Whenever anyone asks me if I’m excited for an upcoming trip, if it involves a long flight to get to my final destination, I always say “I will be once I land.” I am not a huge fan of long-haul flights, and I know I am not alone. However, there are plenty of things I’ve found that make the flight more bearable, which may work for you, too.


7 Essential Items you Need for a Long-Haul Flight


Neck Pillow


I went for years braving long haul flights sans pillow, staring longingly at those worn by fellow passengers. I finally broke down and bought one, and have not regretted it.

You’ve got a few options here: the no-frills classic, U shape that can snap onto your luggage handle for easy transport.  An adjustable one that you can conform into several shapes that suit your needs.  There’s a inflatable one that will take up absolutely no space within your luggage.  And even one that cools if you tend to overheat when traveling. No matter what you choose, it will be better than the flimsy pillows they have on hand on the flight. You’ll be able to relax in comfort.


Travel Blanket


Another item that may at first seem frivolous and take up luggage space, but on a long haul flight will come in handy. If you’re feeling really adventurous and could care less what people think, try the Travelrest 4-in-1 Travel Blanket. You can wear it like a poncho (travel snuggie, anyone?), plus it can convert into lumbar support or a pillow! If you want something lightweight, the Cocoon CoolMax Blanket will do the trick, it’s moisture wicking, comes with a handy travel case, and is available in 10 colors. If you prefer luxury, then this packable down throw is for you.  Available in 3 colors, filled with 700 goose down fill, and comes with a carrying case. From lightweight covers to heavier blankets, there are plenty of options to keep you cozy during your long-haul flight.


A Tablet


Most long-haul flights have plenty of entertainment options, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own. Take along a Fire Tablet - load it with books, magazines, music, tv shows and movies to bide your time on your next cross-continental flight. Traveling with kids? Consider getting them their very own kids tablet to keep them amused.


Comfortable Pants


There seems to always be a debate about what to wear on flights. Some people are team dress up. Others are on team dress down. I am very much on the latter team. Unless you’re flying first class, coach seats are uncomfortable enough to have to wear pants without any stretch. So, go for comfort. The ultimate comfort pants are, of course, leggings. These Under Armour leggings are super comfortable, and can be dressed up with a cute sweater or tunic. If the thought of wearing leggings makes you cringe, you can try an elastic waist crop pant that are baggy, comfortable and stylish. Palazzo Pants have seem to officially made a comeback, so you can always get a pair, be stylish, and make a personal statement depending on what pattern you choose. For guys, try a jogger pant or drawstring stretch running pants.


Noise Canceling Headphones


Nothing says “leave me alone” like donning a pair of noise canceling headphones. Plug them in, lay back, and relax. Constantly ranking high on consumer lists, QuietComfort by Bose is always a smart choice, albeit a pricey one. If you’re looking for something cheaper, there are plenty out there, but we like Skullcandy Hesh 3.


Water Bottle


Granted, long-haul flights typically are pretty good at providing refreshments, but it always helps to be prepared and have water at the ready for whenever you may be feeling dehydrated. Once you’re through customs, you can fill up a water bottle that will last your entire flight. A collapsable one is always a smart way to go, that way, it won’t take up space when you aren’t using it. This one from Nomander has a 22 oz capacity, is BPA free, and is leakproof. When space isn’t an issue, but clean water is, try this Brita water bottle with a built in filter. It’s available in 7 colors, is BPA free, and will filter your water no matter where you are.


Protein Bars


It’s always smart to bring your own snack for a long-haul flight. Something with a little protein/nutrition is the best route to go. These protein bars from OatMega will provide you with plenty of energy to help you when you’re feeling peckish. Strong and Kind will also give you that extra boost when you need it. If you’d prefer something savory, you can try an Epic all natural chicken bar. Once again, no matter your choice, take along whatever suits your preference, and you’ll be good to go.


Header image via thefoodgrapher/shutterstock.com

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