, the more uncomfortable you may get. Some ways to help keep your pain and discomfort at bay can include stretching and using foam fitness rollers before you head to the airport, take an aisle seat so you’re able to get up and move, bring massage balls or other tools to help add pressure or massage knots and achy joints. Travel pillows are great for propping, and you can utilize easy and small space exercises on your flight to keep things loose and moving. 

While most of these tips involve staying physically comfortable, they can make a huge difference in how you feel when you land. Now that you’ve got some tips for your flight you can get back to planning the actual trip! After you figure out your destination, don’t forget to look into proper visas and order certified copy of your birth certificate if you haven’t yet obtained your passport. Happy traveling!

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