Surviving an Overnight Flight: 11 Things To Pack

It is easy to feel uncomfortable and restless on an overnight flight, even when you are exhausted and desperately want to sleep. When you are trapped in a plane seat for more than six hours, how can you maximize your chances of getting a decent amount of rest?

Read on to discover eleven things that you can pack in your carry-on baggage to make sure that you arrive at your destination feeling as refreshed as possible.

1) Earplugs and Sleep Mask:


Even if the majority of people want to sleep on an overnight flight, not everyone on the plane will respect this. You might find that you are sitting near a group of rude people who are talking too loud, or that nearby children are crying. Prepare for this eventuality by packing some comfortable and effective airplane earplugs for flying that will allow you rest in peace and quiet. A good quality sleep mask will also help you in chilling out.

2) Painkillers:

With jet lag and variable air quality to contend with, it is highly likely that you will get a headache at some point during a long overnight flight. Make sure that you pack some effective painkillers in your carry-on baggage, and perhaps even consider packing different strengths. Painkillers that contain codeine may be useful at some stage of the journey, as these will make you feel slightly drowsy in addition to reducing the pain of a headache.

3) A playlist of soothing music:

While there will probably be plenty of songs available on the in-flight entertainment system, it is worth packing an mp3 player with a playlist of your favorite particularly relaxing songs. Combined with noise reduction headphones, calming music can help you to forget that you are on a plane and will make it easier to drift off to sleep.

4) Warm and comfortable clothing:

If you are travelling during the summer, you will probably be warm when you board the plane. However, it is important to remember that this does not mean that you will feel warm throughout the entire journey. People more often complain that it is too cold on a flight (rather than too hot), and your body temperature drops when you are tired or sleeping. As a result, it is vital to pack an additional jumper or cardigan that can help you to keep warm if you become too chilly to fall asleep. In addition, make sure that your whole outfit is quite loose. This will increase your comfort, and a lack of tight clothing around your legs will also maximize your safety (as it will reduce your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis).

5) A good novel:

pilot_reading-4285If you are someone who has a nightly habit of reading some engrossing fiction before going to sleep, make sure that your overnight flight is no exception to this ritual. Many people find that the escapism of fiction helps them to relax in preparation for sleep, and the focus required also tends to cause sleepiness after an hour or so.

6) Glasses (if you wear contact lenses):

If you wear contact lenses, you will know that one of the worst sensations is that of waking up with dried out contact lenses stuck to your eyeballs. Don´t forget about this when you are packing your carry-on baggage, and make sure that you have the means to take out your lenses and swap them for glasses if you think you might be able to sleep.

7) A travel pillow:

Although some airlines will provide you with a pillow, most people find that these free pillows are rather flimsy and ineffectual. It is worth shopping for a better quality pillow before you travel, as you can purchase ones that are specially shaped to minimize neck and back pain when you’re sleeping on a plane.

8) A soft blanket:

planeblanketJust as most airlines will provide a pillow during an overnight flight, most will also provide a blanket. However, these are often thin, scratchy sheets of material that do nothing to help you feel more comfortable or sleepy. Instead of putting up with this, pack the softest blanket that you can fit in your bag.

9) Toothpaste and a toothbrush:

You will hopefully manage to get a reasonable amount of sleep on an overnight flight, and no one wakes up with fresh and pleasant breath. You will feel very grateful if you remember to pack a toothbrush and a travel-sized tube of toothpaste, and the morning ritual of brushing your teeth before landing will also help you to wake up and feel more alert.

10) Body spray or deodorant:

Spending a long time on a plane is liable to leave you feeling a little bit sweaty and unkempt, so remember to pack something that can minimize any body odor and help to give you a fresh smell.

11) Refreshing eye drops:

Even if you do not wear contact lenses, your eyes will probably dry out to some degree during an overnight flight. You will feel much better when you land if you pop some refreshing drops into your eyes just as the plane begins its final approach.

If you pack all of the above items in your carry-on baggage when you are preparing for an overnight flight, you will be maximizing your chances of feeling appropriately rested by the end of the journey. However, it is vital that you do not forget to carefully secure any valuables that are in your carry-on baggage. On an overnight flight, it is easy for thieves to take advantage of the quiet, dark atmosphere. Bury any items of worth deep inside your bag, or avoid taking them at all if they are not essential. Finally, you should make a point of regularly standing up and walking around when you are not trying to sleep. This will help to prevent the formation of unwanted blood clots in the deep veins of your legs.

>> Jump to: our earplugs guide

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