Planning your next trip? Here are eight carry on essentials for long flights you need to pack…
What are the carry on essentials for long flights you don’t want to forget? I’m sharing mine today…
When I first started writing this post I really didn’t think I would spend so much time talking about tech. 300 days of the year I don’t give AF about tech. However, it appears that tech is key for making your life easier – particularly when travelling.
From being able to watch your favourite TV shows on your phone to charging on the go, I’m officially sold. That’s why tech stuff forms a big chunk of my carry on essentials for long haul flights. Who knew!
1) Your airline app
I’m sure most people reading this will do this already, but definitely make sure you download your airline app and save your boarding pass onto your wallet. When I see people going through the airport with their crumpled paper boarding passes I just want to stop them and tell them, no, there’s a much better way. No remembering which pocket you put it in, no worrying about losing it, no stressing about where you’re going to find a printer at the hotel, it’s all just there in one place.
2) The Netflix app
Downloading movies has as to be one of the most important things I do when I go away. I have both the Netflix and Amazon apps on my phone and they’ve been a total game changer. Don’t be like me and forget to download before you leave, as that means you’ll be frantically doing it on the airport WI-Fi while the minutes to your departure time gets ever closer.
It’s also something that’s useful on your trip itself. Got a long bus journey ahead of you? Your Netflix app is your friend. I certainly used mine a lot on the sleeper train I took during my trip to India, which you can read about here!
I also rediscovered One Tree Hill on my last flight to Budapest and have been loving it ever since.
3) Portable charger
Following on from the above, a portable charger is a must. Who wants to be watching a movie knowing that you’ve only got 8% of charge left? Absolutely no one, that’s who. Charge up your phone before you leave the house and you can give it a quick boost whenever you need it.
4) Dual-headed headphone adapter
Following on from the above (yes, more tech!) if you can find a dual-headed headphone adaptor then you’re onto a winner. That means you can watch or listen to whatever you like while you’re charging at the same time. Trust me, you really don’t want to have to choose between the two mid-flight.
5) Your glasses
If you wear contact lenses then absolutely definitely make sure you pack your glasses in your hand luggage. Nothing stresses me out more than the thought of rocking up to an eight hour flight and realising that my glasses are in my hold luggage. Recycled air = instant dry eyes. The second I’m in my seat on the plane I’m taking my lenses out and putting my glasses on.
6) A hoodie
It’s not glamorous but the humble hoodie is an essential item for long haul flights in my eyes. It’ll keep you cosy when the air-con gets a bit much, it’s easy to slip on and off when you’re wearing a seatbelt, and it can be rolled up to support your neck. Pockets are also useful for the bits and bobs you want to keep close to hand, such as lip balm for example.
I stuck a hoodie in my bag for my trip to India and I honestly never had it off the whole trip, even though I only bought it in Primark at the last minute. That’s why a hoodie is always a key part of my carry on essentials for long flights.
7) A scarf
The key to packing a scarf is the thickness. I’m of the opinion that a medium thickness scarf is best because it can double up as a few things: a blanket, a cover up for temples, and a cover up from the sun. Oh, and just a scarf for when it’s a bit chilly!
When you’re going through an airport the temperature is changing all the time; when you’re standing in the queue to board you’re boiling and then when you’re standing in the queue on the runway you’re freezing… and then when you’re standing in the aisle waiting to get your seat you’re boiling again. You can tell I travel on budget airlines a lot with all this queuing, right?
Anyway, it’s important to have layers than can be worn, wrapped around you, or shoved in a bag under the seat in front of you when you get too hot.
Bring all the snacks. You don’t ever want to have to rely on the limp-looking toasties being served up by the Ryanair cabin crew – they never look like they do in the brochure. Instead, swing by Superdrug in the departure lounge and stock up on your favourite nibbles. My go-to snack is always the Eat Natural Almond and Apricot bar as it’s surprisingly filling and not too sticky or crumbly.
9) A physical book
Let’s get physical, physical… OK, so I’m not just quoting this song for the fun of it. There’s a reason I swear.
I love nothing more than browsing in Waterstones in the airport and picking up a new book whenever I go on holiday, but having a non-digital product also has a practical purpose. Cabin crew can still be quite strict about making you switch off your devices during take off and landing, right? For some flights that may not be too long but for others it can be ages.
It’s therefore a really good idea to have a back-up option in print format that you aren’t going to be told to switch off. The same goes for landing. If the landing is anything like the last one I had (turbulence a-plenty) it’s good to have a distraction from it.
However, when you’re packing a book the key is to make sure it’s one you actually want to read. You may think a two week trip is the perfect time to crack on with War and Peace but it wouldn’t be my recommendation. Go for a real page-turner! Oh, and just in case you were looking at the above pic for inspiration… I wasn’t a fan of that book.