1. Reusable Water Bottle
Dehydration is the number one culprit on long flights for diminishing your health-it dries out your skin, makes you more susceptible to jet-lag, and weakens your immune system. This handy collapsible and foldable water bottle won't take up much space, and stows easily.
Don't Forget: You can save money by refilling the water bottle rather than buying bottled water-most airports have "hydration stations" scattered throughout terminals. Just make sure your bottle is empty before going through the security line.
This one is important, especially on long flights as standard headphones (especially the free ones on planes) get uncomfortable when worn for an extended period. Make sure you pack headphones you know will be comfortable for binge watching TV shows and that can help block out noise when you want some shut-eye. Senior Editor Christine Sarkis recommends SleepPhones as her go-to for comfort and sleep on longer journeys. Don't Forget: Make sure you download a relaxing sleep playlist and use an app like Spotify Premium, which lets you access your music offline.
The type of food you eat during a flight will make or break your body's reaction to traveling longer distances. We recommend avoiding these eight foods - fried or fast foods, alcohol, cruciferous vegetables, carbonated beverages, sugar-free gum and candy, legumes, garlic, and airplane provided coffee, water or tea, and instead packing light snacks like nut mix, cheese and crackers, and fruits that are low in carbs and high in protein. Don't Forget: Gum. It takes away bad breath after snacking and helps relieve ear pressure while taking off and landing.
4. Mini-Toiletry Bag
The following handy list of travel-sized necessities is great for any flight-with a few additions specific for red-eyes and long trips. To keep your skin moisturized pack Evian Mist Spray, Papaw Ointment, and a shea butter cream. For hygiene take a dry shampoo spray bottle, a disposable toothbrush, natural deodorant, and hand sanitizer. This slim portable travel toiletry case is perfect to keep everything organized. Don't Forget: Medicine-it's always wise to keep your prescriptions in your carry-on, plus a few pain reliever tablets and anti-histamines in travel size containers.
5. Compression Gear
For any flight, compression clothing encourages good circulation and helps your body adjust to pressure changes; but it's especially important for longer flights. So, pick your go-to pair of leggings or socks. Senior Editor Caroline Morse recommends TravelSox's graduated compression socks for durability and comfort. Don't Forget: You'll want comfortable shoes to go with your compression socks for bathroom trips. Foldable slippers work well if you want to go shoe-free on the plane. Alternatively, tennis shoes or slip-on flats (like TOMS) are good options if you want shoes that go on and off easily.
6. Scarf (That Doubles as a Blanket)
To avoid using the (sometimes) gross airplane blanket, wear a scarf-yes you will have to remove it to go through security, but you'll be grateful later when the plane's AC is blasting. Lululemon's Vinyasa Scarf in Rulu or cotton fabric is a must-pack item in almost all SmarterTravel editors' carry-ons. Don't Forget: Make sure you dress comfortably overall-remember you-re in these clothes for the long haul. If you're on a red-eye, keep in mind you may not be able to check into your hotel right away, so it's always a good idea to pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on.
7. Sleep Aid
Everyone has their preferred method for falling asleep, but planes provide extra discomfort, making relaxation even more difficult. Melatonin spray or pills are good sources for over-the-counter, natural medicines to replace a prescription sleep aid. Other holistic remedies like Yogi Bedtime Tea bags or Natural Vitality Natural Calm also work wonders for relaxation.
Don't Forget: Throw in RMS "un cover up" to quickly energize and refresh skin before getting off the plane.
8. Paperback Book or Magazine
Bring at least one form of non-electronic entertainment for takeoff and landing, or any time you want a break from screens (or gasp, when your Kindle dies). Don't Forget: Oftentimes magazines and books are more expensive in the airports, so BYO from home.
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