What to Take on the Plane: Long-haul Flights

Most of what follows is applicable to long-haul flights as opposed to the 2 – 3 hour hops we’re used to … there is a huge difference between the two, although general flying tips for the average flight are similar; aside from things like Eye Masks.

USB cable

A cable long enough to still use your phone comfortably, or store the phone in the seat pocket, is perfect. This is something you should throw in your bag automatically! Many new planes have USB plugs at every seat, especially on long-haul planes; as do trains and buses. They won’t recharge your phone/tablet very quickly, but they should keep it from running low. Just Google for cheap USB cables or get this Anker PowerLine Micro USB  from Amazon

USB battery pack

I’m not sure how people survive without one of these; I certainly can’t. They’re an external battery to recharge your various mobile devices. Great for any situation, especially if you want to watch movies on your tablet for the whole flight. Again, go to Google and search for one, or buy this one Poweradd Pilot Pro3 30000mAh Power Bank from Amazon.

Camera (or your phone)

If you use what I call a proper camera, make sure you carry it in a proper camera bag such as this Medium Padded Camera Equipment Bag ,and store it in the overhead locker where there is usually very little movement, of any type!

Don’t store your phone in an overhead locker. Just keep it where you normally keep it, plugged in to keep it charged, in case you want to use it for entertainment at some stage; this is long-haul remember.

An Extra Layer

Aeroplanes can get cold; especially at night. If you’re on a long haul flight, don’t be fooled by the offer of an airline blanket. They’re usually the size of a hand towel and have as much effect warmth-wise. Dress sensibly! Wear track suit pants and a t-shirt but take a sweater and a pair of Fabulous Soft Warm Microfiber Crew Socks. Don’t wear shorts and a skimpy t-shirt or even a sun dress.

NB: window seats are often colder than aisle seats and exit rows are usually freezing.

Travel Pillow

This is optional, but if you’re not used to sleeping on a make-up remover pad, take a pillow. Personally, I hate those bulky sausage-like neck pillows. They can be seriously uncomfortable and cause dreadful headaches; my fondness is for a soft foam pillow or something that can be semi-inflated. You can now buy pillows with memory foam … lovely. A child-size pillow is perfect like The Perfect Soft Travel Pillow which is wonderful for your neck and helps with pain! If you’re on a long-haul flight, you need to be as comfortable as possible.

Eye Mask

Also optional; I will never use them. I don’t like waking up, opening my eyes, and not being able to see (Very scary). As well as causing trepidation and horror, they flatten your eyelashes … window shades are pulled down and cabin lights will be dimmed, so it’s not too bad. If you must wear an eye mask, you can find them in most chemists or drug stores. Or online; this 100% Silk Sleep Mask is ideal.


This may seem obvious, but it isn’t; and if you think you’ll be offered a pen, forget it; it’s just not going to happen. Most countries require you to fill out a form with some basic info. so take a pen with you! It’s unlikely a flight attendant will lend you one and the people around you will be using theirs. Some airports have a place where you can fill out the form after you arrive. But don’t expect a pen!

Carry a pen with you (blue or black ink only). It’s not hard.

Address where you’re staying

This isn’t hard either! Most forms require you to list where you’re staying, including the address. Some countries are more strict about this than others. A common question … “Is this where you’ll be staying for your whole trip?” often leads to questions about all your addresses, so have them readily available; it will keep them quiet and you will have them … on your itinerary!

Please remember, Security people, Border Control people, in fact any person who is an official at an airport or on a plane, is employed because they have zero sense of humour. Trying to be funny can see you in gaol; not a good start to a holiday!

Fruit (and often nuts and seeds, meats and processed foods)

This is a loud and resounding no-no for many countries . Just ignore anything to do with fresh food or nuts and seeds, meats and processed foods; limit yourself to chocolates. Having said that, I have even seen chocolate confiscated, to the anguish of the lady trying to bring them into the country.

Australia and New Zealand are perhaps the toughest in this regard and it’s easy to understand why. They don’t want to risk contaminating what they grow in their country with your possibly contaminated foods.


You need to check up on this regularly. There are some countries where you cannot take any liquids through security and some where you can take a full litre bottle of water through. It changes from month to month, so decide if you’re going to pay a fortune for a bottle of water on the other side of security, or take an empty bottle through with you, to fill.

DO keep well-hydrated on the plane. Many airlines now are charging for water and seem to keep a limited supply on hand in anything other than large bottles. When they come round with the drinks trolley, they will grudgingly give you a small plastic tumbler of water … this is an area airlines should NOT be cutting back. Take some with you …

Anything that smells

Just DON’T. This means everything from ripe Gorgonzola to Durian fruit; unless you want your fellow passengers to keel over in the aisles. This rule really, really, really includes yourself, and your feet. For the sake of those travelling on the same plane, please shower before your flight and if you have smelly feet, use Natural Shoe Deodorizer Spray with Essential Oils + Peppermint, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus in your shoes; it’s great. Long-haul – you’re about to be stuck in a sealed tube for 10 hours or more.

Keep you’re shoes ON

A flight attendant once told me the story of a lady who did a huge poo on the floor right outside the toilet door. An American gentleman, with no shoes, trod in the pile! Besides the risk of standing in something nasty, aeroplane floors are NOT clean and you don’t know where the people on the plane have been. Keep you’re shoes ON

Join us at Aging Disgracefully’s Experience of a Lifetime Travel. In 2018 we’re going to Florence and the Amalfi Coast, Lake Como and Milano, plus Verona and Venice! Which takes your fancy?

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