5 Essentials for a Long Haul Flight
After 20 years of lots of long haul flights between Europe and the US, I’ve perfected comfort in an economy seat. Deciding what to take and even what to buy among the many choices out there can be overwhelming, so I thought I’d share the 5 essentials I always pack with me when I fly long distances.
This seems like a no-brainer, but not all earplugs are made equal! My choice are the Mack’s soft silicone earplugs. I have these on Subscribe and Save on Amazon and I use them at home, too!
Again, not all eye masks are made equal. I bought a mask once that irritated my eyes and I looked like I’d been crying all night when I woke up. Since then, I pay closer attention to materials and comfort and err on the side of getting a more expensive item that I’m bound to keep. I’ve been using the Manta Mask for a couple of years now and it’s by far the most comfortable I’ve tried. It doesn’t put pressure on the eyes and it blacks out 100% of the light! I have my boyfriend to thank for this mask – he is the one who found it.
I used to have a traditional U-shaped pillow, but eventually I found it too bulky and also didn’t like how it forced my neck in a position as if I were looking down at my phone. I am not sure how I stumbled upon the Trtl pillow but I bought it for my trip this past Christmas and I am a convert! The internal support system makes it an odd shape but it’s really light and machine-washable.
Okay, ever since my 2011 trip to Asia, my ankles blow up on long flights. I try to walk around and do those exercises you read about, and I still have a bad case of swollen ankles. I’ve heard a couple of people recommend compression socks. I was hesitant to try them. For one, compression socks are a PAIN to put on. Also, I have thick calves and was worried about the top of the sock rubbing me the wrong way below the knee (it’s happened before). This is another thing I tried on my last trip and it really works! I was able to take off my shoes, which I normally never did before for fear my feet won’t fit back in. I put on the socks in the bathroom once I boarded the plane and made sure to take them off before landing. Go for the full calf-length socks (not a sleeve or an ankle-length) and measure your calf since it’s needed to determine the correct size.
If you’re going to be outdoors or active, the compression socks will come in handy! They are great to wear after strenuous activity to help with muscle recovery. I also like to wear them hiking – they keep dust and dirt off my lower legs!
I resisted these for years due to the price tag, so my boyfriend and I finally decided to get each other a pair as a Christmas gift. We actually waited for Bose to come out with a new line (the 700) so that their old line would go on sale. I have the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 in pink. These headphones are a life saver and I even sleep with them on flights now (though I still bring the ear plugs)!
Do you have any go-to products of your own when you’re flying? Let me know in the comments!
Note: the recommendations in this post are mine and are based on my own travel experiences. I am not getting paid for them. However, this post does contain affiliate links to some of my recommendations. Please read our affiliate disclosure.