Here’s the latest in the Trip Essentials series. In this section, we’ll be taking a look at a few of our favorite items that we just can’t travel without. Unless you live in Asia, getting to the Philippines can be a pretty long trip, so packing smart is critical. Read the rest of the series here.
For today’s Trip Essentials, we’ll cover your in-flight needs for your long journey across the Pacific to the Philippines. Once you’ve checked in and dropped off any extra luggage, most airlines will allow one carry-on sized luggage as well as one personal bag once you go through the gate and board your plane. For the most part, carry-on luggage ends up sitting in the overhead bin for the majority of the flight since they’re usually too difficult to access on a crowded plane. This leaves your in-flight needs relegated to your personal bag. This can be anything from a backpack to a tote bag or a purse.
Before you leave for your trip, do your research and plan things out. Find out whether your airline has power outlets in the seats and see what size audio jacks are used. You can also check the in-flight entertainment options like movies and TV shows (long flights are great for marathon runs of your favorite TV shows)! If you’re coming from New York, we recommend flying Cathay Pacific – they have hours of in-flight entertainment and each seat has its own set of power outlets.
Once you have some of that basic information, you can plan out what you’ll need for the flight. Here are some of the things that we like to have easy access to while we fly.
- Books/ Magazines/ reading material – what better companion to have than a good book or a couple trashy tabloids to get you through a long flight
- iPad (tablet) + charger – digital tablets are the ultimate travel gadgets. watch movies, read digital books and magazines, or use one of thousands of apps for games and other activities. One of our favorite apps this year is Next Issue. Similar to Netflix but for magazines, Next Issue lets you have access to hundreds of Condenast, Hearst, Time and other magazines going back several months. We’ve been saving dozens of magazines to read for this year’s upcoming trip.
- Headphones – let’s face it, the headphones that airlines provide just aren’t that great. Find out beforehand what kind of audio jack is used and find an adapter if necessary. Our favorite headphones are the Bose Noise Canceling headphones – they’re strong enough to drown out the wails of a crying baby or two.
- iPod/ mp3 player – it’s not a terrible idea to have a dedicated music player as they don’t take up much space in a carry-on or purse. Plus, you can load something soothing to help you take a long nap.
- Laptop + charger – if a tablet just won’t cut it, you can always use a laptop. Be warned, the fold down trays usually aren’t that strong so we recommend you choose a smaller, lighter computer. We like to bring our 11inch Macbook Air.
- Snacks – most airlines provide snacks for long flights, but it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of small snacks of your own choosing. If you forget to bring a snack, but happen to be flying Cathay Pacific, the great thing is you can ask them for unlimited ramen and sometimes Haagan Daaz ice cream throughout the flight.
- LED flashlight – it’s always a good idea to have a small flashlight handy in case you drop something under your seat or need to find something in your bag. We recommend a Jetbeam flashlight – it has a strong light that’s bright enough to get you through the frequent brownouts in the Philippines.
- Zip up sweater or cardigan – no matter where we travel, we always have a favorite hoodie or cardigan to throw on in case it gets too cold. Even if your destination is warm, sometimes airports and flights can get cold from the air-conditioning.
- Hand sanitizer/ disinfecting wipes – great for keeping your hands feeling fresh and clean
- Dramamine – for those of you who get motion sickness or just want to sleep the entire flight. If you want to be knocked out, take the regular dramamine. Otherwise, you can also take the less drowsy version.
- Comfortable shoes/ travel slippers – give your feet a rest and switch to a comfortable pair of slippers while you relax in your seat.
Traveling overseas is exciting, but it can really take a lot out of you, so it’s ok to pamper yourself a little bit. A few little amenities can sometimes make all the difference between having a miserable flight and having some time to relax and enjoy a few hours of light entertainment.