Tuesday, February 16

Essentials For Every International Flight

Over the years I’ve gathered a short list of items I have with me on every flight. I also keep an eye on what other, seemingly seasoned, travelers bring with them. Over the years, my list has grown, much to Mr.P's dismay! The items above can be found here.  They are my favorite creature comforts for flying. I added ten more items below for you to take into consideration. So sit back and enjoy the flight!

Noise Cancelling headphones or Earplugs
Airplanes are loud. Good noise cancelling headphones can cut the engine noise down significantly, making the whole flight a lot more relaxing. They won’t help with the crying baby, or talkative neighbors, nor are all noise cancelling headphones the same. My pick?  The Bose Quiet Comfort 20. Best noise cancelling available right now, plus they’re tiny.

If you don’t want to invest in some NC headphones (the cheap ones are rarely worth it), some ear plugs are certainly a cheap alternative. Not quite as good, and not nearly as comfortable as the QC20s, but they’ll at least help quieten the noise.

USB Cable
Many new planes have USB plugs at every seat. They won’t recharge your phone/tablet very quickly, but they should keep it from running low. A cable long enough for you to still use your phone comfortably, or store the phone in the seat pocket, is ideal. However, not all USB cables are created equal. Some don’t let your phone charge at it’s maximum. Check out Wirecutter’s pick for some cheap cables that do. If you’re an Apple user, this counts for Lightning cables too (as they’re basically just USB with an expensive connector).

USB Battery Pack
I highly recommend traveling with a USB battery pack. They’re an external battery to recharge your various mobile devices. You'll never run out of juice again. An easy add if you plan on watching movies on your tablet for the whole flight.

Camera or your Smart Phone
I’ve seen many people, those who don’t use their phone for entertainment on a flight, store their phones in the overhead bins. Big mistake, especially if you’re in the window seat. You never know when you can catch the perfect shot out the window.

An Extra Layer
Airplanes can get cold, especially at night. I’ve seen people fly in shorts, and I just don’t get that. Some long flights will give you a hankie they optimistically call a “blanket” but others don’t. Personally, on long flights, I bring my own throw. It’s worth noting that being by the window, unless the sun is on that side, is likely colder than the aisle. If you’re in an exit row, that window is is almost always a LOT colder.

Travel Pillow
If they give you a blanket, they’ll probably give you a flat synthetic cotton ball claiming to be a pillow. I don't fly without my neck half-donuts. I also like the REI roll-up foam pillow, though it’s a little bulky. But anything to help me get a few extra zzzz is worth carrying on board.

Eye Mask
This is one I know other people like, but I don’t use. Honestly, they freak me out a bit. I don’t like waking up, opening my eyes, and not being able to see. But that’s just me. Most long-haul flights will require the window shades to be pulled down, but the cabin lights will still be on (a little) so people can see if they need to get up.

Most countries require you to fill out a short (and sometimes, not so short) form with some basic info. Flight attendants almost never have spare pens. Most, but not all, airports will have a place after you arrive where you can fill out this form. But often these won’t have pens either. It’s just easier to have a pen with you (blue or black ink only).

Well this is self-explanatory! Also you'll need the number and valid dates for the immigration form.

Address Where You’re Staying
Again, most forms require you to list where you’re staying, including the address. Some countries are more strict about this than others. “Is this where you’ll be staying for your whole trip?” is a common question. Generally you only need that first place you’re staying, but you might get asked about others. My guess is they just want to make sure you have an answer. Mr.P always has a printout of this information. 


PHOTOS: Huffington Post; Travel & Leisure

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