A long haul flight can be stressful, dull, and uncomfortable. Many travelers would rather have a root canal that be stuck in the middle seat on an airplane. Any travel perks that existed in the past — food, blanket, earplugs and a movie — cost an arm and a leg on most flights today. The seats seem to have gotten smaller too, and if you've ever endured a 20-hour flight, you know that long distance travel can be a lot like contortion. What you pack in your carry on bag, however, can make the flight more manageable. If you want to survive a long haul, then you're going to need these in-flight essentials.
1. High-tech Gear
From tablets to new smartphones, tech gear is a must when traveling. Whether you want to finish up some work before the vacation really starts or tap into the in-flight WiFi to enjoy some entertainment, electronic devices are ideal for passing the time. That doesn't mean you need to pack every electronic device you have into the carry-on. When it comes to tech, we have a tendency to over-gear when we travel. However, don't forget the apps. A city guide will help you find that perfect restaurant when you're in Paris.
2. Reliable Low-tech Standbys
Books, magazines, cards and crossword puzzles are old travel standbys. That flight from Boston to Bangkok might be the only time of the year you actually get to read a book, so make the most of it. If crossword puzzles aren't your thing, opt for Sudoku instead.
3. Easy-to-pack Snacks
Is that your stomach growling? Airplane food is notoriously bad. These days a turkey club sandwich might also run you $10. Save room in your carry-on for snacks.There's something about the altitude and the boredom that will have you reaching for a power bar.
4. A Change of Clothes
Pack at least one change of clothes in your carry-on. It's no secret that checked luggage gets lost, and the last thing you want is to be stuck in a pair of pants and a sweater when you land in the Caribbean. Tylenol, deodorant, a tooth brush, tooth paste and other hygiene products should be packed as well. If your luggage gets lost, you have all the stuff you need for a day or two, as that's how long it might take to get your bag back.
5. Emergency Kit
There's always going to be something you forget to pack when you travel. Actually, let's re-phrase that. You're always going to need something you had no idea you were going to need. PopSugar recommends packing random items like band-aids, stain remover and Vaseline. You never know if those old sandals are going to take a toll on your feet, or if you're going to accidentally spill some Primavera sauce on your fancy white shirt.
6. Sleep Accessories
No travel kit is complete without earplugs, eyeshades and a blow-up pillow. Getting good sleep on a plane is difficult. Many travelers doze, but getting some serious shut-eye is something else entirely. However, if you're on a long flight that's jumping time zones, you don't want to feel like a jetlagged zombie when you land. Bring items that are going to make you feel more comfortable.