We've all had the struggle: We get to the plane, find our seat, and along with feigning off the anxiety it took us to get that far, we realize we have nothing of comfort for the plane ride.
Back in the day, it wouldn't be unusual to sit in silence on a plane with nothing to do other than read (which, let's be honest, isn't everyone's forte). Nowadays, there's seemingly no end to the number of creature comforts that we can indulge in on a two hour or more flight.
With that being said, there are also plenty of things that are totally overrated when it comes to flying. Just because something claims to make a flight easier doesn't mean it's worth the money (or space).
Ready to be comfortable and entertained on your next flight? Here are 15 things to make sure you pack, and five you can ditch.
20 Bring Your Favorite Tea Bags Or Coffee And A Travel-Friendly Mug
Believe it: There is a way around typical Lipton tea bags on flights. If you're that much of a tea fan (or just need something calming to help you through a long flight), simply pack away your favorite tea bags and be sure to pack a hot-water cup or mug with it. Your flight attendant will be able to pour hot water for you!
19 Disinfectant Wipes Are Always A Good Idea
We're not saying that pull-down trays are disgusting, all we're saying is that the last time they were cleaned is unclear. Before spilling your peanuts all over that tray, be sure to pack a travel-sized pack of disinfectant wipes with you... Trust us.
18 Mouthwash Is A Fresh Breath-Saver
There's no need to find one of those teeny tiny toothbrushes or spend money on a disposable one when mouth wash exists. All you need to freshen up after a flight is a TSA-approved bottle of this stuff, and you'll be breathing mint for hours.
17 Don't Pack: More Than One Change Of Clothes
It can be tempting to pack at least two cardigans, a pair of shoes, a sweatshirt, and an additional pair of leggings into your carry-on. We get it - clean clothes are comforting. Realistically, you'll only need to change once upon arrival... So pack what you need and call it a day. We believe in you.
16 Face Mist (Especially A Hydrating One, Because Air Con) Is Helpful
All the billowing air vents on a plane can lead to dry, irritated skin which, of course, leads to breakouts for us in the combination skin-type club. A face mist (such as the lavender spray from St. Ives, it's a dream) can really help pre, post, or sans makeup to freshen - and refreshen - our faces.
15 Don't Be Afraid To Break Out The Face Mask
Everyone looks weird on planes. Don't believe us? Just check out the guy three rows behind you next time... we guarantee he's kicked his shoes off and is snoring. A face mask looks terrifying, but you'll feel much more relaxed, refreshed, and clean having used one during your six-hour flight.
14 Lip Balm Will Save Cry, Cracked Skin
Lip balm can do so much more than just saving chapped lips. Think about it: If lip balm is hydrating and nourishing for your lips, then there's no reason it can't be used elsewhere, right? In a pinch, or if you've run out of room, use a bit of balm on your dry, flaky skin areas.
13 Don't Pack: An Entire Cosmetic Bag Full Of Products
Similar to the clothing debacle, this can also be tempting. While we don't need five mascaras, we feel comforted just knowing they're there. Realistically, you'll likely only have time for a quick swipe of mascara and some powder, maybe some lipstick - leave the rest in your check-in bag.
12 A Kindle Or iPad Can Do So Much More Than Provide Entertainment
Nowadays, we can play games, scroll Netflix, and listen to music on our handy tablets. A good trick is to pre-load books and movies on your device before you even get on the plane. That way, there's no panic-download before the plane takes off, and it saves your battery life.
11 Massage Balls Work And Can Get Out Kinks From Sitting In One Spot
These can be found at Walmart for less than ten bucks. It might seem like a gimmick (how can a hard ball get out knots?) but it really does feel awesome. With a little light pressure, a massage ball can be worked on calves and shoulders, easing tension from a long flight.
10 A Light Body Spray Can Make You Feel Better Post-Flight
With that being said, you don't need to go to a fragrance pop-up shop like this one to get spritzed. The point is, find something light (keyword: light) and fresh, and you'll instantly feel cleaner. Even if we don't actually smell like a crowded plane, we likely feel like one after exiting.
9 Don't Pack: Flip Flops Or Another Type Of Slip-On Shoe
Quite honestly, no one wants to see your feet on a plane. Or while boarding a plane. Or while walking up and down the aisles. Furthermore, flip flops and slip-ons (with comfort shoes excluded) are not comfortable and won't allow for potential foot swelling.
8 A Collapsible Water Bottle Keeps You Hydrated
While you can't bring water bottles on the plane, you can still bring an empty collapsible water bottle. These eco-friendly designs can fit virtually everywhere, saving you space in a carry-on and making water refills that much easier upon takeoff, in-flight, and landing.
7 Facial Wipes Keep Us Feeling Fresh (And Super Clean)
They're also crucial to removing makeup on the go, so that's a definitely plus. For a bit of freshening up and potential hydration, make sure to pack some facial wipes - they'll be gentle on your skin while wiping away the grime of a crowded cabin.
6 Cozy Socks Or Slippers Bring A Bit Of Comfort To Aching Feet
It's not unusual for passengers to be rewarded with slippers in first class, so why shouldn't we be allowed to bring our own? Outdoor slippers are great for planes as well - they look less like full-on fuzzy slippers while still being comfortable and roomy, plus, we can walk around in them.
5 Don't Pack: Every Tempting Travel-Sized Product You Can Find
Some of it is definitely a gimmick. We see 'travel-sized' and immediately think it's either cute or worthy of being in our carry-on and the next thing we know, there's no room for anything else. Limit yourself to just the essentials and, if anything, splurge for your faves in smaller sizes.
4 Ear Plugs... Trust Us
Or some kind of noise-canceling something. When the baby in the next section up starts crying, you'll be thankful to have something that blocks out the noise. This can also help you find your inner zen if you're a nervous flier, even more so if you're playing some chill beats.
3 Sleeping Masks Give The Illusion That It's Bedtime
While they look totally extra, they really do serve a purpose. A sleeping mask is so much more today than it used to be. Now, you can find them in scents (lavender is great), in different designs, and even with different textures to appease all skin types.
2 An Extra USB Cord, Because You Never Know
Some planes do allow device-charging while on-board, in which case you'll be psyched that you remembered that extra extension cord. It doesn't hurt to bring an extra USB adaptor plug either, just in case you need to plug something USB-charged into an outlet.
1 Don't Underestimate The Power Of Bringing Your Own Snacks
Food is important! For long flights, packing small snacks can be crucial to not feeling totally foggy and out of energy when you land. A good rule of thumb is to eat something in the beginning, snack small in the middle, and eat something packed with protein (and maybe complex carbs) for energy upon your arrival.