Surviving my first long haul flight

A few weeks ago I hopped on a plane with a few friends and travelled a long 11 hours to the West coast of the United States. We had six days in San Francisco and one day in Los Angeles.

The trip was fantastic (more on that next time) and I’m itching to go abroad to the US again very soon. I’d never been outside of Europe before so of course this was my first long haul, transatlantic flight.

I was prepared but not as much as I thought I was! There were some things I packed for the flight I didn’t end up using and some things I wish I’d brought with me.

Plan Stuff to Do

Besides bringing a book with me (that remained unread by the way), I didn’t bring much in the way of entertainment other than my mobile phone and relied a lot on the in flight entertainment system. But this only got me so far and I got bored and restless fairly quickly. Luckily there was a USB socket and Wi-Fi on board (you had to pay for the latter) which kept me entertained, chatting on Messenger, reading blogs, listening to music.

Next time I’ll be packing an adult colouring book and pencils, and downloading a calming playlist for my phone.


I’d heard tales of how awful aeroplane food is and to be honest ours wasn’t that bad but the choices were limited. I had packed crisps and a bag of mini Twix chocolates in my hand luggage but it wasn’t enough to last the full 11 hours. Also I forget to take any snacks with me on the return flight! Doh.

One of the in flight meals

Next time – More snacks. Less chocolates (it ended up in a melted clump of Twix).

Eye mask

I wasn’t sure whether to pack my eye mask or if I’d even use it during the flight. But I found myself wearing it both journeys on the plane and in our hotel as well. It’s now become a packing essential for me and I even take it on weekends away.

Noise cancelling headphones

I don’t own and have never tried ear plugs. Honestly I find it hard getting anything to fit comfortably with my tragus piercing so I packed my headphones – they worked a charm and I could also use them with my phone and the in flight entertainment system.

Charger and cable

Self explanatory.


I packed mini deodorant, dry shampoo, face wipes, breath spray and a chewable toothbrush for freshening up during the flight. Along with sun cream which I didn’t end up using.

The chewable toothbrush was useless! I’ll be packing my travel tooth brush and some tooth paste next time.

I wish I’d brought some moisturiser or lip balm to use during the flight, I found my skin getting pretty dry during the flight.

Items I didn’t take but will pack next time…

Neck pillow! The cabin crew gave us complimentary pillows and blankets and, although the pillow provided was great the lumbar support during the flight it wasn’t great for sleeping with.

Now, I don’t actually own one so any recommendations would be great. 🙂

Blanket or scarf – In case the cabin crew don’t provide these for free or for extra warmth and comfort on the plane.

Power bank – In case the plug socket or USB port fails during the flight or to use once you get off the flight and start sightseeing. Due to the time difference we repeated Thursday and had a full day ahead of us. My power bank would have come in handy!

Do you have any other recommendations? How do you keep yourself entertained and comfortable during a flight?


  • Bree

    August 12, 2018 at 16:25

    So glad you survived your first long flight and also that you learned so much from the experience!

    I’m eager to hear about the things you did while on the west cost! I live in a city about an hour away from SF so you were super close!

    Good post!

    1. Kim

      September 3, 2018 at 17:00

      Thanks Bree! It was a great experience and I’m itching to go back to California. I’ve written up two posts about my trip, and I’d love to know if there are any other places you recommend visting?

  • Amy

    August 6, 2018 at 16:07

    I’ve never actually been on a plane before, so I can’t imagine what it’s like to not be able to stop and pick up snacks like you do on long car journeys. I’d definitely have to pack a few for an eleven hour journey! I’d definitely be wanting a travel pillow too, as I can imagine sleeping is a big part of the journey.

    As for entertainment, I’d probably just download lots of TV shows on Netflix. I could definitely watch TV for eleven hours straight!

    Congrats on surviving your first long-haul flight! Hope it wasnt too bad! Looking forward to your posts on the trip!

    1. Kim

      September 3, 2018 at 12:47

      It was awful! The only place I could really walk to was the toilet and back. :’-)

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