Handy items in flight

How do you organise the items you want during a long flight?

Some things I like to have on hand are magazines, lip balm, hand lotion, eye mask, gym or candy, and my water bottle. I don't care to put these things in the seat pocket, so generally keep in mg handbag. Only problem is always having to reach for it.

And organisational tips? Was looking for something to hang from the pocket maybe...

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
6606 posts

The things I want most accessible during a flight I put in a zip-lock bag. That can go in the seat pocket. Aesthetically better, and nothing small gets lost or left behind.

Posted by Naomi
Glen Allen, VA
83 posts

I will be also traveling to Italy in a few weeks, and have found a great thing to have with me to use on the plane and other places. It is a "cup pilot". I had seen other people using this on former trips that I have taken, and ordered it. Very light and useable in other situations. You might want to take a look. http://www.cup-pilot.com/purchase/
Hope that this is helpful for you.

Posted by Ginger
253 posts

That's a neat idea, Naomi.

Thanks for the ziploc idea, also, Chani.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
6030 posts

I also use a gallon sized ziplock bag. The freezer bags are the sturdiest. I pack a variety of sizes of ziplock bags for my trip.

Posted by christa
alameda, ca, usa
588 posts

I have a fabric drawstring bag that measures 12" x 13" and into that I put my small knitting project in a gallon ziplock bag, a book, water, gum, a bit of chocolate, eye drops and since I'm a crossword puzzle fanatic I save up a bunch cut from my daily paper and staple them together--takes less space than a book. The whole thing can fit in the back seat pocket or wedged next to me so I can leave my carry-on tucked under the seat the whole trip.

Posted by stan
Kansas City
1213 posts

I use a drawstring pouch that came with a jacket, or swim trunks or something, that I hang from the twist knob that holds the tray up.

Posted by Cindy H
San Jose
146 posts

I have a travel comfort kit that lives in a small orange sil-nylon packing cube. It contains an eye mask, ear plugs, pen, analgesics, a pair of footie slippers (in their own zip lock), wipes, Zicam powder. I slide it into my personal item.
You could always put all of your things into a gallon zip-loc and then put it in your personal item. After take off pull it out and put it in the seat back pocket for the duration of the flight.

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
2669 posts

Awesome ideas...and really I should be packing instead of hanging out on the forum! It is a pain in the neck to keep getting into the personal item. I have an extra silnylon cube, so I will try out Cindy's suggestion tomorrow when I head for Dublin and Rick's Ireland tour. I think the Kindle will fit in there as well as the other essentials.

Thanks so much for the timely question and answers.

Posted by gone
2081 posts


i bring my travel guide books, snacks, water bottle, pen/paper, cameras and OTC meds in my bag.

i usually dont have a problem reaching for it, if i do, i will use my toe to catch the handle and move it to a area where i can reach it. also, i usually get a isle seat so its easy to move in/out of the seat.

happy trails.

Posted by Ginger
253 posts

I love all the ideas, thanks.

Read the reviews about the water bottle on Amazon. What a neat invention for travelling.

I'm taking a small pillow for my back. The ones on plane does not help me. And also one for my neck. More stuff, but I always regret not having them on long flights.

Anyone use a foot rest? Another item, but my legs really feel better if I have my feet on something, and hubby isn't going to like me using his backpack!!!

Posted by Ginger
253 posts

Thanks, Marie. I'm going to try and get it tomorrow, and if that fails, will try a beach ball. As long as the foolish thing doesn't move around. I'm short so find it stressful on my back and legs to dangle.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
6030 posts

If the beach ball is not fully inflated it's doubtful it will roll.

Posted by Jeanine
Pacific NW, USA
113 posts

I used an under inflated beach ball as a foot rest on my last trip (I had a broken toe) and it worked perfectly. It can also double as a back support. I even used it to give my flat Italian pillow a little lift. I'm going to use the same beach ball on my upcoming trip. Better yet, it only cost a dollar!

Posted by Jim
9 posts

Here are my things: iPad, Noise Cancelling Headphones (the Sony $30 pair I have isn't as "good" as a Bose $300 pair, but it cuts out a lot of noise and folds up much more compactly, and works for the overnight flights), the neck pillow (wish I had bought one of these years ago), bottle of water, a couple of pens, Newspaper Crossword puzzles, and a hard copy of my itinerary.

For the Crossword puzzles, several major newspapers have them on-line (Washington Post and LA Times are my 2 faves), where you can print them to fit exactly on 8.5x11" paper (though check the Sunday puzzles, to make sure the last couple of down clues don't get cut off...). I then use a spiral binding (available at my office) to keep them together, then can tear one out when done, and regular paper holds up better than newsprint over the course of a trip.

