7 Things You Need for a Pleasant Flight

  February 1, 2017 travel posts 🕑 3 minutes read

View from the driveway in Qatar. Loving it here so far. Yes the neighbor has a Maserati.



Kelli and I just arrived in Qatar after leaving New Jersey on 6 PM Monday evening.


We arrived in Doha at 3:30 AM Wednesday morning.


That’s a lotta flying and laying over, combined, with an 8 hour time change too.


Having flown over 100 times I have a little routine down pat.


From getting my rituals down cold to timing the pre-flight journey it seems easier for me to fly these days, compared to the days of my virgin flying foray from NYC JFK to Bali.


Things You Need for a Long Flight


Knowing what to take with you can ease your traveling worries. Not a bad thing if you change time zones like most people change their minds.


If you want a delightful flight line up these 7 things.


Note; I am tech averse/allergic. Do not expect this post to turn into a Tech Crunch piece.


1: Aisle Seat


Being a:


  • mass consumer of water (Aqua Man told me I drink too much water)
  • mildly hyperactive (or a workout nut)
  • guy who can take or leave window seat views


I always pick an aisle seat. Always.


I am kinda claustrophobic too. In a plane setting.


things you need for a long flight

Gorgeous view at sunset. Snapped by Kelli. 36,000 feet above somewhere in Europe.


Aisle seats give you more space – hanging legs and arms into the aisle is pretty dang sweet – and offers you a quick and easy way to make a trip to the terlet.


Not a big fan of asking middle and aisle seat folks for my frequent trips to the throne during long haul flights.


2: Chromebook


My Chromebook is perhaps my favorite travel buddy. I can:


  • write blog posts
  • write eBooks
  • stare at my tropical paradise wallpaper


for hours at a time, with my Chromebook.


Any lappy will work though. If it is light, relatively small and easily stow-able.


3: Tablet


I fly with my tablet to do some reading and updating – if internet is available – to keep entertained….and current.


No brainer flying companion because it is small, portable and hyper convenient.


4: Layered Clothing


Layer your clothing.


Be prepared for piping hot or bone chilling temperatures.


My clothing layers served me during the trio of Qatar flights.


When things got Dante’s Inferno hot during sunny afternoon hours I stripped down to da basics. When things got chilly – most of the flight – long johns, sweats and a t shirt did the trick.


5: Small Backpack (for Stowing Under Seat)


Ya ever see that guy who rifles through the overhead compartment 342 times per flight?


Don’t be that guy.


Kelli and I carry small backpacks we stow below seats. So we can grab snacks and Chromebooks and tablets and pens or whatever quickly and easily.


6: Heavy Socks


Heavy socks keep the chill out.


The collective temperature of the plane cabins we experienced yesterday was consistent of that in Winterfell (White Walkers trudged by lifelessly).


How ’bout those lights? I snapped this image as we descended into – or onto – Doha.


Wear heavy socks to keep your tootsies toasty during chilly flights.


Consider adding a backup pair to your backpack if your feet get stinky. Just sayin’.


7: Pillow Device


I did my best Rip Van Winkle impersonation during our 3 flights from JFK to Qatar.


For me, this means sleeping for 4 hours. Primo nap time, baby.


I use a pillow device. Or my sweatshirt balled up. Because those neck pillow thingees make my neck stiff. But whatever floats your pillow device boat. So if the neck piece works for ya, go for it.


Trying to sleep while leaning against a rigid chair can be maddening. Adopt thy device of choice. Rest easy.


Bonus Thing


A camera. You can snag decent shots via your phone but it’s easier to preserve eye-popping snaps from a really good camera.

  1. Dmitriy says:
    at 10:12 pm

    I am so glad you made it there safely and you are still blogging after such a long trip!!!
    Like you, I absolutely prefer aisle seat but during take offs and landings I always fight with my 6 years old daughter for window seat so I can take many photos and videos but then we switch and I comfortably occupy aisle seat for the duration of the flight. Speaking of “must have” during flying time, I have wife who does all the packing for carry on items for every trip and she does such a great job with it so I don’t want to mess it up. The only thing that my wife makes me responsible for to pack and take on board is my Camera and all the accessories for it. So I guess for me “ALL MUST HAVE” on board are my wife (who will pack all other MUST HAVE), my camera and me in aisle seat.
    Waiting for your next story from Qatar!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:11 am

      Hi Dmitriy,

      That is cool; my wife also handles many things travel too 😉 She sets up all the trips. I tag along LOL.

      Having the camera handy is key. I snapped the night image as we descended on Doha because the plane was half empty and I could hop over to the window seat. Definitely helps to have that seat though when taking off and landing because these are optimal snapping times. Smart strategy 😉

      Thanks much.


