For most of us long haul flights are a test of endurance. We just want to try and survive the ordeal as comfortably as possible without activating the dark beast that lives within us all. Cramped cabins, dry air and monotony do bring out the worst in essentially nice people. The contents of your carry-on bag are your critical tools for keeping that beast locked away.
Flights aren’t the best fit for skinny jeans and stilettos. You want loose, comfortable and breathable fabric on your body. Wear roomy, slip-on, flat shoes. Your feet will swell. You’ll likely want to kick them off and stretch your legs out, as much as space permits. Bring a hoodie. It doubles as a blankie and a ‘do no disturb sign’. Tuck in a clean pair of underwear and socks, to help you feel somewhat fresh when it’s time to disembark.
There's nothing more aggravating than digging through your carry-on to find some small item. Avoid this by using mesh bags or plastic bags to keep similar items together.
Keep your boarding pass, passport, address of where you’ll be staying, a copy of your itinerary and a copy of your electronic travel Visa payment (this could come in handy when entering a country) together in a packet.
We’re all agreed that air food service in economy class is close to brutal. Bring an empty water bottle and refill it on the plane. Those tiny cups they pass out just don’t cut it.
Inflight, avoid those unhealthy salty and sweet snacks and processed meals. You want to avoid inflammation. Instead bring unsalted nuts, trail mix, dark chocolate, whole grain salads and maybe a turkey, chicken or vegan sandwich. Throw in a couple of apples. They travel well.
Entertainment is a matter of choice but you’ll need it. Ebooks, music on your smartphone, movies on your iPad, whatever works for you. Download something you want to binge watch. You may strike it lucky and actually want to watch an inflight entertainment movie. Maybe you’ll just liked being unplugged and enjoy the time to think or catch up on a personal project.
Bring your toothbrush and a travel-size toothpaste. Bring face wash in a small, security-sized bottle and some face wipes. Don't forget deodorant, face moisturizer, hand sanitizer and lip balm (those cabins get so dry). Keep prescription medications with you. Throw a couple of bandaids in too, You never know, that food cart could clip you when you’re nodding off!
Now this is the hard part. To give yourself a fighting chance at some rest, pack earplugs and an eye mask to help transport you to a place far away from bright cabin lights, jostling trays and loud conversations. No, you can’t completely wipe out sound, but you sure can muffle it. If you know you can’t sleep on a plane from experience, don’t be shy about asking your doctor for assistance,
If you’re travelling with expensive jewellery keep it in your carry-on.
Here's hoping these tips help you organize your carry-on essentials and that you have a wonderful holiday!