Pack these items to make your international trip more comfortable in the air and on the ground

If you are taking a long flight, you will want to bring a few items with you to be as comfortable as possible while crammed into a tiny airplane seat. Additionally, throw in some of these other items to be comfortable, informed, and safe when visiting a foreign city.

For the Plane

1. Neck Pillow

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A neck pillow is helpful for sleeping on an overnight flight. I just recently purchased this one by Cabeau called the Evolution Pillow and like that it rolls up into a much smaller ball into this bag. It was pretty comfortable and taller than others I’ve tried, but it didn’t completely hold my head up. I found laying my head over onto the side of the pillow worked ok.

2. Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizing or cleaning wipes like Purell Wipes are great for cleaning areas of the plane that are touched a lot–like trays and TV screens. Wipe everything down when you get on board.

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3. Eyemask and earphones

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Airlines will often offer you an eyemask, but I happen to have one so I bring it. Same goes for earphones. I go ahead and bring my own to watch movies and TV shows on the plane.

4. Wrap

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I have this J. Jill poncho that makes a great blanket. I’m usually cold on flights and this gives me an extra layer.

5. Closed-toed shoes

I always wear closed-toed shoes on a flight (you never know when you might have to run out the emergency exit) and love my air-cooled memory foam walking shoes from Sketchers. I have had these for a while and can’t find them online, but I would highly recommended Sketchers for a comfortable walking shoe. I wear compression socks on long flights and usually bring an extra pair of regular socks if I want to take my shoes off.

6. Water bottle

I travel with a water bottle that has a large mouth (easier to get ice in there). At the airport, I will fill it up at a water bottle refilling station (some airports have them–I’ve seen them in Chicago Midway and JFK) or ask a bartender to fill it up with ice water. The one I use this is Ello brand water bottle from Target. I liked it so much that I purchased a second one!

For your Suitcase

1. Packing cubes

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I just recently used these packing cubes by Sharper Image for the first time. I roll all my clothes to really maximize space. (Trust me, this really works.) For this personal/business trip, I used the largest cube for casual clothes (it fit perfectly into my small rolling suitcase), the medium cube for professional clothes (I got about 4-5 outfits in here), and the small cube for my tank tops (I love a tank top for a layer under my clothes) and underclothes.

2. Space bags

I also pack these Ziploc Space Bags for dirty clothes. It always seems that dirty clothes take up more space than clean (because you don’t pack them back as well.) I put all my dirty clothes in the zipper bag and roll them to get all the air out. It’s amazing how flat the bag gets! You can also pack clean clothes in these to save space.

3. Travel books

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I am a big fan of Rick Steves so I usually purchase his travel books. I know I could download the books from Kindle, but I generally prefer an actual book.

4. Money wallet

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Once I reach my destination, I like to put half my money and credit cards in a money wallet that you can wear under your clothes like this one by Lewis Clark.

5. Travel purse

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I also have a purse from Travelon (the Travelon Anti-Theft Cross Body Bag) that has a strap with a metal insert that can’t be clipped (people do this to steal your bag!) and zippers that hook to a clip so it’s hard for people to get their hands in there. My water bottle and my Rick Steves guidebook both fit in here with no problem.

So those are some of my tips to have a comfortable flight and then a safe and comfortable time in your destination. Please share your tips here!