Flying is not comfortable. That’s the hard truth and nothing is going to change it. But through trial and error, I’ve found a few ways to make a transatlantic flight a little more pleasant.
You can’t bring a filled water bottle through security, but you absolutely need to bring an empty one. You can fill it up at a water fountain once you’re through security, and you can ask a flight attendant to fill it up on the plane. Flying is seriously dehydrating, so you need to have access to water at all times. Those tiny cups flight attendants give you at mealtimes aren’t going to cut it.
Even if you have your water bottle and are drinking like a fish, your skin will still look dry without a face mask or face wipes. If you don’t like the idea of wearing a face mask on the plane, keep wipes with you to freshen up. I do this a couple times during the flight and shortly before landing, and once I’m off the plane and at my airbnb/hotel/wherever I’m staying I put on a face mask (make sure it’s a moisturizing mask).
I always carry snacks with me on long flights. They help pass the time and make up for the less-than-appetizing airplane meals. I prefer sucking candies like lollipops because they last longer and stop my ears from popping during takeoff. If you do bring snacks, make sure to skip saltier ones like peanuts or chips. You’ll already feel dehydrated, so choose snacks that won’t make you thirsty.
Lotion + Toiletries
I know I’m starting to sound pretty repetitive, but planes dry you out! Keep lotion at hand to help with this. I also make sure I have any necessary toiletries available, like a contact lens case and solution so I can take my contacts out to sleep. I also bring a comb so I can brush my hair before we land.
Scarf + Jacket
Bring a heavy scarf and jacket to keep you warm on long flights. A scarf can be used as a pillow or blanket if necessary. I even bring gloves and an extra pair of thick, fuzzy socks because without them, I’ll be too cold to sleep. The person sitting next to you might find your gloves a bit odd at first, but later on they’ll be jealous when they’re shivering while you stay warm and cozy.
Portable Phone Charger
Most planes have outlets to plug in a charger, but I’ve found that some outlets don’t always work. If it’s important that you have a working phone when you land, make sure you bring a portable charger as a backup if the outlets aren’t working.
Notebook + Pencil
Sure, planes usually have movies for you to watch. But sometimes 14+ hours of movies can feel a little mind-numbing. I like to have a notebook at hand so I can brainstorm article ideas, write said articles, or create to-do lists. I’m the kind of person who loves making lists, so I like to create itineraries to follow when I reach my destination. I also write down names of people I need to find souvenirs for.
*I don’t think it needs to be said, but you also should have your passport and any important documents with you on your flight. Make sure you’ve written down the address of wherever you’ll be staying and have photocopies of your passport at hand.
In a few days, I’ll be in France (Paris and a few nearby cities)! I will begin posting blogs about my trip shortly after I return (June 22nd). While in France, I will only be posting to my Instagram (@Janinenissa) so follow me there if you want live updates. If you have any recommendations of places to visit/eat/shop/etc in Paris, let me know!