Flying is an essential part to travel, for the most part of course. Flying is the best way to traverse long distances in shorter periods of time, so you don't waste time soaking up the sun or playing in the snow, whatever you choose.
Due to the fact that flying seems to be a necessity to travel, it seems only fitting to have a short list of important items to carry along with you on these journeys. In my experience, which is not a lot, I've learned that there are things that can definitely be left at home. All in all though, there are some things, especially on long flights, that you cannot go without.
Here are some of my essentials for longer distanced travel, because being in the air for even just a few hours can be grueling.
1. Snacks. Snacks on a a low budget flight are scarce, so bringing your own can be the difference between going crazy and having something to munch on to take that not-being-able-to-sleep edge off.
(I am not a good plane sleeper)
My go to snacks come down to easily attainable, nothing messy, and small enough packages. Usually almonds, maybe trail mix, granola bars, or packages of applesauce. I love chocolate and it would probably keep me more sane than anything, but it melts too easily and I don't want my backpack to be smeared for my trip with something that might not look like chocolate...
2. Gum. Now, I'm not a gum chewing by any means, I never have any in my purse or in my car, but when I travel, it's one thing I have stowed in my backpack for those plane flights, mostly because my ears tend to pop like crazy and I can only yawn so much at a given moment. Gum is the next best thing, plus you look nice if you offer a piece to the people sitting next to you who have to suffer the popping as well.
3. Neck pillow. Now I don't currently own one, but one of my friends would swear by this. She has a nice plush pillow that also deflates and easily stows away in your bag (Similar here). She slept soundly on all of our plane/bus rides to and through Europe. Literally, she always had this thing with her and she was always getting rest, easily. My dad also always took them on trips with him and he was always glad he did, maybe if I had one of my own, I could actually sleep on flights. Sleep is essential in long travels, because it's the make or break between being slightly on the sluggish exhausted side when you get to your destination.
4. Book. Generally I like to bring at least one book with me, sometimes a reading book and a puzzle book to challenge me a little if I get bored. I love sudoku and tend to bring a small booklet in my backpack. Books I generally bring are something I'm currently reading or something small that seemed interesting and I found at the bookstore, nothing too big in size, have to prioritize that space. One book I took with me on my first trip to Europe was Wild Roses by Deb Caletti. It ended up being a good read through Italy.
5. Water. I know that usually airlines, even the cheap ones, offer you some kind of complimentary beverage, but I like to fill up my water bottle before I get on the plane. Plus, having a reusable bottle can be super efficient when you get to where you're going. Just don't forget to dump it out before going through security, because they may make you throw out the whole bottle, or chug all the water in it...
I don't have a specific bottle I use, usually I just grab a vitamin water at the store before I go and refill a few times before I end up getting a new one somewhere else. Again, I probably need to buy a more durable, travel friendly one, but hey, I tend to slack on getting some of the essentials I need. At least there are other options!
I'm sure there are some other things that people have for things that are entirely important to bring with them during long trips, but for me, I stick to the basics. Yes, I might bring some extra shoes, my tech stuff, and some makeup in my backpack as well, but thats' usually because I don't want to overfill my regular carryon bag. These five things, I think are the most essential.
Do you have something else that helps you during long flights?
Cheers and safe travels!