Air travel used to be an extravagant experience, even in economy class. Journey can’t be spelled without J-O-Y, but carriers no longer offer non-premium passengers a journey to their destination. They simply get rapid transportation.
Amenities in first and business class have become more luxurious over the decades and tourist class has practically become a no-frills ticket. There was a time when a full, warm breakfast (pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausage) was served in economy on one-hour flights. It was not unusual for lunch to be chicken stuffed with wild rice and broccoli. These days, flying one to two hours being offered a bag of pretzels and a drink is welcomed, and longer domestic flights don’t offer more without a fee. If blankets are available on a longer flight, they are thin and the pillows handed out don’t support your neck.
Listed below are some things you should bring on a flight. For those in a premium seat, an asterisk (*) indicates suggested items to further personalize your experience. Regarding domestic flights in economy class, you’ll have to do most of the work to provide services that were once given, but a little preparation goes a long way. The bonus will be having customized amenities to bring some enjoyment back to tourist air travel.
The idiom “getting there is half the fun” definitely applies to flying first and business class. Economy seats won’t be able to change the pitch or width, but the journey can be enjoyed a bit more with the right items in your carry-on case.
- Trtl TravelNeck pillow
- Cabeau Fold and Go Travel Blanket & Case – Doubles as Lumbar Pillow and Neck Support Pillow
- Lumbar support – Could even be an airline pillow, folded blanket or item of clothing*
- 3-D Sleep mask* – It provides a convex curve over the eyelids resulting in less pressure and it won’t smudge makeup
- Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Ear Plugs* – Gives a tighter seal than foam, mutes the sound of a baby crying and actually blocks snoring!
- Chewing gum/hard candy/mint*
- Socks if wearing sandals or flip-flops
The average comfortable humidity level for humans is 40-70%. The humidity in the Sahara Desert is 25%. At about 30,000 feet, humidity is 12% – 20%. This is why hydration is very important on flights.
- Amenity Kit
- Facial spray
- Nasal saline spray
- Eye drops
- Lip balm
- Travel toothbrush and toothpaste or mouthwash
- Compression socks – for very long flights
- Travel-sized baby wipes to clean the tray table, arm rests and wipe surfaces in the lavatory
- Insulated water bottle (S’well) to fill past security and/or on plane – dehydration causes headaches
- Small first aid kit
- Prescription medicine
- Bandages (Band-Aid)
- Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin
- Rubber bands
- Safety pins
- Icy Hot/BenGay
Oversee flights offer free audio and video entertainment, but you usually have to pay for movies/TV shows on domestic flights. Some airlines offer free video content, even within the U.S., through their app that you should download to your phone or tablet before you board. Follow the directions at your seat to gain access.
- Airline app
- Noise-cancelling headphones – Bose or Sony
- Laptop/tablet/mobile phone
- Music (Hoopla via Princeton Public Library)
- Audiobooks (Hoopla and OverDrive via Princeton Public Library)
- Movies/TV Shows (Hoopla via Princeton Public Library)
- Video downloads for offline viewing (restrictions apply)
- YouTube Red
- eBooks (Overdrive via Princeton Public Library)
- eMagazines (Zinio via Princeton Public Library)
Low humidity dries out the nasal passages and affects the sense of smell, which impacts taste buds. Using a nasal saline spray before eating could help restore your taste buds a bit. Additionally, the change in air pressure numbs about a third of the taste buds. Flavorful and spicy foods and beverages are the best choices for plane travel. Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, found that background noise on an airplane may enhance the taste of savory flavors found in foods like tomatoes and mushrooms. Certain flights offer complimentary beverages, so consider ordering tomato juice or a Mr. & Mr. T Bloody Mary drink and of course, drink lots of water (fill your water bottle). If you don’t have dietary constrictions, choose a pasta dish with tomato sauce or pre-order an Asian vegetarian or Hindu vegetarian dish (both Indian) for lunch/dinner, which is very flavorful.
- Mixed nuts/trail mix
- Firecracker mix (including sesame sticks and wasabi peas)
- Granola bar
- Dark chocolate covered fruit or nuts
- Fresh fruit
- Flavorful sandwich
- Crystalized ginger
- Jalapeño potato chips