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  • Writer's pictureMariko

How to Survive Your Long Flight

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

Long flights can be killer, but they are often unavoidable when it comes to traveling.

To make sure I have everything I need to survive the flight, I pack an essentials bag.

I try to make sure my essentials bag can fit into the seat-back. This way I can keep all of my flight essentials in one, easy-to-access place (a must for me, who loses EVERYTHING).

I use this bag from Amazon as my go-to personal bag:

It’s small, it has lots and lots of pockets to keep me organized, and it zips which protects things from falling out or being stolen.

Especially when traveling on budget airlines that charge for checked luggage, I have to be creative with what I classify as my “personal bag” and what I classify as my carry on. If I am pressed for luggage space, I place my small essentials bag at the top of my backpack or duffle (my “personal bag”), which I then place under the seat. If only stored away carry on bags are allowed, I take the essentials out right before I put my bag in the overhead bin. This way I can still easily access my in-flight essentials, take advantage of the under the seat space, and meet my limited carry on requirements.

What you’ll find in my essentials bag:

  • Wallet with Passport, my id, credit card, student ID and local currency if I have it

  • Tickets (Budget airlines do not always accept mobile)

  • A fully charged phone full of pre-downloaded podcasts, Spotify playlist and movies

  • A Fully Charged Portable Charger + Iphone cable

  • Headphones (Though I normally use Bluetooth, I try to bring wire connected ones + the iphone adapter. That way I don’t have to worry about the battery charge and I can plug into inflight entertainment, when applicable)

  • Small snacks

  • Gum (I chew it turning take off/landing to help my motion sickness)

  • Dramamine (got to love motion sickness)

  • A Fully Charged Kindle

  • Nalgene water bottle (I hold this on my lap)

  • Deodorant

On top of the essentials, I add the following to my bag for Red Eyes:

  • Melatonin

  • Eye mask (no shame- you got to get as much sleep as you can)

  • Ear plugs

  • Makeup wipes

  • Toothbrush/paste/retainer

  • Primer + mascara for touch ups in the morning

  • If space, then an extra shirt

Other Things to Keep in Mind

For the flight I try to wear as many layers as possible. This helps me prepare for the range of temperatures you feel on the plane (why is it so cold one second then so hot another?!), provides me with the supplies for a DIY pillow and blanket, and saves me space in my suitcase.

Keep in mind your destination- will the weather be a lot different where you are going? Make sure you are wearing layers that can be turned into a weather appropriate outfit for your destination.

My go-to inflight outfit is black performance leggings, sneakers, a performance tank/shirt, and a jacket layered over a hoodie. I also wear compression socks to keep the circulation going in my legs.

If possible, try to choose an aisle seat. That way you can easily walk around and wake up your legs and you aren’t at the mercy of a sleeping neighbor if you have to use the restroom.

And with that, sit back and enjoy the flight!

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