I’ve taken my share of long, international flights and I’ve found that having a small-ish bag filled with these travel essentials makes the hours on the plane more bearable.
Here’s a list of the stuff I typically take on an international (or really long domestic) flight:
I just found this amazing new travel backpack! Okay, this is actually a diaper bag but there’s not much about it that screams “I’m carrying diapers and sippy cups in this thing.”
I think this is one of the best travel backpack options out there at the under $50 price point.
What I love about this bag:
- The straps are wide and padded so it’s comfortable to wear for a long period of time.
- All the surfaces are either waterproof or at least water resistant.
- The outside material is wipe-able.
- The pockets on the side are deep and will fit a good sized water bottle and it won’t fall out.
- The main compartment is big and should hold everything you need for the airplane or day trips while traveling.
- There’s a special slot for your computer (17″ and smaller).
- There’s an additional set of carry handles which are so very helpful.
- There are inside water bottle slots that are, again, very deep.
It ships FREE with Prime and can be returned for FREE if you don’t love it.
Electronics Cord Organizer
I’ve been using this cord organizer for the last few trips and I really like it. You need one of these if you travel with an external battery and more than one cord.
This brand has lots of different colors which is good if you are purchasing an organizer for more than one person in your family — get a different color for each person to keep everything separate.
I detest everything about the typical airline blanket, so I went on a mission to find a good one. I was specifically looking for something soft, could pack well, and had more features than a typical blanket.
I came across this Travelrest 4-in-1 Travel Blanket and it was perfect! It’s super plush, can be crammed into a stuff sack so it doubles as a pillow, has a neck hole so it doesn’t slide off your shoulders as you’re trying to sleep, and it has a zipper pocket on the front so you can keep anything you want to have close (or to keep safe) while you’re sleeping.
This won’t be a necessary travel item for everyone, but it will make your trip exponentially better if you have tailbone problems like me.
If you find the garbage economy seats too hard for your fanny, this memory foam seat cushion should make your trip less painful. Amazon has approximately one million seat pillow options. I chose this one because it had a lot of great reviews and was under $25.
I used this exact pillow on my ten hour flight to Amsterdam and it was magical. I was able to get in different positions without dealing with managing my tailbone pain. It did lift me up a few inches, so I had to use my backpack (see above) as a foot rest.
Hilarious Travel Neck Pillow/Thing
This trtl neck “pillow” was included in the Prime Day sale in 2017 and I had to get it because it looks so goofy. I’ve used it a few times on long flights and it’s definitely “contraption” like but man, it really does work. I was able to get more restful sleep with this than a typical neck pillow, but it does get annoying after a couple of hours.
I finally remembered to purchase compression socks for this past trip and they really do work wonders. My legs felt more rested and they didn’t expand like a balloon during the long flight.
I love that there are super cute options out there. I got this three-pack of compression socks for around $12 shipped with Prime and am very pleased.
A Really Big Scarf
A nice, big scarf serves several purposes on a long flight. It can combat the oftentimes frigid air conditioning, serve as a blanket, especially if you just need something to cover up your belly in case your shirt rides up a bit, and you can wear it with outfits during your trip.
I use one that I received as a gift, but any blanket scarf will work. This large cashmere scarf on Amazon will work just fine and it’s under $20. Plus there are tons of colors available, so you can get one that will work with your travel outfits.
I usually keep my shoes on during domestic flights, but I need to take them off for longer ones. Problem is that then I have to bend into a pretzel to get my shoes back on to go to the bathroom or to wander the cabin. The easiest solution I found is to carry a pair of slip-ons that I can use during the flight.
I remembered the adorable JCrew driving shoes from Nordstrom and realized they would work well. Problem is that I didn’t want to spend anywhere close to Nordstrom’s price tag so I turned to Amazon.
Within a few minutes of searching, I found these fur lined knock-offs for under $20. The sole is rubber so they worked for the oftentimes wet bathroom floor. Plus I’ll be able to wear them at home when I need slip-ons to take the garbage out or to get the mail.
They come in several colors and can be returned if you don’t love them. I wear a 7.5 and ordered an 8 for a perfect fit.
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