It’s been a while since many of us have been on a flight, therefore we could all probably use a refresher course on some of the items that can make flying more bearable or even if I dare say actually rather enjoyable.
Oh, how we miss the days when Delta simply referred to one of America’s largest airlines, and now it looks like we must get used to hearing the word Omicron for the foreseeable future.
It’s all enough to make even the most resilient minds feel overwhelmed with anxiety and stress. Recent surveys seem to back this up, with the majority of people in many nations saying they are apprehensive about getting on a plane any time soon.
For those that are brave enough to take to the skies, I thought I’d bring you ten things that will hopefully make your flight more comfortable and enjoyable.
And because health, both mental and physical, seems to be a priority in the current climate, let us focus on flying tips to keep you both safe and sane on your flight.
10 Things That Make Flying More Comfortable – Don’t Forget to Pack These For the Plane!
Travel anxiety is a very real problem for many people. For some people it’s having a fear of flying and running into turbulence, while others get stressed out about getting to the airport on time and whether they remembered to pack everything.
Some people even get anxious about the possibility of their chronic aches and pains flaring up while in the air or when forced to sleep in the airport awaiting a long-delayed boarding call.
Enter the wonderful world of CBD products which have become the go-to for many travelers looking to ease their travel-related anxiety as well as aches and pains.
Flying with CBD is easy thanks to online CBD companies like Joy Organics which offer up an assortment of convenient and easy to use forms of CBD that are perfect for travel.
Types of CBD for Travel
Focusing on three forms that are especially great for traveling and flights in particular, let me begin with organic, vegan CBD oil tincture which can be easily placed under the tongue where it is then absorbed into the bloodstream.
Bottles usually come in sizes around the 1oz or 30ml mark which conforms to the TSA restrictions on liquids.
You then have flavorful CBD gummies that often come gluten-free, vegan, and without THC. Look for them in exciting flavors like green apple and strawberry lemonade.
They also make organic CBD salve sticks which fit nicely in a pocket so they can be used on the go. You can apply these salve sticks directly to your skin to relieve aches and pains before, during, or after a flight.
CBD products are widely used throughout countries like the U.S., but it is always wise to research the laws or regulations surrounding CBD products in the states or countries you plan on traveling to.
You may need to ensure the CBD products you are packing in your carry-on luggage contain less than 0.3% THC or possibly even 0% depending on the jurisdiction.
Cleaning your hands has always been important, but it’s now become vital with COVID-19 circulating in almost every country. Make sure you pack pocket-sized hand sanitizer in your carry-on that adheres to TSA fluid allowances.
While airlines are stepping up their efforts to clean more effectively in-between flights, it always pays to sanitize in and around your seat where the dirtiest surfaces are.
Things to focus on sanitizing include your tray table, entertainment touch-screen, seat belt, head and arm rests, and seat pocket.
Even without the coronavirus, some studies have shown that there is upwards of a 100 times more chance you’ll catch a cold or other common virus while flying as opposed to other forms of transportation.
Whether you opt for bottles of hand sanitizer or travel-sized packs of sanitizing wipes, be especially vigilant about sanitizing your hands after using the plane’s bathroom and returning to your seat, even if you did wash your hands in the small and sometimes useless sink, as well as before you eat any in-flight meals or snacks.
As awkward as a neck pillow may be to carry onboard with you, research shows that you may enjoy relief from neck pain and improve your chances of getting some sleep by investing in one for your flight.
There are of course countless different models and styles out there these days, so search around to see what feels or at least looks most comfortable to you.
You may not need a pillow if you’re in first class and can lay flay, but for most of us common folk usually in economy it can be a godsend to catching some shut-eye.
Look for pillows with additional features like built-in massagers to enjoy even more relaxation or ones with built-in pockets that can be used to store things like eyes masks and ear plugs which I’ll discuss in a bit.
Most foods are generally allowed to be brought on planes, so don’t be afraid to pack your favorite non-perishable snacks.
While you may be able to get by on little nourishment during short flights, it can be hard to satisfy your cravings on long-haul flights, especially if you have strict dietary requirements or tend to not appreciate the food that is served by certain airlines.
Being well fed during flights will maintain your energy levels in addition to providing you with comfort. Just remember to be courteous to the people around you and avoid especially pungent or messy food.
Many airlines are also now charging for snacks and in-flight meals, so bringing your own will likely save you money and allow you to choose from more options.
Note that you may not be able to get certain foods like fruits or vegetables through customs so research before or simply eat everything before you disembark.
Airline in-flight entertainment screens can do wonders for keeping passengers entertained, but they aren’t always guaranteed, especially when flying budget airlines.
