Long haul flights can be both exhilarating and exhausting experiences. After making the lengthy 40-hour journey between Europe and New Zealand many a time, I have created a list of essential items, which I do not travel without! Making sure to pack the following items into your hand luggage can make a long and tiring journey exceedingly more comfortable.
1. A pashmina (or scarf of similar size and fabric)
This amazing item of clothing can serve numerous functions when traveling long distances. From a scarf to a blanket, pashminas are great when they crank up the air conditioning and you complementary blanket isn’t quite enough to keep you warm. It can also be folded it up to create a pillow or neck support, saving you from dragging a bulky neck pillow along with you which just takes up space. They also add an elegant touch to any outfit, keeping you looking stylish rather than sluggish while on the move!
Air conditioning on planes can leave your skin feeling incredibly dry and dehydrated. Having moisturiser at hand can help keep the skin on your face and hands feeling fresh and hydrated when you start to shrivel up. Buy a small travel-sized tube of moisturiser from your local supermarket, or fill a small travel container (less than 100mls) with your regular moisturiser, so that you always have some at the ready.
3. A water bottle
Similar to the last point, always having a bottle of water at hand is crucial in maintaining a good level of hydration at all stages of the journey. This is particularly useful on the plane, so you do not need to constantly ask the flight attendants for a top up of water. Just make sure to empty your bottle before going through customs, and fill it up again at the other side, before you board the plane.
4. A change of underwear and tshirt
I know no one wants to have to plan for having a missing suitcase, but it does happen. This has happened to me more than once, the longest being 6 days before the suitcase made it’s way to it’s correct destination. Sure you can always make an emergency shopping trip when needed, but when you first arrive at your destination, going shopping will be the last thing you want to do. No one feels fresh after a long haul flight, so having an extra tshirt and change of underwear at hand can make the first day or night at your destination SO much more comfortable!
5. Ear plugs
I, like many others, am not good at sleeping anywhere other than in a bed. Trying to get some shut-eye on a long haul flight can be hard, with the noise of the aircraft, other passengers, and flight attendants moving around the cabin. Using ear plugs helps to remove the sensory interference of sound, making your chances of catching a few Zs just that little bit higher.
6. Pain killers
Now I don’t mean to imply that long haul flights are always pain-inducing experiences, but having painkillers at hand can be a lifesaver on long haul flights. Even if you are feeling fit and fresh at the beginning of your journey, the intense air conditioning on planes, lack of sleep and changing of time zones are perfect ingredients for a headache. In the case of a headache, throwing back a painkiller or two can prevent you from feeling a little worse for wear on arrival.