9 Things to Take on your next long haul (or short!) expedition flight
1. Noise Canceling Headphones
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.
If you don’t want to invest in some NC headphones (the cheap ones are rarely worth it), some earplugs are certainly a cheap alternative. Not quite as good, and not nearly as comfortable as the QC20s, they’ll at least dim the din.
2 . 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.
3. USB battery pack
I’m pretty sure I recommend these in every article. They’re an external battery to recharge your various mobile devices. Never run out of juice again. An easy add if you plan on watching movies on your tablet for the whole flight.
4 . Camera (or your 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.
If you’re on the aisle, well, maybe this is more optional.
5. 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.
It’s worth noting that being on 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 almost always a LOT colder.
6. Travel Pillow (optional)
If they give you a blanket, they’ll probably give you a flat synthetic cotton ball claiming to be a pillow. I know some people who swear by that neck half-donut, but I can’t get comfortable with them.
7. Eyemask (optional)
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 (or an a 787, automatically dimmed), but the cabin lights will still be on (a little) so people can see as they get up to pee.
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, and even if they do, they probably won’t give them to you (they need them!). 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). Who knows, maybe you’ll make new friends with your seatmates as everyone asks to borrow your beloved ballpoint.
9. Address where you’re staying
Again, most forms require you to list where you’re staying, including the address. Some countries are stricter 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.