Posted by Alice
Stoughton, Wisconsin, USA
26 posts

I have a woven cotton pullover with a zippered pouch pocket in the front. I put all the little items that I will use throughout a flight in there. Keeps everything clean and immediately available. Of course, I do look like I am six months along...

Posted by Mimi
Morrison, CO, USA
529 posts

I have a vest from ScotteVest. It has interior pockets with zippers for all of the stuff that I need to keep close. Since we travel in early Spring and Fall, I usually need to wear a vest anyway and it is great. Going through security is a breeze since I don't have things in my pants pockets I take the vest off and send it through xray. I'm not worried about pickpockets, When I'm in a crowd situation the vest is zipped up and all of the interior pockets are always zipped. Keeps me warm on cold overnight flights, also.

Posted by Todd
Los Angeles
104 posts

What kind of neck pillow do you folks who use them recommend? I see other travelers with them and have always wondered if they were worth the hassle of one-more-thing-to-pack.

Posted by Diane
Westford, MA
103 posts

From my Boarding Tote what comes out is a Thermos filled with water; Ziplock bag with neck rest-eye shades-earplugs-Bose headphones-magazine-Suduko & Crossword puzzles stapled together; Clear plastic zipper pouch with pill box-chap stick-sugar free gum-sugar free hard candy-Quest bar-Almonds 100 cal snack- kleenex-wipes-travel fold up combo brush/mirror- pen, Index card w/Air Reservation and Ticket #, and Flight Numbers with Times-Passport # and its dates-Allergies and Blood Type written on it.

I put the thermos, zipper pouch, magazine & word puzzles in the seat pocket for easy access, and I leave the zip lock bag inside the tote bag until I want them. I fold my sweater into the seat pocket so I can get to it when I’m chilly. I also have all my information stored on my phone and on a flash, but the index card is a quick refernence to fill out customs forms or review my itinerary with out turning on my phone. I do not depend on the airline to know me or to take care of me so I try to travel prepared.

Posted by Lesley
Sidney, BC, Canada
440 posts

Todd, I bought a neck pillow for a long flight to the Far East and now wonder how I traveled without it!
Mine is filled with microbeads and has soft covering. It's easy to carry - I just fasten it around the handle of my carry-on. Don't buy the blow-up ones - they are uncomfortable and don't fit the neck comfortably -or at least that is what I found.

Posted by kathy
St. Louis MO
360 posts

I bought a blow up neck pillow....I'll guess we'll see how bad it is on the flight next spring or maybe we'll try it out this November when we fly to hubby's family in Ohio. That gives me time to buy a better one for the longer flight :)

Great topic and I'm making lists!

Posted by stan
Kansas City
1213 posts

@Todd, I've never gotten the inflatable pillows to work comfortably and don't want to take up space with a filled pillow. There is a strap-type head & neck support system I read about here that I am going to try out soon. Basically, it covers your eyes as a sleep mask, and a strap goes behind your back, holding your head upright. Probably looks goofy, but if it works its worth it.

Posted by Marie
Atlanta, GA
85 posts

Carabiners are great for hooking things to the seat back.

I usually pack a lightweight nylon bag (right now I am using a ChicoBag hobo bag, but a packing cube would work just as well) with whatever I need for the flight --- inflatable pillow, eye mask, pashmina, toothbrush, etc. I pack the nylon bag toward to the top of my main carry-on. Before I put my main bag in the overhead, I remove the smaller bag.

I also have a collapsible water bottle with a carabiner, which I attach to the seat back.

Posted by Ginger
253 posts

I'm not traveling for awhile, but I love to read packing tips.

Alice, you made me laugh out so loudly that I was asked what was so funny!!! I don't want to look six months pregnant, so I will pass on your tip, LOL

Some great ideas (post trip), but always good to know for the next trip.

Hadn't thought about carabiners. Splendid idea.

I decided to go with a neck pillow that sounds similar to what someone got here...I don't like the blow up ones. Even my young niece hated those. Mine ended up being used as a pillow for those overly soft pillows in Europe. Why oh why do they have such flat, soft pillows???

One gentleman was horrified as he dipped his hand into the back pocket and came up with a handful of snotty tissues!!! The flight attendant took it away for him. I made a mental note to never reach inside one of those again!

What I did was to open the blanket and use the plastic that covered it, to line the back pocket and then I put my magazines in.

Keeping things you need within easy reach is so much easier than getting up and taking bags down. I see lots of folks doing that. Glad you all enjoyed my post :)