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G1G Travel Insurance - Medical, Trip Protection, and Visitor Insurance

Getting Through Long Flights

By Christine Aria Hostetler

What do I wear on the airplane for my super long flight?

Always a good question. In short: comfy clothes.

When your flight is longer, and especially for overnight traveling, just get comfy. Rock those sweatpants and leggings. No shame. You can even bring your cozy clothes into the airport and change in the bathroom before boarding. You can always change back to a more presentable outfit once you land. Revel in comfortable cotton undergarments, soft t-shirts, warm socks--whatever is breathable, flexible and easy to fall asleep in.

Low-key footwear (plus socks).

Footwear that pairs with socks. Security checkpoints require you to remove your shoes and shuffle through the x-ray machines on ground trodden by many an impatient, weary traveller before you. Think of the germs. Wear shoes that can easily be removed. Ditch stilettos, lace-up boots and other uncomfortable or hard to remove footwear. If opting for sandals, throw a pair of socks in your bag for the checkpoint.

Alert! Avoid: Chains, belts, etc. can set off that metal detector. Skip the skimpy shorts and skirts (just envision the backs of your thighs on skuzzy airplane seats—yuck!). Avoid one-piece getups like jumpsuits and overalls in the interest of easy bathroom maneuvering.

The carryon bag is everything!

Use a bag that’s comfortable to carry and has outer (zippered) compartments that make grabbing your wallet, tickets, passport and phone easy. Bring a bag you won’t mind toting around on your trip. If you don’t want to be seen with it in public, don’t bring it on the plane. Most airlines allow a carryon piece of luggage that fits in the overhead compartment as well as a smaller bag that fits under the seat in front of you. Keep books, water, a sweater, etc. in the small bag so it’s handy. If you need help finding the perfect carry on for your trip? The Luggage List makes it easy with their in-depth guides and reviews.

What to pack in your carryon bag:

Entertainment

Books, newspapers and/or magazines. If you’ve got a Kindle or tablet, this would be the perfect opportunity to pack it full of material you’ve been waiting to read/watch/listen to. Is this the kind of journey on which you’ll need a simple distraction, a brainless book or magazine? Maybe you want to bone up on world news, or prepare to encounter local culture in the area you’re visiting. Maybe you’d like a headier distraction, in which case, get your Brothers K on. Whatever you pick, you’ve got several solid hours to attack your book or podcast list. Take advantage of it!

Tech equipment

Headphones for in-flight movies (so you don’t have to buy and/or borrow cheap, uncomfortable, disposable ones from the airline). Your iPad pre-packed with movies. Etc.

Creative gear

Sketch pad, pens and/or journal. Maybe this is just the (biased) perspective of your faithful writer, who also happens to be an artist, but having the ability to process and record your experiences through drawing and words enriches your memories of the trip. The end product is a travel journal, which makes for the most personal souvenir of all.

Noms

Bottle of water (you can purchase one after you clear security!) and a healthy snack or two. Don’t force yourself to rely on dry cracker packs, over-salted peanuts and bloody mary mix. Pack healthy, snackable items like raw almonds, Kind© snack bars, and fresh fruit and veggies. Eating well during your journey has a direct impact on how you feel upon landing. You want to hit the ground running, right?

Layers!

For temperature control (and this is very important on longer flights!): bring light layers that can be easily added or removed. Think a long-sleeved shirt or a light, cozy cardigan. Match these layers up to what you’re wearing underneath for an outfit that you're ok walking off the plane in later. Flights get chilly; warm socks are great for those with low blood pressure. Also essential is a light blanket such as a shawl, pashmina, or my favorite: a fouta. This lightweight cotton Tunisian towel can be used as a blanket, towel, sarong or scarf. Foutas come in a variety of beautiful, simple colors and prints. This company has a great selection: http://foutalifestyle.com/shop/

Sleep gear

Eye mask, earplugs, and whatever else will help you sleep on your flight. Pack sleeping aids, Dramamine for motion sickness, Tums (just in case!), and whatever else will help you get your beauty’s rest.

The "just in case" things

Imagine landing in your travel destination—say, Paris—after an eight-hour flight, only to discover your luggage is still caught at your last layover. These things do happen! You smell of stale airplane air, and you’ve got a Bloody-Mary stain on your shirt and a coffee stain on your pants. Add some essentials to your carryon in case, god forbid, your checked luggage gets held up in transit. Think extra underwear, toiletries and footwear.

Brush your teeth, wash your face and re-apply deodorant midway through your flight—it’ll make you feel human again. Bring chargers for your electrical devices. Carry essential paperwork, directions, phone numbers and currency on your person and in your carryon. You don’t need a ton of stuff to find your way around a new place, but you do need to keep the important things close.

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