Air travel, for the most part, is unpleasant. The recent rash of airline abuse and passenger mistreatment may dominate the news today, but highlights an already well-know fact: flying is not fun. While I cannot help with seat upgrades, more legroom, or guaranteeing a friendly airline staff, I can share a few essential items I always take with me on any flight. Coming prepared is the best defense and goes a long way to ensure a more peaceful flight.
1. Airplane Must-Haves: Earplugs
I’ll admit it - I am an earplug devotee. It is always the first thing I pack as any travel would be miserable without them. I tend to get jarred by the overwhelming “hum” of a plane’s engines, which can vary depending on where you are sitting. And let’s not forget loud passengers who seem unaware of their surroundings and talk at too high of a level. I pop them in early in the flight to mute the noise.
2. Airplane Must-Haves: An extra pair of socks
For my recent trip to Sea Island, GA, I went sans socks in anticipation of the 80 degree weather. It happened to be a rare time when the plane’s heating system was broken, which sent a steady stream of cold air along the floor. Thankfully, an extra pair of comfy socks did the trick - there’s nothing worse then cold feet to make any flight miserable.
3. Airplane Must-Haves: Long Scarf
4. Airplane Must-Haves: Neck pillow
The average neck pillow tends to get too stiff over time, and adds unnecessary bulk towards the back of your head. My latest find is a more snake-like, malleable neck pillow that adjusts for extra padding just where you need it.
5. Airplane Must-Haves: Downloaded Podcasts
Another way to drown out the noise of passengers and planes are a few hour-long podcasts. When you are sick of your music, do not feel like reading, but need an escape from the noise, you will be happy to have a few on hand.
6. Airplane Must-Haves: Gum/Candy
Constantly dealing with popping ears on the plane? Have this handy.
7. Airplane Must-Haves: Water Bottle
Having suffered the dire consquences of not hydrating properly after a long flight, I always bring a big water bottle with me.
What am I missing? What are your in-flight must-haves?