When you’re flying 30,000 feet in the air for hours on end with your one carry-on bag, your “essentials” become even more essential. As a flight attendant (I spend most of the month on an airplane!) and a frequent solo traveller, I’m no stranger to navigating the environs of an aircraft, not to mention abiding by a carry-on weight limit.
Travel to: Europe
Preparedness is key: don’t wait until you’re at the airport, where the gadgets and accessories available may be over-priced or unnecessary. Here are some of our favourites: not only will they get you through them, but these must-have long flight accessories will also have you enjoying the trip.
Best Accessories for Long Flights
1. Cocktail Kit
This cheeky accessory may not be “essential,” but, for fun’s sake, we thought we’d mention a solution to the sometimes-understocked plane bars. While they provide the minis and a cup with ice, you can add your twist to it, and it’ll feel like you’re already worlds away.
W&P have perfected Carry-On Cocktail Kits with mixes for anything from bloody marys to a Moscow Mule.
2. Neck pillow
Though it may seem like an extra bulky item to carry with you, a neck pillow is one of the best things you can bring on a flight. There are many different versions, each with different stuffings, but memory foam proves to be among the most supportive materials. Try to get a kit with an eye mask to escape to dreamland and, of course, a blanket for added plush comfort.
This memory foam pillow by Travel Rest also has a “no-slip” back to keep you secure.
3. Essential oils
Even if you haven’t hopped on the “all natural” train, these compact essential oil kits are highly recommended. Sometimes the altitude, the early mornings, or just the stress of flying catch up to you, and you need a healthy refresh. Each has its distinct use; from helping you relax, relieve headaches, sooth pain, cover up odours, or even aid with bloating (a common symptom when flying).
This Pocket Farmacy Remedy Convenience Kit by Saje has all the answers.
4. Electronic holder
Holding your tablet to read or watch a movie usually ends with your head slouched downwards, which puts a strain on your neck and shoulders. To truly sit back and relax, this ingenious — yet simple — accessory can be tucked into your seat pocket or clipped behind your headrest to hold your phone or tablet. Do it for convenience’s sake and optimize your seat real estate, where legroom is prime.
The Airhook clips into closed tray tables, and it even has a cupholder.
5. Portable USB charger
Not all planes have chargers and let’s be real, few things are worse than getting to your destination with your phone battery in the red. A fool-proof solution to this is a portable charger.
Charging your phone is beginner’s stuff: this NIFTY Mobile Charger can also power-up your laptop and camera (and it’s lightweight).
See Also: The Best Airports for Long Layovers
6. Noise-cancelling earphones
Once that safety demonstration is done, most travellers like to tune out and tune in to some music or a movie. Noise cancelling headphones are key, and many designs are comfortable enough that you can fall asleep wearing them. They have headphone grade noise-cancelling capabilities without the bulkiness.
These inexpensive MAXROCK earphones are the ideal match for those looking for comfort and an uninterrupted flight.
7. Facial spray
It’s no secret that it can get pretty dry inside an airplane. Spraying your face with hydrating mist will make you feel refreshed, sure, but it will also give you a glow that will fool people into thinking you didn’t just get off of a long flight.
Try this travel-sized Evian natural mineral water facial spray.
You know when you first get seated on your flight and you’re anxiously waiting to see if someone else will sit beside you, hoping you’ll get lucky and have that extra seat to prop up your feet? Well, investing in a foot-hammock solves that. Attach it around your tray table after takeoff, and you can balance your feet on it for a prime sleeping position.
Fly LegsUp is a crafty invention that allows your feet to be stretched out in your seat.
9. Compression socks
This may be an accessory you’d associate with your grandparents, but they shouldn’t be overlooked. These bad boys will help circulation in your legs, making them feel less tired while limiting the risk of blood clots. Plus, after a stressful sprint to your gate, a fresh pair of socks is a sweet treat for your feet (and your fellow flyers).
Happy Socks is proof that compression socks don’t have to be boring.
10. Reusable Water Bottle
A reusable water bottle is not only one of the best accessories for long flights, but for travel in general. It reduces your environmental footprint, keeps your drink hot or cold, and you don’t need to chug your drink so that you don’t miss the flight attendant passing by picking up garbage.
S’well water bottles are among the most trusted out there, not to mention they’re eye-pleasers.
From organizing your bags at home to the time you arrive at your destination, small pouches will give you the peace of mind of knowing where all those little-but-crucial items are. Pouches will make your keys, charger, headphones, passports, and everything else you might need easily accessible at your seat.
This pouch set by Baggu is exceptionally functional with room for items like laptops and even smaller items such as jewellery.
Travelling, especially on long flights, can be stressful, but it doesn’t always have to be. What are some of your top tips for long flights? Have we missed out on any of your favourite travel accessories? Let us know in the comments!