That’s why it always pays to have a backup plan by bringing your smartphone, ipad, or laptop with chargers or power banks to ensure you’ll stay entertained in the air. And don’t forget about providing entertainment for your small children traveling with you to keep them from fussing.
Lack of mental stimulation on long-haul flights can especially lead to a great deal of boredom which can lead to feelings of fatigue, nervousness, and even minor depression.
Having access to good digital ebooks, podcasts, your favorite music, or meditation/mindfulness recordings does much more than keep your mind occupied, it can also relieve many forms of travel stress and anxiety.
Earplugs or Headphones
Planes can be noisy places, especially if you happen to be seated next to a crying baby. While some people actually find peace from the sound of white noise in the form of plane engines, others find it near impossible to rest or relax.
Packing earplugs is a great way to cancel out much of the noise and you’ll often find airlines provide them free of charge. If not, you can easily purchase a cheap pack of disposable earplugs that are better suited to avoiding ear infections.
There are of course more durable models that can be washed and reused if you travel frequently.
Some earplugs can even help relieve discomfort caused by in-flight air pressure fluctuations. Alternatively, you could opt for headphones whether it be the cheap ones often given out by airlines or more effective noise-canceling headphones.
Traveling on flights at strange times can really mess with your sleeping habits. If you find yourself facing a string of flights that will have your body screaming for sleep despite it being midday, having a sleep mask both for the plane and while waiting in airports can help you get much better rest or sleep.
Even when traveling on flights during the late evening hours, it can be difficult to get sleep when lights are turned on for meal services. And there’s now almost certain to always be a lot of blue light surrounding you in the form of other passengers’ entertainment screens and smartphones.
I recommend investing in a better quality eye mask rather than those cheap flimsy versions you often find. Models that conform to the shape of your head/face and are gentle on the skin are more likely to block out more light and be comfortable to wear for hours.
These are likely the most important items to pack with you during a flight. Whether you take medication for your diabetes or for heart problems, having your necessary medications on you will of course keep you healthy and potentially may save your life.
You can never be certain how long flights will take, so always keep your medications in your carry-on. Plane boarding can be delayed, planes can sit on the runway for hours, and planes can be rerouted due to weather, so never take any chances.
Having various OTC medications for things like motion sickness, diarrhoea, headaches, or cold and sinus congestion can all be life savers during flights.
You should check-in with your doctor before any trip to get their recommendations on prescriptions based on your personal profile and they can offer you information regarding whether your prescribed and OTC medications will be allowed into the country you are traveling to.
You may also need to pack an EpiPen if you are prone to severe allergies from such things as food items or products that may be present on your flight. Don’t forget to pack a spare pair of eye glasses or contacts in case you need them, since being able to see at all times is rather important while traveling.
Always pack more medication than you think you’ll need and check with your airline to see if there are any restrictions that apply to how much of various medications are allowed and whether certain medical devices, mobility aids, or sharps are allowed onboard.
Extra Change of Clothing
There has been more than one occasion where I have had drinks or food spilled on me while on a flight. Thankfully, I always pack at least one spare change of clothing.
I mostly do this in case my checked luggage is delayed by a day or so, but being able to change out of dirty clothes if necessary while in flight is another welcomed bonus.
In addition to potential spills making your clothes uncomfortable during flights, you may also wish to change out of sweaty clothes possibly cause from rushing through an airport to catch your flight or from being parked on a runway in midsummer for hours.
There are also those travelers that suffer from unfortunate things like IBS where accidents may happen. Having a spare change of pants and undies can often give a sense of security to individuals dealing with such cases.
If you’re traveling with kids, know that they are far more likely to encounter spills or bathroom accidents during a flight. Therefore, don’t forget to pack a spare change of clothes for them as well.
You may not be headed for a desert location like Arizona or Dubai, but you can almost be assured that you will face a very dry environment onboard the plane.
Humidity levels on planes are almost always incredible low, which is why you’ve probably noticed your lips feeling dry and your hands cracking.
In addition to packing travel-sized moisturizer and lip balm to help keep your skin moist, remember to stay well hydrated before and during your flight by drinking plenty of water and not just going for the onboard alcohol which can exacerbate dehydration.
You may also want to pack eye drops if you’re eyes tend to dry out easily and possibly lubricating nasal spray.
Packing these ten simple things will hopefully allow you to enjoy a much more comfortable flight experience. You should be able to fit most of these items comfortably in your carry-on and still have extra room for additional helpful items.
Other bonus recommendations that weren’t already covered in the list include compression socks to help you avoid DVT (deep vein thrombosis), as well as comfortable footwear that will be kind to your feet while walking through the airport and easy to take on and off at security checkpoints.