If you’ve flown domestically but never traveled on an international flight, you’re in for quite a difference. The addition of a dozen hours or so for many international flights can present a lot of challenges to travelers who are more used to shorter domestic flights that often include short stays at connecting airports. Here’s what you need to bring for your next international flight, as well as a few items to leave at home.
For a long flight, you’re going to want some sort of entertainment. For most people, that will mean a book or at the very least, your smartphone. If you do bring some sort of technology, don’t make the mistake of putting your USB cord in your checked luggage. If you do, you’re going to be really bored when your battery dies a few hours into the flight.
Most airlines have USB connections at every seat for use in powering devices, so make use of them when you fly. You’ll also want a pair of noise-canceling headphones that are comfortable enough for extended use, just in case you have noisy neighbors on the plane.
Don’t worry so much about keeping yourself entertained that you forget that you’ll need to be comfortable for a very long flight. Consider whether you have problems with neck stiffness when sleeping in an upright position. If you do, a pillow (such as a travel pillow that supports your head and neck) can be very helpful.
In addition, consider that many airplanes keep the interior climate pretty cold. This is especially true if you’re next to a window or an exit, so bring a small blanket or wear fairly warm clothes if you’re worried about your teeth chattering for a 16-hour flight.
Get Some Sleep
If your schedule or flight time means that you’ll need to sleep a little on the plane, remember that it won’t be as dark as you’re likely used to when you try to get some shut-eye. Therefore, an eyemask can be very helpful if sleeping with lights on around you is a deal-breaker.
Leave These Items Out
When you fly internationally, you’re not just going through airport security, but also through customs. Many nations, including New Zealand, will make passengers get rid of items such as fruit, nuts, and seeds before entering the country. You should also avoid arriving at the airport with liquids of any kind, which can instead be obtained after you get through security.