My Top Ten Travel Essentials

Let’s be honest, travelling is never fun – especially when it is non-stop on one vehicle for eleven hours! We have always tried to fly Premium Economy where feasible, when flying to and from SF as it makes it just slightly more bearable. The difference is you get extra leg room, free food and drink and a wider variety of in-flight entertainment. This time I am flying with Virgin Atlantic, who I have not flown with yet – there will be a review of my experience once I have landed stateside, but from looking at pictures I’m excited to see! But regardless of which class I fly in, my travel essentials are always the same. As my return flight back to San Fran approaches, I thought that this would be the opportune time to share with you the items that I will not be found on a flight without.

1. Eye Drops 

Due to the reduced levels of oxygen in the cabin, dehydration is something to watch out for. For me, I find that my eyes become incredibly dry when flying so will use eyedrops every few hours. I usually pick these up at the airport, so will go for the ones listed below.

Boots Eye Drops Dry & Irritated Eyes, 10ml, £3.49

2. Lip Balm

After my eyes, I find that the dehydration hits my lips. To solve this, I will always bring a trusty lip balm. I usually always have one with me anyway, so will use whichever I am using at the time. I have been loving this one recently; it moisturises and gives a lovely gloss to the lips, but also comes in the cutest packaging! 

Vintage & Co. Fabrics & Flowers Lip Butter, John Lewis, 20g, £4.50

Vintage & Co. Fabrics & Flowers Lip Butter

3. Nasal Spray

Breathing in the compressed air for that long really blocks up my nose, making it slightly difficult to breathe. To help with this, I always bring a nasal spray. The only thing with this is that it can also have an adverse effect and could make it worse! I only ever use this a maximum of three times during the flight, do read the instructions before using because you don’t want to feel more uncomfortable!

Otrivine Natural Nasal Spray – Boots, 20ml, £5.99

4. Sheet Masks

What did we do before these were popular?! These save my skin on a regular basis but especially on a flight. I love using the eye and the full face masks, not just for their moisturising benefits but because they feel so refreshing on the skin. After you’ve done ten out of the eleven hours and the bags under your eyes have made themselves at home, it is always nice to have a somewhat mini pamper session so when you land you look like you have slept for at least one hour! The below ones are my favourite; I usually pick these up in the airport too. 

Garnier MB Eye Mask Coconut Water, Boots, £1.99 (Currently save £1!)
Garnier Moisture Bomb Sakura Hydrating Face Sheet Mask, Boots, £1.99 (Currently save £1!)

I also love the under eye caffeine solution from Ordinary. It helps to reduce the eye contour pigmentation under the eye creating a less tired look! An essential if you ask me.

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG 30ml, Feel Unique, £5.80

5. Antibacterial Hand Gel

Another thing I always carry with me at all times! I hate feeling unclean and on a flight its hard to feel even a little bit clean, so this at least restores a tiny bit of sanity. I bought this in America and I am obsessed! It smells amazing, they last for ages you can get five for $6!

BRIDAL BLISS; PocketBac Hand Sanitizers, 5-Pack, Bath & Bodyworks, 29ml, $6

6. Wet Wipes

The trusty wet wipes! So versatile and easy to use and so handy in a confined space when you are as clumsy as I am. I also use them as a quick freshen up before and after a sleep. The ones below are my favourite. 

Wet Ones ‘Be Gentle’ fragrance free with aloe vera, Boots, Currently 99p.

7. Puzzle Books

I always find that looking at a screen for a long period of time dries my eyes out even more than the cabin pressure, so I like to bring some kind of activity to keep my brain occupied, i.e. a puzzle book. Whether its Sudoko, Cross Words or just general conundrums, I am happy as long as I have something to pass the time! WHSmith have a great selection.

The Times Mind Games Word Puzzles and Conundrums Book 1: 500 Brain-Crunching Puzzles, Featuring 5 Popular Mind Games, WHSmith, £5.24

8. Hard Boiled Sweets

I know that I am not the only one that stocks up on hard boiled sweets before a flight…As soon as the plane takes off and the pressure changes, I will already have at least five sweets in my mouth trying to stop my ears from popping!! For me, these are essential. Even if your ears don’t ‘pop’ too badly, who doesn’t love having sweets with them on a flight?!

These are my favourite and can usually be found in a newsagents at the airport for around £4

9. Toothbrush

Following on from all of the sweets I have just scoffed during take off, my teeth will be calling out for a brush. On some flights you are given a free toothbrush and toothpaste, but I always take my own just in case. I find it makes the jet lag easier if you try to follow a routine. I like to put a film/series on until the meal is served, wait until it is all cleared away and then will usually change from jeans to leggings/joggers, wipe my face with a wet wipe, brush my teeth and then I will start to feel as though it is bed time. This helps my body begin to relax and makes it easier to sleep. Then, at some point before landing, I like to quickly freshen up again and that always starts with brushing my teeth. It is such a simple thing but can make you feel a lot better and cleaner. 

Photo by Pixabay on

10. Eye mask & Ear Plugs

All of the above can try to relax you and make you feel comfortable enough to sleep, but nothing will help you if the person sat next to you has their reading light shining brightly in your face for the whole journey or if the person behind you sleeps for the entire flight and snores loudly throughout. Therefore an eye mask and ear plugs are a must! These are also usually given to you on a Premium Economy flight, but don’t risk it. For one of our flights I was without them and was kept up by someone snoring all through a red eye flight and arrived back in the UK looking like I was ready to murder somebody! 

Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Although the above help, you just have to accept that it is going to be a long flight but just try not to count the minutes. Find some good movies and series that you’d like to watch, download things onto a device from Netflix beforehand to keep you entertained and just think of how excited you are to get there. For me, knowing that I will be on my way to see my husband after three weeks apart will (probably too excited to sleep) hopefully make the flight just that little bit more bearable. 

Before I go, I will be posting my essential airport outfits, with dos and don’t for long haul flights – don’t miss it!

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