1. Fuzzy socks — The first thing I do when I get into my seat is put on my fuzzy socks. There's no way I'm keeping my shoes on for the entire duration of a flight (especially on an international flight), and we've all seen more bare feet on flights than we care to. Seriously, people. Disgusting. But beyond flight etiquette, my fuzzy socks keep my feet cozy and comfortable and fucking adorable. Like a 10-hour hug for my feet.
2. Alcohol — Most people don't realize you're allowed to bring alcohol onto flights — the travel size not a 750ml bottle. I like to keep mini bottles of alcohol on me and flights are no exception. It's not so much that I'm a raging alcoholic but... saving money. And mini bottles of alcohol. Is an explanation even necessary? Just now I mixed a bottle of Stoli into my Starbucks Peach Green Tea Lemonade while everyone else is waiting for the beverage cart to make its way around. Exactly.
3. Lavender mist — This must-have facial mist is basically the same thing as Evian Mineral Water Spray but it’s lavender scented and it’s a Korean brand so it’s automatically better. My skin gets dry during flights and the dead air can feel, well, dead, so this is a refreshing alternative to washing your face in a tiny bathroom sink. Anyone who spends the entire 90 minutes during Bikram Yoga waiting for the moment you can press the cold, lavender towel to your face will love this.
4. Snacks — This is pretty self-explanatory. The snacks provided on flights are usually pretty unspectacular (except for you guys at JetBlue). Even as I’m typing this I’m munching on ‘Soletti Cloud Hoppers’ given on a Lufthansa flight from Dulles International to Frankfurt and it’s woefully underwhelming. I would expect this on a flight from Reagan National to Charlotte. I’m going to put this away and eat the Pretzel M&Ms and Haribo Gummy Bears I bought at Five Below for a buck. Buying snacks in advance ensures you'll be able to happily munch away on snacks you like instead of the overpriced Combos you reluctantly bought at Hudson News. But if you are getting the Combos, pizza, non-pretzel.
5. Foam Earplugs — I went through earplugs like it was my job in law school and when I was studying for the bar exam so I still have a few boxes left over which I happily carry around with me when I’m traveling. There are times when keeping your earphones plugged in the entire time aren’t possible (battery drainage) so earplugs will ensure you can drown out the screaming baby sitting directly behind you. In addition, your travel earplugs serve a dual purpose if you end up in a hotel with paper thin walls.
6. Sleep Mask — I have a rare gift where I’m usually able to sleep the entire duration of a flight. Not only do sleep masks block out all light and envelop me in welcoming darkness, a sleep mask ensures my seatmates and the cabin crew knows I’m not to be disturbed. It’s like a Do Not Disturb sign, but for my face.
7. Dry Shampoo — I wash my hair every other day so dry shampoo comes in handy when by day two my hair is looking wilted and depressed. A quick spray or five and a few brushes with my fingers gives instant volume and life.
8. Listerine — Self-explanatory. I also keep a toothbrush and travel size toothpaste in my cosmetic bag because sometimes, no amount of gum is going to tackle the disgusting swamp that is your mouth after a flight.
9. Beats Earbuds — Really, any headphones because do you really want to use the 90s foam headphones provided on flights? Also, putting headphones on even if you’re not listening to music is a great way to ward off potentially chatty seatmates. If some creep tries to talk to you just point to your ears and smile and nod and act as if you’re listening to your favorite song.
10. Blanket — Blankets ensure you’ll be wrapped in a warm cocoon of comfort. While I'm generally wary of potentially unwashed, bacteria-ridden blankets, I couldn’t find my travel blanket for my current flight and I’m wearing shorts so I lined my seat with one blanket and casually draped another across my lap. There's something nice about not having to carry around a blanket and being able to leave it on the plane when you land.
So what do all of my travel essentials for a flight go into? The go-to bag for every white female in grad school — a Longchamp bag. I held out on getting this bag for the longest time because I didn’t want to be another North Face jacket wearing, brown UGG dragging, Longchamp bag toting grad student. Until I got one and then I understood why this is bag is so popular. It’s incredibly light and super durable so it makes for the perfect travel carry on bag.
I didn't include my laptop or a book in this list considering we all have our own favorite forms of entertainment whether it's a book or sudoku or a crossword (all of the above for me). Am I missing something crucial or life changing that will change the way I fly forever? Sound off in the comments below!