Top 9 Items to Pack When Flying

When taking a long flight, you want to make sure you are fully prepared even for those minor things that just seem to pop up. I have learned firsthand what to NOT do when taking an international flight and prepared a list of the top items I take when flying to avoid any minor hiccups in the road. (Going to list in no particular order)

1. Compressed Water Bottle

This sucker comes in handy when not wanting to spend more money at the airport for a $5 bottle of water and looking for a way to not take up even more room. I clipped my compressed bottle at the end of my bookbag which I was able to carry through TSA with no liquids in it. Meaning, I went through the TSA with the bottle compressed. BUTTT once you get through TSA, go to one of the water fountains and fill that bottle up for FREE! Yup, use that free water to save you $5!

To add to this, go a few days before your flight to the grocery store and pick up a packet of flavored powdered for your water. BOOM just turned it into strawberry lemonade! That’s my go-to choice always.

2. Compression Socks

These come in handy on long flights when unable to move around which keeps your flood flowing. Little to no movement on these long flights mixed with pressure can cause feet and ankles to become swollen and hear it can be incredibly painful. Especially for those red-eye flights where you plan on sleeping the whole time, so you know you are not moving around. My first international flight was to Paris which was about an 8-hour flight after a layover in Philadelphia and was landing at 7:55 am, so like many, I was trying to get a good night's rest.

After the plane landed and I was walking off the airplane, I had no pain in my ankles or feet and was not swollen! The ones below are the exact ones I used and will be reusing them very soon!

3. Neck Pillow

This is my all-time must when flying anywhere! A neck pillow that works for you can make the difference of walking off that plane feeling just dirty and gross vs. walking off the plane feeling like you are ready to tackle this destination. I have learned that moving the neck pillow all around when trying to find that perfect position can come in handy. My preferred position of the neck pillow is having the clip on my left side of my head and being able to lean my head to the right. For some odd reason, this position allows me to put my head in multiple positions and be comfortable. No whiplash or anything!

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4. Light Blanket

This is something you should take if you like being covered up when on the couch and relaxing. Not everyone is a blanket person, but for those who are, TAKE IT! I have learned from my years of flying that no jacket, over-sized hoodie compares to having this blanket. Not to hot to where I am taking it on and off and not too thin where I stay uncomfortably cold.

I first used an American Airlines one I got a few years ago when flying to Miami and love that it was super thin and took up no extra room. Plus, it’s a quick grab when not wanting to be “that person” when boarding the flight holding the lineup. (Please don’t be this person and have your stuff prepared!) I now use a Disneyland Paris thin blanket because it is just the right size and right thickness. Plus, I just love Disney!

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5. Gum

Yes, the old myth is true for me! Chewing gum comes in handy when taking off and landing and not having your ears pop. I am that person who is smacking the gum because my ears are starting to pop like crazy and can become painful. Any gum works and the more the merrier!

6. Cross-body Bag

A cross-body bag comes in handy when wanting to keep your personal information close to you like your passport, license, airline tickets, cash and anything else you want to keep close to you. Get a deep bag that way you have extra room for all your personal items. (I am still trying to find the perfect cross-body bag.)

7. Small Headphones

Headphones are a must for me to avoid hearing those little sounds on the plane like that one person who keeps coughing or that one kid who is really unhappy. Now, the question to ask yourself is "do I take big or small headphones?" (Big headphones that I am referring to are the ones that cover your ear.)

Take it from me, leave those big headphones at home unless you plan on wearing them around your neck while traveling. I have tried both to compare the difference and rather have small headphones that easily fit into a side pocket of the cross-body bag I am wearing. With the big headphones, this was something else I had to keep up with and remember thinking “Sara why did you bring these?”

And with the big headphones, you can’t sleep too well with them on in my opinion. Whereas with the small headphones, I can easily lean my head to the side or back and sleep while listening to music or finishing a movie.

8. Phone Holder

I have yet to try this, however, can see how much value it can add to making the plane ride more comfortable after my first international flight without one. Nothing is worse than having to hold your phone in a certain position even an hour, so think about an 8- or 10-hour flight fidgeting with your phone to find the right position just to have your hand cramp up. No thanks! This is on my list of items to purchase before my next flight no matter if I am staying local within the United States or taking my adventure internationally.

9. Power Bank

This is another must for any trip! The last thing you want to happen when being stuck on a plane or on a long layover is that awful message popping up on your phone saying you have a 20% battery left. That 20% seems to disappear within minutes it feels like until at 1% which seems to last for hours.

A power bank will help you charge your phone while traveling or out sightseeing at your destination. Now, take some advice and do your research before buying one. I have purchased a few $5 ones from Walmart and Target and barely got a full charge out of them before they died. For Christmas last year, my cousin gave the whole family power banks which came in handy for my Paris trip. I am posting the one he purchased because it is worth every penny! I charged my phone multiple times and over a course of 3-4 days and has two USB ports which allowed my friend to charge her phone at the same time. Plus the lights on the front let you know how much battery life the power bank has. Win win!

I hope this list helps you when taking your first international flight or your next local trip. These are items I have personally seen the value in and carry on every trip!