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Top 5 Items that Make a Huge Difference on an International Flight

August 1st, 2013 Books/Audio/Video

The lure of international travel is undoubtedly enticing, and being able to explore a brand new part of the world with friends or family will create countless lasting memories. Unfortunately, getting there can be a major issue, and if you're going to be stuck on a plane for multiple hours, you can begin to go stir crazy rather quickly. Being able to keep yourself entertained and comfortable is a must for any international traveler, and you'll have to make extra preparations when going such a long distance. Luckily, there are a few items that can improve your overall comfort level, protect your belongings and serve a variety of other uses during your flight. Here are a few items that may be wise choices to throw into your suitcase or carry-on.

Headphones
While this may seem like a no-brainer to some, investing in either noise-canceling headphones or earbuds will pay dividends throughout your trip. First and foremost, you'll be able to avoid the potential fees that some airlines charge when giving out headphones, in addition to sticking with a product that is far more comfortable and not a one-size-fits-all solution. Last but not least, if you can find noise-canceling headphones, these are ideal for long-distance flights where you may need to get some shuteye and block out any outside distractions.

Neck pillows
Speaking of trying to sleep on planes, unless you're the kind of person who can fall asleep anywhere, you may need a bit of help when trying to while away the time through the night or early morning. Because most airlines will hand out just a simple pillow and blanket, you may not have the right amount of support for your head to sleep comfortably. Neck pillows are available in many shapes, sizes and colors and they could provide the stability you need to sleep comfortably in an upright position.

A sleeping mask
Whether you're taking the red-eye flight or one early in the morning, contending with myriad light sources like mobile devices, computers and open windows can be detrimental on your ability to sleep during the trip. Sleeping masks are great investments that will block out all visual distractions and give you the complete blacked-out environment that you need to achieve a deep slumber. In tandem with your neck pillow and headphones, that's about as close to an ideal plane sleep setup as you'll find!

Reading material
Even if you are on an airline with a world-class entertainment system or have plenty of gadgets to fool around with, be sure to bring along a book or two for the journey. You can't predict a broken movie screen, a malfunctioning Wi-Fi system or poor battery life, so having some form of old-fashioned entertainment is a good idea. Last but not least, winding down after the end of a busy day is far more beneficial with a book in your hands than a screen!

Small snacks
Not a huge fan of the pittance of peanuts you're given on each flight or the substandard meal? You're not alone! Instead of feeling beholden to the flight attendants' schedule or eating food you simply don't care for, take some time before your trip to pick up a series of small snacks to enjoy along the way. 100-calorie packs are your best bet and will provide that extra bit of sustenance you'll need to get through your flight. These smaller packages will also be a smaller hassle when going through airport security and they can fit easily into your carry-on luggage.