As a travelling minimalist, I don’t like bringing a lot of additional stuff with me, things that only have limited use so I won’t recommend stuff like bringing your own blanket or bringing an inflatable footrest because even though they are nice to have, these things are inconvenient to carry around afterwards and therefore impractical and don’t go well with my minimalist lifestyle. Instead I’ll focus on the small things that make a big difference, so here are the things that I do to make long flights more comfortable. They can also be used to make long bus rides or train rides more comfortable, so whichever way you prefer to travel, have a look at the below.
- Wear something comfortable (I like to wear my regular jeans and then I always take a hoodie and an additional pair of warm socks with me because I get cold on airplanes for some reason). Should be a no-brainer, but girls, leave the high heels at home.
- I like to bring my own food because airplane food is not very healthy and makes me feel bad Of course you can’t bring soup or the likes through security, but you can bring nuts, protein bars, popcorn or even a sandwich. Apples and bananas are great as well, but please note that some countries don’t allow you to bring fruit and the like into the country, so eat it all before unboarding.
- Bring a travel blanket/pashmina shawl/sarong
- Because I hate sleeping while sitting up and it gives me a sore neck, I can’t travel without my inflatable neck pillow. Once arrived, I deflate it, roll it up and this way it is really tiny
- One thing that stresses me out when travelling is the noise of the airplane or the bus so I always pack ear plugs. Another way to keep out the noise is to get in ear earphones and listen to music.
- One of the things I started to do recently as I’m doing more and more long distance flights is to bring a toothbrush onboard. As soon as I leave the plane and before I go to pick up my luggage – which won’t arrive until a while later anyway – I head to the first toilet and freshen up.
- Bring baby wipes, so you can “wash” your hands and face in the plane. They also moisturise a little and make you feel nice. I also like to bring chapstick just in case I get really dehydrated and get dry lips.
- Bring a good sleeping mask
- Bring entertainment: ipod, ebook reader, magazines, laptop, anything that you like and that has long battery life.
- Bring your own water bottle, empty it before you go through security and then fill it up again before boarding the plane. The more hydrated you stay the better.
In general, I don’t like to put my things in the overhead compartment of the airplane because then I don’t have immediate access to them, so I always put my stuff in the area of the seat in front of me if I can. If you minimise your carry on luggage to a small backpack only, it will save you the stress from having to squish it into the overhead compartment (which is usually full) and also the stress from having to pull it out after the flight.