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Keep Calm and Carry On — What I Wish I Had on this Eleven Hour Flight

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At this moment, I am sitting in an aisle seat watching the live version of Aladdin (so far, it’s good). This is the third movie I’ve watched, and I still have another seven hours to go. On the up side, they actually served dinner!

Sitting here, with the seat in front of me practically reclined into my lap, I have a lot of time to think about the things that would be really useful on this flight. Both the things I have and the things I don’t.

The Things I Wish I Had

Reusable Cup

It always kills me to see how much plastic gets used on flights. While a lot of it I can’t do much about short of bringing all my food (possible, but not very practical), I could avoid some of the plastic cup usage by having my own reusable cup.

My first instinct would be something that can hold both hot and cold, but doesn’t take up too much space. Basically, something like this silicone cup (which I don’t actually have, so I make no endorsements for this specific cup).

Travel Pillow That Actually Works

I have a neck pillow with me, but so far that one has only caused more discomfort. I would tell you the brand, but I got it from someone else and I don’t know where exactly it came from. I can imagine what my ideal neck pillow might be like, though.

More than anything, my ideal pillow would go around the neck without too much padding at the back of the neck. Any extra padding at the back completely ruins posture and doesn’t actually provide support. Instead, the perfect pillow would have extra padding going up the sides that doesn’t completely collapse when you put weight on it. Maybe just a neck brace…

One day, I’ll find the perfect one and when that day comes, I’ll make sure to remember the brand.

Battery Pack That Charges Laptops

My laptop’s battery is not what it used to be. Thankfully, it still lasts an hour or more if I turn off wifi and Bluetooth, but if I wanted it for the entire flight I would need more battery power. There are batteries out there that have that kind of juice. I do not have one. That’s okay, but it could be useful.

Ibuprofen

Having a headache at any time isn’t fun, but having one while being approximately 39,000 feet off the ground is really unpleasant. Unfortunately, they are pretty common in flight (did I mention 39,000 feet?). With the altitude, it’s very easy to get dehydrated, and headaches go right along with dehydration. Of course, the wine I got with the dinner probably didn’t help either. Note to self: don’t drink alcohol while on a long flight, even if it is free.

Ibuprofen would also help sooth aching muscles after sitting in an uncomfortable seat for 11 hours.

In-Flight WiFi

This one is semi out of my control, but would still be nice at times. Some flights have this free, others you can pay for it, the flight I’m on now only has it for first class. Such is life.

On the other hand, no WiFi means there’s often only so much work you can get done and that can be freeing. So many movie options! TV shows! Sleep! Okay, maybe not sleep — this is a plane after all.

The Things I’m Glad I Have

Slippers with a Rubber Bottom

This is the first time I’ve brought slippers on a flight, but I think I will try to fit slippers into my bag every time from now on. It is Luxury with a capital “L”. I was testing these The North Face Thermoball slippers for an article for Outside, and I have to admit they have become a staple in my footwear.

With the rubber outer, I don’t have to worry about liquids on the ground soaking the bottom of my foot. The collapsible heel means I can slip the shoes on or pull up the heel for extra warmth and structure. The super comfy insoles and warm upper don’t hurt either.

Non-Bluetooth Headphones

Even though Bluetooth headphones are all the rage, the plane entertainment systems still use old fashioned plug-in headphones. Plus, I would be very impressed if my Bluetooth headphones lasted the full 11 hours.

Reusable Water Bottle

I always bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up at a water fountain after going through security. It doesn’t always get me all the way through the flight (I’m currently out of water), but it still helps to keep me hydrated.

Laptop (Fully Charged)

Maybe it’s a given, considering I’m typing on the laptop right now, but having my laptop makes it possible to be at least a little productive if I want. You can also load up movies or tv shows on your laptop ahead of time if that’s what you’re into. Personally, I’m a sucker for in-flight movies.

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