How to Prepare for an International Flight

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January 22, 2020

travel essentials, how to prepare for an international flight, what to bring on an international flight, international flight travel tips, long flight tips

I only have a few more days before I jet off to Italy, so naturally I’ve already begun preparing. I’ve already shared my International Travel Essentials, but there’s a lot more to withstanding these long, overnight flights. In addition to packing the essentials, there are a few things I always make sure to do before and during a long flight:

Hydrate – in every way possible

Flying, especially for a long time, dehydrates you and you’re left with dry skin, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and maybe even a breakout or two. Combat this by drinking a ton of water, keeping your alcohol and coffee intake low, piling on the lotion, and applying a hydrating overnight mask during the flight.

Bring a pillow and blanket

I’m sorry, but one little tiny pillow and a thin blanket is just not enough for me to get comfy. I have a really hard time sleeping on planes since I never get to fly first class internationally (*tear*), but if I have at least two pillows then there’s a better chance I can make it work. Also, I’m always cold so doubling up on blankets helps me get comfortable enough to stop shivering and actually be comfortable.

Dress comfy (and wear socks)

An international flight is not the time to be a fashionista. Comfort is key if you don’t want to be miserable. Of course, it is possible to be cute and comfy, right? I like to go with some joggers and a top or sweater from Gypsy Flow. I do sometimes wear sandals, but even if I do, I always wear (or at least bring) socks. No one wants exposed feet on a plane, plus socks help keep you warm!

Bring snacks

We all know airplane food isn’t the best and although it is included in your ticket, it might be worth it to just either pay for a meal at the airport before you leave, or bring snacks from home. My sister is always in charge of bringing the snacks when we fly together and it’s the best.


I like to stretch a little before the flight so I’m not feeling super cramped and stiff the whole time. It’s also important to get up and walk around every few hours. If you’re like me, you have to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes anyway, but if you don’t, make it a point to get up and move. You need to keep your blood flowing! Blood clots are no joke, especially when you’re up in the air.

Prepare your entertainment

Personally, I prefer listening to audiobooks on my flights, but during those long hauls, it’s nice to binge watch a good show or movie. You can download your faves to your phone with apps like Xfinity Stream and Netflix. I’m not sure if it’s possible to download to your laptop though, which kind of sucks.

Pack those must-haves in a carry-on

If you’ve ever had your bag lost, then you already know this, but it’s absolutely vital to pack important things like extra undies, your toothbrush, at least one extra outfit, any medication, and any other daily essentials in your carry on. I very rarely check a bag just because I don’t even want to risk it getting lost, but if you do decide to check a bag, don’t forget to bring a carry on big enough for the essentials!

Long flights aren’t always the best, but if you’re prepared, they can certainly be more bearable. These are the things that have helped me, and I hope they help you too! Let me know if I forgot anything!

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What do you do to prepare for a long flight?

Photo by Courtney Woodham.