Tips for Surviving a Long Flight in Economy: What to Pack in Your Carry On
Later this week, I’ll spend roughly 24 hours on airplanes with one leg being a 15-hour long flight, which has me asking, “what are the tricks for surviving a long flight in economy?”. And my travel companion, my husband, is the guy who pops an Ambien walking down the jetway, puts on headphones and an eyemask and starts snoring before the doors even close. And he stays like that until the door opens at our destination. That’s why he gets the window seat. I don’t have to climb over him like I’m giving a lap dance to get to the bathroom. I seriously dread traveling when I have a long flight.
I don’t necessarily hate flying, but given the choice of laying on my couch for an entire day eating popcorn and binge watching House of Cards or sitting upright in a folding banquet chair in a metal tube, I think the choice is obvious. But if I can find the right survival skills for a long plan flight, I actually look forward to sitting on a plane being unplugged and having down time for lengthy periods – just not this lengthy.
I guess I’m a diva because my hangup with flying is really about my comfort, so I’ve studied tips from travel experts more then I studied for any college exam. I’m hoping to get an A+ in having a stress-free comfortable flight. Here’s how I’m
obsessing prepping for my flights:
1. Skincare – not that I care so much about looking fresh when I arrive in Sydney at 7 AM because I plan to head straight for the
gym bed for a power nap, but I’ve got to believe that feeling clean and refreshed can make for a more enjoyable first day abroad. I read one beauty expert’s blog who suggested putting chamomile tea bags on your eyes to eliminate puffiness. I’m pretty sure I would make the “weirdest things people do on planes” BuzzFeed post, so I’ll skip that. I did, however, raid the Sephora impulse-buy bin and pick up a few things I thought would keep my skin hydrated like FAB Facial Radiance Pads for cleansing, Evian facial spray, Goodal Waterest First Essence from my awesome Birchbox and a lightly scented solid perfume for my ghetto bath!
2. Food – I’m on this plant-based eating kick and the little pieces of meat with the fake grill marks served on airlines just doesn’t appeal to me (anyone remember that early Ellen Degeneres sketch?). So I’m stocking up on some awesome munchies. I’ve got Go Raw ginger snaps, Justin’s almond butter and hazelnut butter for crackers and some assorted snack bars.
And I’m making a bowl of Peanut Noodles with the sauce packed separately that I can mix myself at dinnertime. And for dessert? I’m not really a chocolate person but when I need a bite of something sweet, I have this stashed
that I won’t be sharing.
And to counteract the caffeine of the chocolate, I’ve got some Sleepytime tea bags packed.
3. Sleep – Earplugs? Check. Fancy eye mask that molds to your eyes? Check. Noise canceling headphones? Check. My vanity? Not so much. I’ve also downloaded a couple of apps that I’m hoping will lull me in to that peaceful yet elusive slumber such as Airsleep and Simply Being. And I’ll never live without my Rescue Remedy for when mild stress kicks in. Of course, I have something much stronger should my claustrophobia decide to make an appearance while I’m trapped inside this narrow metal tube.
4. Entertainment – There is an actual strategy to my binge-watching. My iPhone and iPad are fully loaded with everything from Top Chef to Episodes to The Americans. I’ve also packed my trusty lipstick charger to keep me powered up inflight. Although I’m sure I’ll be one of those people sitting on the floor of the airport recharging devices. And for a little self-made entertainment, I plan to do some people-watching. If I see anyone clipping their toenails or joining the mile high club, you’ll be the first to know!
5. Comfort – I’m breaking my cardinal rule of always dressing well on a plane and planning to wear my yoga pants. I’ll attempt to dress them up with a nice long cardigan. And yes, I’ll be wearing my Birkenstocks. And if it’s cold, I’ll be wearing them with socks. There is no shame in my comfort. I spent countless hours researching the most comfortable travel pillow (I’m desperate to sleep) and I decided on the J-pillow. I’m a germaphobe so the pillows and blankets on planes freak me out so I’ll be taking an oversized pashmina to use as a blanket.
Am I forgetting anything?