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Make long-haul flights a joy ride – with this checklist of essential items

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Travel is what we love but getting there can sometimes be a bummer. Flying long-haul economy (rather than in business or first class) is a reality for most travelers and that means we need to bring our own items to make the flight a comfortable one.

Here’s our tried and tested list of in-flight items that get us through without a hitch:

In a small pouch I fit the following:

    • Inflatable travel pillow (folded up)
    • Eye mask
    • Ear plugs
    • Chewing gum (I don’t like brushing my teeth in airplane bathrooms so I depend on water, gum and mints)
    • Mints/breath strips
    • Lip balm
    • Pen
    • Tissues


Many of these items I collected from previous flights - my pouch and mask are from Qatar Airways, for example.  The really small pouch means I can put it in my handbag or hand luggage and keep it with me in the seat-back pouch on the flight.

travel kit edit



Other tips for a great flight:

  • Find out in advance how the aircraft is laid out
    • So you can select the ideal seats during online check-in
  • Decide what type of seat suits you
    • Decide if it’s more important to have a wall to rest on and/or a view (going to a new picturesque destination), in which case you’ll want a window seat, OR if you like flexibility  and mobility (toilet access/stretch and move), in which case you’ll want an aisle seat
  • Find out what is the earliest online check-in time (if applicable) and complete that process as soon as possible (to make sure you get the seats you want)
  • Find out in advance which entertainment system is used on the airline you’re travelling with.
    • Qatar Airways has “Cineplex in the Sky” which is one of the best I’ve experienced in terms of the number of new release movies they have available (plus games, TV shows, etc).  British Airways has a different system, which is not quite as good as Cineplex, but it’s still pretty good in terms of movie variety and quantity.
  • Get up and move around, stretch.  The longer the flight the more important this becomes.  You might like to buy a pair of compression socks that increase circulation in the lower legs if you’re prone to bad circulation (or for pregnant women).

What other tips do you have to make your flight a good start and end to your trip?  Leave a comment below.

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Digital Nomad aims to bring you quality adventure travel information. All photos and videos taken by us are under the CreativeCommons ShareAlike licence, unless otherwise noted. Please provide a link to the page where the content is posted to attribute credit. If we find a great product to recommend, which happens to have an affiliate program we won't hesitate to use them because, well, why not?! :) We only recommend products we would use ourselves.


  1. Miriam

    October 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I love the Wisp Disposable travel toothbrushes for red eye flights. It’s a 2.5-3 inch long brush with a ball of minty-toothpaste substitute at the center of a brush head at one end and a toothpick at the other end. You don’t need water or to spit. Some come in four-packs which aren’t as convenient. The larger bags have each brush individually wrapped. I travel for 3-6 months at a time and I take 5-6 with me at the beginning of the trip. I keep one in my purse all the time.

    • DNTM Editor

      October 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Thanks for the great tip Miriam! Happy travels.

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