What are the best items to have with you on a long -haul flight?

I have been travelling round-trip from Southeast Asia to West Africa at least 5 times a year since 2009 because of work. My normal rotation is 8 weeks on site and 3 weeks back home. So I fly a lot.

The travel includes at least two sectors, one with at least 12 hours flight.

Through the years I was able to narrow down what I need in-flight.

I don’t like getting up every now and then reaching for my luggage in the overhead compartment to get things, so after finding my seat I make sure I bring out all I need.

  1. iPad – I don’t normally watch movies in flight. Instead I watch videos/concerts and play music I have on my iPad. I also have on my iPad:
    • Kindle app/BBC History app – I don’t like carrying books because it takes up a lot of space. And at the same time, I read (or at least refer to) numerous books of the same subject at the same time.
    • Wikipedia Offline – I find Wikipedia useful since I read mostly history and science.
    • AutoCAD – I have done several genealogies of royal families using AutoCAD and I refer to them from time to time especially when I read history books.
    • Maps – I have photo albums of ancients and modern maps – again as reference when I read.
    • Chess – when I get tired of reading.

    2. Hydrapak – I drink a lot of water to keep me hydrated. A year ago a bought a Hydrapak and I like it a lot because it’s collapsible and easily slots into my lugagge when I’m done using it. Once I have settled, I go to the galley and ask for water.

    3. Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones – before I use In-ears but I find wireless is more convenient when I move around, plus the active noise cancelling makes it a lot better blocking out a lot of the engine noise. I’m using Bose but I might soon use Sennheiser instead.

    4. I have a Small Bag (like a camera bag) that I keep under the seat in front of me where I put some of the stuff I am mostly going to use in-flight:

    • Toothbrush/toothpaste – I use it after meals.
    • Wet tissue – very handy during meals and for all around cleaning purposes i.e. table.
    • Alcogel – same as above.
    • Face Mask – a handful of times I caught cold virus while travelling especially when visiting nasty toilets. So when I observe the cabin is extra dirty, I put on my face mask just to be safe.
    • Meds – I always carry with me Loperamide, Vitamin C, Paracetamol, and Ibuprofen (at least two of each) on a medicine vial that looks like the picture below.
    • L’Occitane Verbena roll on perfume – freshens me up without spraying all over the place as some passengers don’t like perfumes in the cabin. I like the citrus smell when travelling.
    • Pen – upon landing in Africa we use to fill out a disembarkation form.
    • Charging cables – to charge my headphones, phone, and tablet.
    • Powerbank – small planes/old planes are not equipped with USB outlet.
    • Chicken sandwich – I don’t eat airplane food so I always prepare for myself a chicken sandwich.

    So that’s pretty much it…..

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