I've been lucky enough to travel to some amazing destinations in my life so far, however a lot of those have been long haul, so although I'm fairly used to them, I can't say I enjoy them a great deal (who would, sitting in the same spot for 8+hrs?!). I like to think I've almost perfected my in-flight essentials over the years to curb boredom, and seeing as though I was on a long haul flight less than a week ago I thought I'd share with you my hand luggage contents!
Pen & paper! I carry pens everywhere, more so because I have to with my job, so I tend to find at least 1 pen lying at the bottom of every handbag I own and in every nook of my car. You never know when you're going to need to jot something down, and although I have a notepad on my phone, its just nice to have a pen and paper as back up! It's good to play silly games on as well if times get desperate (i.e. hangman and squares!).
Boiled sweets. I used to suffer really bad travel sickness when I was a child (to the point where I used to get special treatment from the air hostess'!). I'm not so bad now, it happens more in cars than on planes now, but I suffer really bad with my ears instead with the air pressure. Gone were the days when the air hostesses used to bring free sweets round just before take off and landing. I don't actually know if they truly work.. yawning (or fake yawning!) tends to help me more, but its still nice to have something to suck on!
Headphones! In order to watch the in-flight entertainment, you'll need them. We actually got given free headphones on our flight this time, but I still know of certain airlines that charge you and they're not actually great quality. Don't waste your money and bring your own!
Fluffy socks! I like to take my shoes off on long haul flights. I think its better for the circulation (I have been known to suffer with swollen feet after flights before). However planes can get pretty chilly, and there's nothing worse than having cold feet, so I always carry a pair of thick socks in my luggage! (I obviously swap back should I need to get up for the toilet!)
A book! Pretty self explanatory but this is a great time killer, especially if you get immersed in it. I'm not great at continuing to read once I get on holiday though. Also be realistic with how many books you take. I know I wont get through more than 1 book whilst I'm away, so I'll stick to just 1 book. These can get pretty heavy and take up a bit of room so be wise. Even better if you have a kindle!
Some form of game/playing cards. When I was younger I used to always buy a puzzle book, however I've grown out of those now. I occasionally throw a pack of cards in my carry-on, however Mike is very rarely interested in playing so I never get to make use out of them anyway! You can pick up some really good travel sized board games now - I have a small travel sized monopoly and cluedo game which comes in handy sometimes.
Camera/Video camera. Being a blogger, and just being obsessed with taking photos in general, I like to take creative window shots when I'm up in the air. I've managed to take some really pretty sunset photos before whilst being in the sky.
Cosmetics. A long haul flight can make me feel pretty grubby towards the end. I like to take small make-up items in order to make myself look half presentable once I reach the other end. A small deodorant and perfume sample is great to freshen up as well. Sometimes I throw in a small toothpaste and toothbrush to freshen up too.
Neck Pillow. Sleeping on planes is very hit and miss with me. I either feel so drowsy on them that I can't function and all I want to do is sleep, or completely the opposite where I try so hard to sleep but it never happens. I can never predict what mood I'm in till I settle in. Either way, I don't find falling asleep in anywhere besides a bed particularly easy, so a neck pillow benefits me a lot. It saves that awful head drop that instantly wakes you up to then drop back off and repeat.. a million times. They're annoying to carry, and probably wont fit in the hand luggage (unless its an inflatable one) but they're great nonetheless. They also come in handy in the car on the way back from the airport once you arrive home if you have a fairly long drive. Long haul flights tend to land in the UK in the early hours of the morning (we landed at 5.30am on Monday) so its nice to get a nap in the car (that's if you're lucky enough not to be driving!).
Magazines. As the years have passed, I've well and truly grown out of magazines. I used to buy them religiously, however now I only buy them when flying it seems. I'm a bit of an old lady when it comes to what magazines I prefer - I'd much rather pick one full of real-life stories as opposed to flooded with celebrity weddings etc. They're just full of pictures and no content. Hardly going to keep me entertained is it?! I bought 3 on this flight and probably only spent a total of 1hr reading 1 magazine during both flights. I didn't even touch them in my hotel room either, and they're still sat in my hand luggage now, so you can get a sense of what my relationship with magazines are like!
Ipad. I loaded this with games on my last flight, and I very rarely play the games other than when I travel, so they always feel nice and fresh each time I play them. I don't often listen to music but the opportunity to load some on is there if I want it, just to relax to and mix it up a little. Our flight has personal USB ports to charge things up so I don't have to worry about my battery dying!
On both flights going to and from Florida they had some really good in flight entertainment. Usually flying makes me really drowsy but I managed to sit through 3 films during the flight, and I actually quite enjoyed relaxing and knowing that I didn't have anything better to do!
Whats your favourite thing to bring on a flight?