Helpful Check List for Long Flights
Updated: Apr 5, 2022
We have compiled a list of helpful tips you may want to consider bringing to ensure your next long flight goes smoothly. Depending on the aircraft and class of cabin, some of the items mentioned below may be provided while inflight.
Arrive extra early (2.5+ hours) to the airport. Some airports are still struggling with staffing issues. Technically, all Int'l flights require 3 hours.
Bring a pair of earbuds/headphones, you might be able to rest with white noise app or soft music using your phone.
Any prescription drugs/narcotics will need to be in the original container with your name on it. You can bring all other OTC medication with you. I suggest packing it in your carry-on just in case your luggage decides to arrive at a different gateway.
Neck pillows are great, as I believe most airlines have discontinued pillow/blanket service in main cabin class.
Pack a light jacket/sweater/wrap, as some planes can become cool after take off.
Pack snacks, wraps, or a sandwich as meal service may be limited. Should you bring fruit or raw nuts (in shell), you must consume them before departing the plane or entering customs. No ice or liquids. It's a long flight and it may be awhile before you are able to get breakfast/snack once you arrive. I also pack gum and mints.
Use an insulated carry-on bag (back-pack), as you can use it to pack snacks/water bottles on your excursions.
Any drinks purchased at the airport must have a fitting lid in order to take it on the plane.
Bring an insulated cup with lid and fill it up after clearing security as most airports have purified water dispensers available. This also comes in handy to take a cup of coffee or tea with you on the go.
Bring sanitizing wipes to wipe down the tray table, arm rests, seat belts, etc.
Pack an extra pair of shoes, socks, and clothing in my carry-on along with a toothbrush (along with medication), as there is always a risk of your luggage getting lost.
Pack a small bottle of lotion as with all the hand sanitizer and dry cabin air, your hands and face can become dry.
Melatonin (a hormone that can help with sleep and prevent jet lag) has been known to help passengers sleep better on overnight flights. You might find there are other sleep aids available to help you rest. Over-the-counter (OTC) options include Dramamine (bonus: it will also help if you have motion sickness), any antihistamine containing diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl), and medicines designed for insomnia. Always check with your physician before taking any new medication or OTC supplements.
Eye masks are also helpful as others around you may decide to turn on their light to read.
Stay hydrated and avoid too much caffeine or alcohol before and during your flight.
Bring a portable phone charger in case your plane doesn't offer a USB.
Try to place all of your carry-on bags above vs. under the seat in front to give you a little more room to stretch.
It's best to check with your travel agent or airline directly if you have specific questions about what you can or can not bring onboard. eg: medical equipment, CPAP machine, baby formula and food, or prescribed medications. Also know that if above cabin space becomes full, you may need to check your carry-on bag at the gate and place your personal item under the seat.