Essentials for Surviving a Long Flight in Coach

A long flight is at once boring and exhausting. A First or Business Class seat allows you to stretch out, eat fine food and generally use the time as a spa day. And you get a pretty little bag full of goodies – everything from breath mints to shoe polish! Unfortunately most of us walk through this glorious area to the coach cabin behind. Here we are left to our own devices for comfort and entertainment.

First, and most important, is choosing a travel outfit. The goal is to look presentable while feeling as if you’re in your favorite jammies. I opt for Chico’s Travelers pants –a stretchy knit pants with style. Add a comfortable top (a Breton striped top is a great mix and match item) and finish with a DKNY cozy – my go-to travel wrap. The silk cashmere wrap can be worn more than a dozen ways during the trip. During the flight the cozy earns its worth as an ultra-soft sweater and blanket in one. (The $195 cozy is available for $49 at DKNY outlet stores)

Long Flight EssentialsBefore boarding the plane I remove my ‘flight bag’ from my carry-on. I use a Nike drawstring gympack I can fit into the seat pocket. A tied Baggu can work as well. Choose a bright color to ensure it’s not overlooked when exiting the plane. My bag has a front zipper compartment where I can stash valuables. In the main compartment I carry everything I’ll need for the trip – all the comfort items of those First Class amenity bags and my personal entertainment as well. Having everything at my seat precludes me having to dig through the overhead compartments looking for chapstick or a pen. My fellow passengers appreciate this, I’m sure.

My Essentials

1. My traveling outfit: Chico’s Travelers knit pants, Breton striped tee, DKNY cozy and Tieks flats.

In my Flight Bag (Nike gymsack)

2. Comfort items:

3. Entertainment items:

  • iPad mini or other small tablet
  • Kindle ereader – Voyage or Paperwhite – Yes, you can read on your tablet, but for long stretches of reading, an ereader is better on your eyes. Plus the battery on these devices lasts for weeks!
  • Noise-canceling headphones – enhance your listen pleasure or just drown out airplane noise. I use Bose Quiet Comfort
  • Some flights have outlets built into the seats, but I pack an Anker external battery charger just in case.

4: Amenities:

  • Stay hydrated! Bring an empty water bottle through security or use a Vapur collapsible bottle.
  • Keep your skin hydrated with a travel sized spray moisturizer and a small lotion (Bee Bar Lotion by Honey House)
  • Keep all medications close at hand, especially prescription items!  Hints: low-dose aspirin can help prevent DVTs, Dramamine will work for air sickness and might help you sleep, melatonin (as in Midnite tablets) is also a good sleep aid.
  • Facial cleansing cloths are usually provided by the airlines, but  carry your own just in case. I use Nivea Refreshing Wipes.
  • Burts Bees lip balm
  • NARS the multiple – cosmetic that can be used for eyes, cheeks and lips
  • Visine eye drops
  • Purell hand sanitizing lotion
  • Toothbrush, floss and paste
  • Brush, hair elastics, etc.
  • Snacks

5: Valuables: don’t leave these in the overhead compartment. Unfortunately there have been reports of thefts aboard flights while the passengers are sleeping.


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