By Joanna Brinjak

There are a few things you can do to make jet-setting as comfortable as possible. I’ve found that whether  the flight is one hour or 13—and no matter what airline I’m flying or where my seat is located—there are certain items I rely on to maintain my sanity while 30,000 feet in the air. Following is my list of “Comfort Must-Haves.”

Plane Essentials: Staying Comfy 30,000 Feet Above Ground
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  1. Water. No need to wait for the stroll of the drink cart to quench your thirst! Make sure you grab a bottle of water before you board. Staying hydrated aids you in so many ways: you’ll likely feel more refreshed, fight jet lag faster….oh, and you won’t be flying with a cotton mouth.
  2. Sweater or small blanket. I’ve never been one to want to snuggle with that generic blanket handed out on airplanes (plus, I’ll admit, I can be a bit of a germaphobe) so I  always pack a sweater for the flight, even if I’m flying to the tropics. A sweater is also a great sub for a pillow.
  3. Socks. I often travel in flip flops so I can zoom through security, but then I’m left with cold feet on the plane! It’s a good idea to pack a pair if you know your feet will be exposed.
  4. Tissues. Regardless of whether you have the sniffles, bring them just because. They always come in handy.
  5. Reading material. Kindle, old school paperback, iPad—whatever—bring some reading material to help pass the time, especially if you are flying for more than an hour or two. There have been plenty of times where I think I will sleep the whole flight, only to find myself wide awake and wishing I had packed a book or magazine.
  6. Neck pillow. I used to think these were pretty nerdy—but after flying to Costa Rica with one, I’m a fan. There are several types and brands sold in travel stores, but I’ve found the ones you inflate yourself are the best. You can make them as full as you want, and when you’re finished they roll up to fit in almost any space.
  7. Hand sanitizer. Not just a plane must have, but a travel essential! Pack some for the times when you are having a snack or around someone who is sick and you can’t wash your hands soon enough.

What are your travel must-haves? What items can you not live without when traveling?

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