In a few hours I’ll be hopping on a flight from NYC to Shanghai. It’s a 15 plus hour flight, the longest one I’ve ever been on. I feel like there should be a special name for these super long flights. Like sports have “extreme” versions, these long trips should be called “extreme flying” or something.
I’m really excited to be going to the other side of the world, but I’m also bracing for all those hours stuck in a plane. Here’s my list of what you should always bring on any flight longer than 8 hours:
1. Sleep gear
Sleeping is important, especially when you’re 30,000 feet above the ground. Neck pillows and eye masks may not be stylish, but they get the job done. I recommend a neck pillow with a button at the bottom to keep it in place no matter how much you move around. Some airlines are now offering free eye masks, but bring yours just in case.
2. Antibacterial Stuff
I’m not usually a germaphobe, but lock me in a flying machine and I get a little bit more concerned about those pesky little critters. I carry antibacterial wipes (Clorox are best) to clean up the tray tables. If you can’t find antibacterial wipes, alcohol pads (you can find them at any drugstore) work just fine. Also, use hand sanitizer or wash your hands before meals, you don’t want to get sick while on vacation.
3. Vitamin boost
Vitamins make a huge difference. I like Emergen-C because you can dissolve it in a bottle of water and it's super easy to drink. It will give your immune system a boost and you’ll feel more energized when you finally land.
4. Lip balm
Airplanes are dry, so I try to carry lip balm and hand lotion to keep my skin from getting rough and cracked while on the air.
Bring your own fancy headphones. I’m not particularly fond of the noise-cancelling ones, since I feel that my regular chunky ones work just as well. And if you’ll be watching a movie on your iPad, I love headphone jack splitters. They let you share the screen with your travel buddy and split the sound into two or more headsets.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, moisturizer. I also like to carry a Korean hydrating facial mask. Some of the other passengers may look at you funny, but your skin will super soft afterwards.
Pens are useful, since you’ll probably have to fill out customs forms before landing. You can also doodle a few hours away.
Like any other extreme sport, extreme flying (yeah, it’s a thing now!) requires hydration and nutrition. Buy a bottle of water right before you hop on the plane and bring a snack. While most airlines supply food, you can never be sure that you’ll like it. So, carrying a granola bar or some nuts is always a good idea. I also like to bring my own tea bags. They’ll definitely have hot water onboard, so you can skip the coffee and brew your favorite flavor.
Have any other tips for surviving a long flight? Share them in the comments!