Simple Preparations for Your Flight

Simple Preparations for Your Flight

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Air travel seems to get more and more annoying these days. Even aside from the ever-increasing security line hassles, just sitting on the plane can be tough. The seats are small and cramped, the air is dry, and the food is unappealing. Unfortunately there are certain places you just can’t get to in a reasonable amount of time without flying. Here are some simple preparations for your flight that will maximize your comfort level.

What to Wear on the Flight

Even on a short flight, you will be sitting in your small and not-so-cushioned seat in mostly the same position for quite some time. A trip or two to the bathroom might be your only chance to stretch your legs and move around. That’s why it’s important to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. I can handle jeans for a shorter flight, but if I’m crossing an ocean or taking a red-eye flight, I like to wear comfortable, loose fitting pants. Basically anything that isn’t as constricting as jeans, but not so far as to be confused with pajama pants.

preparations for your flight

Bring a sweater or sweatshirt. Even if it’s warm outside, airplanes tend to be cold, and they rarely give out blankets anymore. Having a sweatshirt will save you from shivering for hours.

Aside from being cold, the air in airplanes is also extremely dry. If you wear contact lenses, a long flight will dry them out leaving your eyes irritated. Consider skipping the contacts, especially if the flight is more than a few hours.

Food and Water on the Flight

Before you even leave your house, check to see if your flight will be providing meals. Almost all US domestic flights have discontinued in-flight food, and those that still have it often charge high prices for it. However, international flights still feed you, even if the food isn’t so great.

Either way, it’s a good idea to bring a snack in case you get hungry. And because the dry air can dehydrate you, bring a bottle of water on the flight. Just remember that you’ll have to purchase the water after you’ve gone through security or bring an empty bottle from home to fill up once you pass security.

Items to Take in Your Carry-On

Hopefully you’ve followed my carry-on only advice and haven’t checked luggage, but just in case you do decide to check your bag, there are certain things that should always stay with you.

Anything valuable, such as money, jewelry, ID, or other important documents should always remain in your carry-on. Also, your electronics, like your laptop, Kindle or other e-reader, and camera (as well as the batteries and chargers), should never go in your checked luggage.

preparations for your flight

If at all possible, keep fragile items with you. Don’t trust that big flashy “fragile” sticker the airlines will give you for a breakable item that’s going into the luggage hold. I’m sure it works out most of the time, but I’ve heard too many stories of baggage being thrown around and things breaking.

preparations for your flight

Since there’s always a chance your checked baggage could go missing, all medications should be in your carry-on. It’s also a good idea to pack in your carry-on a change of clothes, your toothbrush, and any other toiletries you might need to get through a day or two. This will help you relax while waiting for your bags to show up, or at the very least it will give you time to buy new things if your bags don’t show up.

Also, make sure the items you are likely to use during the flight are packed in the bag you’re putting under the seat in front of you. Even if you have an aisle seat, you don’t want to be pulling things out of the overhead compartment throughout the flight.

Not sure how much you can bring as carry-on? Check out the carry-on chart for size restrictions by airline.

Bring Tissues on the Flight

This one might seem a little random, but tissues come in handy on flights. That dry air can irritate your nose. Unexpected turbulence can cause you to spill your drink, and a flight attendant with napkins might be far away. And on a long flight, if I’m going to the bathroom towards the end of the flight, I like to bring tissues with me just in case they’ve run out of toilet paper. This is definitely one of the things I must have when I fly.

preparations for your flight

This simple list of preparations for your flight will make traveling much more manageable. Dressing comfortably, having some snacks and water, and keeping your valuable and fragile items with you will make for a smooth flight and calm arrival in your destination. And don’t forget the tissues!

Carry-on luggage other Travel Made Simple readers have purchased:

carry-on chart luggage travelprocarry-on chart luggage briggs riley3-samsonite4-ospreyluggage scale6-gotoob

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Simple Preparations for Your Flight

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  1. Matthew Cheyne

    As always, this post is full of great advice. I find personally that journeys of two hours each way or less aren’t a drama for me anymore as I regularly do them by train between my little country town of Morwell and my nearest capital city of Melbourne. That said, I still take precautions to make my journey a little easier. I either have a meal before my journey or wait until I get to my destination. When it comes to flying though I make it a rule to get to the airport a couple of hours before my flight time and check in as early as possible and then go get myself a meal, usually fast food of some description and then wait around for my flight assuming I don’t get bumped to an earlier one which is rarely the case. The domestic airlines in Australia usually do serve up meals in economy but it depends on your ticket type, the airline and how much you’re willing to pay for them and then their usually small, sometimes dodgy and barely edible.

    Looking at your pictures, it seems that the two of us possibly have the same laptop. The picture of the shell of your Toshiba looks exactly the same as mine which I bought earlier this year. My laptop is a Toshiba Satellite L 750. I find that it’s a great laptop except for when it comes to battery life. The battery that comes with the laptop only has a life of about two hours and to buy another battery with extended life will set me back about $200 online. Do you have similar battery issues with your Toshiba?

    1. Author
      Ali Garland

      Sounds like you have a good system, Matthew! The laptop is actually my husband’s. I took a break from writing to take pictures, and his was already closed so it seemed easier. His does have a short battery life, which seems annoying. I have a Toshiba too, but a T135 and my battery lasts a lot longer.

  2. Gillian @OneGiantStep

    Great advice again Ali! When I’m travelling the ‘from home’ leg we usually pack a sandwich snack to avoid icky airplane meals and we always pack snacks such as peanuts, or Oreos (a favorite travel snack!), whichever way we’re flying. Also, we pack an empty water bottle which we fill once past security. There is usually a water fountain or the barkeep where we have our pre-flight beers is usually happy to fill it for me. Happy flying!

    1. Author
      Ali Garland

      Thanks Gillian! I like your idea of bringing an empty bottle so you don’t have to buy the expensive water at the airport!

  3. Andrea

    These are great tips. I hate, hate HATE everything about airports and flying, especially now that they treat everyone like a dumb criminal at security. Ironic as we travel so much!

    1. Author
      Ali Garland

      Thanks Andrea! I don’t mind flying, but the process of it all, which is why I try to have a system to minimize the hassles.

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  5. Jennifer

    Very good list. I always have a pashmina. It can serve multiple purposes: blanket, pillow, ect. And I need compression socks for flights longer than a couple of hours. My feet swell up to giant size!

    1. Author
      Ali Garland

      Thanks Jennifer! A pashmina definitely sounds like a good idea. I get the ankle/feet swelling too, maybe I should look into those socks!

  6. Tommy

    Nice article, Ali! Wearing thinner socks help for me, n remember to stretch and recline your seats for more comfort! 🙂

    1. Author
      Ali Garland

      Thanks Tommy! Stretching and making sure you’re as comfortable as possible are great tips too!

  7. Todd Knight

    I would like to add another very nice and convenient thing to consider. I treat my Travel-On holder that goes around my neck and holds my passport, boarding pass, and a back zippered pocket where you can stash cash secretly as absolutely vital in staying safe and secure and being the most organized possible!!!

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