Travel is great, but the 15 hours of flying time sitting uncomfortably close to total strangers? Not so much.
Fortunately with the right tools, long haul flights can actually be as close to pleasant as humanly possible. People took to Reddit to share the flight essentials that make the experience just that little bit more bearable. Your packing lists awaits.
1. Socks. Wear them.
When a flight attendant tells you to never wear bare feet on a plane, you listen.
“I always pack a pair of socks (I’m particularly fond of the fluffy kind) but the main point is that you keep a barrier between your feet and the aircraft floor at all times. I’ve either personally, or through colleagues, seen every type of body fluid you can imagine touch that floor. And actually, yes, that does include afterbirth,” wrote Tigerlilli07.
“Fun fact: one of my trainers has actually delivered babies in the air on three separate occasions. Planes are filthy, keep yourself as healthy as possible.”
Watch: Flight attendants spill the things they wish passengers knew. Post continues after video.
2. Antibacterial wipes.
“The tray table is one of the most bacteria ridden places on the plane aside from the lavatory. I’ve seen people use the shoe from their feet as an iPad stand and put dirty diapers on there,” continued Tigerlilli07.
“Plus for some reason people don’t think it’s necessary to wash their hands… I have seen literal sh*t smeared on the wall in the lavatory.”
3. A scarf.
“You need something warm, even in summer. I wear a long scarf that basically doubles as a blanket. It travels really well.
“Working crew like to keep it cool because they’re moving around so much. Plus, there is nothing worse than a ton of sweaty people on a plane.”
4. A large (empty) water bottle.
“Those little cups just don’t do it for me and we can’t hand out large bottles to regular passengers. You can find water refill stations at just about every airport domestically these days.” (Post continues after gallery.)
5. Comfy pants.
On a plane, comfort trumps all.
“Number one is pants that don’t bunch up or get tight in the crotch,” wrote ftumpsch.
6. A charged phone.
Or an iPad or Kindle, whatever your poison – just make sure it’s fully charged.
“My phone, fully charged. All my music, ebooks, and offline games are already contained in its little package,” wrote jjcareer.
7. Noise-cancelling headphones.
“Once you’ve used them, you’ll never fly without them,” said ggravelle.
“I use Bose QC 15 headphones that are over five years old. Traveling frequently, the sound quality and reduction of white noise is remarkably different than normal earbuds. Don’t knock it until you try it.”
8. Ear plugs.
Flying long haul flights at least once a month, one user swears by these in order to get some actual sleep on the plane.
9. Eye mask.
Simple but it means you won't have to hustle to get a pen from a stranger to fill in your landing card.
11. Nasal spray.
"My essential is saline nasal spray. My nose always gets uncomfortably dry on flights that are over four hours. It's the only thing that saves me," wrote kissette.
You'll be the most popular in the airport. Image: iStock
12. Hard-boiled sweets.
Delicious - and miracle-workers.
"Sucking a hard-boiled sweet on take off and landing stimulates your saliva production, allowing you to keep swallowing and preventing your ears from popping and causing severe pain for the next two days," says MikeCFord.
"It also gives you something pleasant for the few hours between meals, and means you're not totally miserable if you run out of charge on your device or finish your book.
13. A gift.
According to flight attendants, bringing a small gift for the crew can reap massive rewards.
"Thank you gifts truly make the crew feel so appreciated and they will treat you like absolute f*cking gold. It's really nice on long international flights. You can get a couple big bags of candy and they will be over the moon about it," wrote Tigerlilli07.
"My personal policy is if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."
It can be done quickly and easily - just give to the first flight attendant you see and the world will spread.
"It doesn't have to be a big deal either. I usually get a small bag of candy, usually Starbursts since they're individually wrapped and can be put in a pocket and not eaten right away and won't melt. Just hand it to them, say this is for you or thank you and go to your seat, they'll either ask for your seat number or they'll find you," wrote StuTim.
What are your carry-on essentials?