Travel Tips: Long Haul Flight Must-Haves

Don’t fear the long-haul flight; prepare for it with these tips.

Living on the opposite side of the world to our families means that we are no stranger to transit times of upwards of 30 hours. Over the years, we have become very strategic planners, and have developed a knack for packing a few lightweight essentials in our hand luggage that improve the comfort and quality of the trip.  With that in mind, for our first “Top 10” piece, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 items that make for a smoother flight (but that unfortunately won’t help with turbulence).

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. We’re just letting you in on some products that might make a difference for you on your next long-haul flight.

1.       Antibacterial wipes.  We are your classic germophobes on flights, but what can you expect after being cooped up inside a germ infested incubator for hours on end? No one wants to get sick on vacation so we do everything we can to minimize the chances of doing so. The first thing we do when we take our seat is wipe over the seat belt, table, arm rests and entertainment remote/menu with antibacterial wipes. At only a few dollars a packet, and often available in travel size pouches, these wipes definitely come in handy, especially around meal time.

2.       Moisturizing face wipes.  These wipes are a godsend on long hauls.  We all know that flying dehydrates your skin, but you’re fighting to keep the fluid intake up enough on flights when it’s not as readily available as it would be in your normal daily routine. Don’t make your face fight for hydration too—use these wipes every now and then, especially before landing, to keep your skin happy and refreshed. Also consider sanitary wipes too unless you have access to that amazing ETIHAD First Class shower (damn you Jennifer Aniston!).

3.       A pen. Simple? Yes. But we cannot begin to describe the stress that failing to pack a blue or black pen in our carry on has caused.  Some airlines, such as Norwegian, don’t readily hand out a pen for you to fill in landing cards which makes the process of going through customs on an 8+ hour red-eye flight just that little bit more troublesome than it needs to be.

4.       Your address upon arrival. If you’re not flying home, make sure to take down the details of your accommodation, or have a printed confirmation, in your carry-on luggage. Not only will you will often need this information to complete immigration cards, it helps you to hit the ground running and snag a taxi straight out of the gate.

5.       Emergency phone charger. Not with a lithium battery, obviously, but this is critical. In this day and age when our lives are on our cell phone, bring back up. We’ve recently flown on long haul flights that don’t have a USB adapter or charging station so these old-school, no frills carriers still exist. Don’t get caught out, no matter how seasoned a flyer you are.

6.       Spare shirt and underwear. No joke. It sounds funny and obvious but if your flight is delayed and you end up having to overnight it out in the middle of El Segundo, you’ll be so grateful you read this post.  You’re welcome!

7.       Medication. ALWAYS take your medication on board. If your luggage is lost or delayed or locked up in an airline compound over night when you missed your connecting flight due to the bumbling efforts of ground crew who waited for a non-existent flight to arrive before realizing 10 minutes after the scheduled boarding time that they actually needed to pull a plane from the hanger, don’t add to your already over-active stress levels.

8.       Water bottle. Take it from us: save yourself from being pegged as the most irritating person on the plane (and help your neighboring travelers out) by remaining in your seat as much as possible. Take an empty water bottle through security and fill it up on the other side, or on the plane’s water cooler if they have one.  Voila! Drink prepared. Feels like a pre-paid inflight service, without the smile.

9.       A snack. Save yourself the tears and tantrums when the guy in 22C has just ordered the last cheese and protein platter on board. While some airlines put on quite the spread for passengers, don’t get caught out hangry when it’s a long time between meals.

10.   Socks. If you’re not already wearing them, make sure you bring some. On a lengthy flight, we all know it’s super tempting to slide our tootsies out of their man-made captors, but don’t be THAT guy who goes bare foot and stinks out the plane. If thinking about the germs on the floor of the plan from the billions of passengers before you isn’t enough to make you turn green, here’s a fun fact: It’s said that ground staff on arrival often aren’t smiling because of the smell (of rotting flesh) that is emitted when the plane door opens after a long haul flight.  You’re not special–nobody should make an extra contribution.

Finally, this one is getting slid in as an unofficial number 11 as it’s super nerdy, but if you like computer games, a Bluetooth games controller will help you while away hours. Playing games on a phone is incredibly cumbersome, but this innovation will allow you to play classic games for hours of true button-mashing fun.

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5 years ago

Long-haul flights can be quite unbearable when you don’t have the right things with you. However, your post is the perfect resource which I am definitely saving and putting to use. 😉

The Nerd with the Backpack

Even after many years traveling, I continue to forget to have with me a pen and the address of the place I am staying at! Usually they are somewhere in the backpack. I hate when this happens and I have window seat!

5 years ago

Good to know I’m not the only one who wipes everything when I sit down! Germs!!! I would also add headphones. Especially ones that cancel out noise!

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