Travel: Making travel more comfortable on long haul flights

by jenjenk on April 23, 2012

I hate flying.  I’m not afraid of it, I just hate sitting on a plane being told when I can get up, when I can’t get up; what I can bring on, what I can’t bring on board.  Unreasonable, I know.  The problem is that I love the destination to wherever that plane lands, so I had to figure out a good compromise.

There are small ways that I can make the act of flying a little better.  I make up a little kit that I have quick access to.  I don’t want to have to dig around for stuff so I like to have everything in one place with easy access to it.

This is the little bag that I store in the seat pocket in front of me for long haul flights.

In it, I’ve got some magic items that I need for my flight:

  • Hairband, socks & eye mask [I try to sleep as much as possible]
  • Advil, lotion, lipgloss, eyedrops
  • Credit card, pen, passport, flight information for immigration papers
  • iPhone, headphones
  • Gum, mints, glucose tabs [My bloodsugar tanks and it helps prevent me from passing out]

Outside of my kit, I keep my iPad in the seat pocket…something I am now completely dependent upon to keep me entertained during my waking hours of the trip!

One last thing I like to do is put my carry on under the seat in front of me.  I’m short so it helps me to have something to rest my feet up on – it’s like an instant leg rest.

These little things help make a torturous journey a little more bearable for me.  Do you have any tips or tricks to get as comfortable as possible for long haul flights?

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby April 24, 2012 at 7:52 am

I love your little kit! You know, flights were getting pretty good there for awhile, with individual screens and tons of movies to choose from. And the last few times I’ve flown long, I got nothing! How are they using older planes? Argh.
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Mark Wiens April 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm

That’s a good entertainment packet! I normally just keep a good book with me, but the last flight I took (Korean Air) had very very nice TV screens (about the size of an iPad) for every seat. So I ended up watching about 4 movies in a row!
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jenjenk April 27, 2012 at 11:09 am

I wish I could travel light. I’m the worst traveler in the world in that regard!! :(
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Liren April 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Love the kit! I also like to dress in layers (because I always get cold), have a scarf (again, because I always get cold), and some hand sanitizer (because I just never feel like I can wash my hands well enough in that little lavatory sink). And granola/energy bars. I’m always hungry :)
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jenjenk April 27, 2012 at 11:10 am

Most def on the scarf!! doubles as a blanket splendidly!!

I bring my lysol wetwipes to wipe everything down…totally neurotic! :)


Eva Hamori April 24, 2012 at 10:38 pm

To me my purse, especially flying with kids, is the most important item on the plane! It can be the difference between a comfortable no hick-up flight or the never-ending flight we all dread.
If the kids get a fever, or their little ears plug, I have the remedy in hand. Boredom is conquered when I pull a trick out of the purse to entertain, what ever the situation, my purse has everything but a superman cape! h(Except for that one time;)
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Cathy/ShowFoodChef April 24, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Loved your post and some really good tips. Getting ready for one of those long haul flights next month and I’ll be using a few of these 😀
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Nancy@acommunaltable April 25, 2012 at 7:30 am

Great tips Jen!!! I love the one about keeping all those things in a little pouch that you keep in the seat pocket – great idea and one I am going steal for my trip in a couple of weeks! I don’t check luggage and always travel with just a 20 inch carryon and a longchamps tote I have to really edit what I take. My “on board stuff” is pretty much the same – Bose headphones since the engine noise gives me a headache and earplugs for when I try and sleep – also bring OTC sleeping pills which really help! and some hard candy (like lifesavers) – even with water find my mouth gets really dry! I also put a pair of yoga pants in my carry on and change into those before sleeping – much more comfortable than regular pants. Layers are a must – found the best wrap/cardigan – not too heavy out of this fleecy material – feels like I am wearing a light blanket and it sometimes functions as just that!


jenjenk April 27, 2012 at 11:13 am

I love, love, love my bose headphones…i just hate, hate, hate carrying it around!!! *SIGH*

I’ve been using half a pill of tylenol night…usually does the trick for me, but i just hate the groggy hang over! :(

I travel in black yoga pants with a blousy top on and comfortable slide on heels. seriously makes me look like I’m dressed up. :)


Maryden25 April 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Great tips! Travelling light makes us comfortable. We should at least bring one luggage. And getting a more convenient flight is one important thing to have a most comfortable travel
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jenjenk April 27, 2012 at 11:14 am

I hate packing light for a trip [it means that i really need to plan ahead] but once i get there, i’m so happy I did it!!!


Ayngelina April 27, 2012 at 1:37 am

I swear by lotion, if its a long flight I at least want to be well moisturized when I get off!
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jenjenk April 27, 2012 at 11:15 am

yeah, i really hate that dry parchment skin i get when I don’t use lotion!!! shea butter is my friend…


Deliciously Organic May 1, 2012 at 10:42 am

Thanks for the list. I love your idea of a small bag to keep in the pouch in front.

My latest little trick is to roll up my scarf or jacket and put it behind me for extra lumbar support. It really helps on those long flights!


Agnes May 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm

You have an awesome kit. Thanks for sharing your most comfortable travel.
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Hannah May 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I love the kit idea Jen – I will definitely be following suit when I leave on my RTW in a few months time. I also love to travel with some lavender oil and a great scarf that doubles as a blanket. Free bar service also helps make the flight a little more enjoyable :)
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Marisol@tTravelingSolemates May 15, 2012 at 5:53 am

You got my favorite tip covered — making the carry on as a footrest! I’m short, so this really provides me a lot of comfort. I also like bringing a big bottle of water with me (even though I have to pay for it exorbitantly at the airport terminal) because I like to make it a point to stay hydrated during the flight and I don’t want to wait for attendants to do their rounds.
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Taylor September 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I like to drink a bit of vodka before I fly. I usually conk out early. :) The only problem is that I usually end up dehydrated. :(
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Ray Hope April 14, 2013 at 8:14 am

A bang on list that covers all the essentials. I travel a lot and these basic essentials make alot of difference.


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