      • Dmitriy says:
        at 3:43 am

        Thank you for your response. One of my most favorite things to do during any flight is to shoot videos and take photos during take offs and landings especially during the daytime.
        I have created a playlist on my YouTube channel with videos of take offs and landings from all over the world that I took during my travels. So far the list is not that long but I add to it whenever I can. If you would be interested going over that list I can send you the URL.
        Again many thanks for your response.

      • Ryan Biddulph says:
        at 4:40 am

        Hi Dmitriy,

        Actually, please post the link in the comments here. That’d be awesome and I’d love to see it 😉


  2. Tauseef says:
    at 2:34 am

    Hi Ryan,

    When I travel, I prefer to take my laptop and a camera with me. I don’t much bother about the seating preference and the other things you have mentioned. But I really find your tips helpful, carrying a small backpack and a pillow device is a good idea.


  3. Adeel Sami says:
    at 4:36 am

    Hey, Ryan!

    Excellent to see you enjoyed the trip all over to Qatar and enjoying in there! 🙂

    And great tips you share to take in mind during the long flights.

    And, and, and I wish you visit my country, Pakistan, too in the future. I’d be so honored to have you and Kelli as my guest. 🙂

    Keep enjoyin’! 🙂

    ~ Adeel

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 4:42 am

      Hi Adeel,

      You know, it’s funny. 10 minutes ago I was staring at Qatar on Google Maps. Then I looked to the east and saw Pakistan is not far away at all 😉 We have a 2 month house sit in Chiang Mai, Thailand scheduled after this house sit but I will keep you in mind buddy. A Pakistan trip is most definitely in order.


  4. Stuart Phythian says:
    at 6:40 am

    Totally agree with the aisle seat. Recommendations”
    1. Compression socks – alleviate the possibility of a DVT. Possibly some hotel slippers to ditch (if you’re a frequent bathroom user, by end of flight the floor is pretty sticky).
    2. Noise cancelling headphones – With 2 kids – it’s my only time to watch a movie (rather than the crappy ones provided (if at all) by airline.)
    3. Keffiyeh/Gutrah scarf which doubles up as a blanket but isn’t too roomy.
    4. My journal – Flying always generates new thoughts, which i have to capture.
    5. Filter bottle – rather than pay for the overpriced water in hotel lounges, keep hydrated from a bottle filled from potentially questionable tap.

    Hope that helps.


    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 9:34 pm

      Hi Stuart,

      Brilliant list!

      Kelli carries Bose NC headphones and I wore some darn tight socks during our recent flight. Helps to keep swelling down. Curiously enough, I had virtually no swelling this flight. Hotel slippers are smart too. Plane bathrooms get grim after a few hours.

      Journals are fab idea recorders and ya need your filter bottle to enjoy unlimited agua….even if you question its quality 😉

      Thanks for sharing your essentials with us. Super ideas here.


  5. Adeel Sami says:
    at 7:09 am

    Hey, Ryan!

    Yeah, not too far from Qatar! 🙂

    Then I will so pray to schedule for the trip to Pakistan soon! 🙂

  6. Sherman Smith says:
    at 12:43 pm

    Hey Ryan,

    Now this is how you travel.

    There’s two things I do a little different though. I’m a bit old school, and for some reason tablets aren’t that attractive. I prefer just taking a book. I’m slowly changing since I also read blogs from my phone.

    Also I rather sit next to the window. You can say it’s a security thing for me. I like to see what’s going on with the plane at all times LOL… besides that I like the view.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 8:00 pm

      Hi Sherman,

      I am appreciating window seats more these days.

      I nabbed a few shots during our recent 3 flights by sitting window-side and know what you mean; especially when we hit turbulence looking outside feels soothing because versus being blind to conditions, I see the wings bouncing and cloud cover or upper level winds tossing us around. Gives me peace of mind because I put 2 and 2 together.

      Books rock too. I take my dog ears with me at times.

      Sure thing bro. Thank you for commenting!


    at 8:32 pm

    Hello Ryan
    First of all let me wish you a happy new year and much success in 2017. I don’t get to travel as much as you do but I did get down to the St. Thomas U.S Virgin Islands this 3rd week of January for some Rand R. And like you I love the aisle seat got to have my beat headphones and my tablet with me. And Ryan some lemon heads in the back pack. Hey Ryan great idea a pillow device, thanks nice topic and be safe out there.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 8:41 am

      Hi Darrell,

      Yum, lemon heads! Been too long since I enjoyed those tart little treats.

      STUSVI sounds awesome. I heard awesome things about that tropical paradise. Gotta get to the Caribbean soon because it’s close and the tropics, when I’m in the States.

      Thanks a bunch Darrell, see you soon.


  8. Tony James Slater says:
    at 1:34 am

    Hiya Ryan!

    My additions to your top tips:
    1) A spare t-shirt! Takes up no room, and it’s not my feet I worry about getting smelly after 29 hours on a plane – it’s me pits, man! A quick scrub up in the toilets and a change of shirt stops me gassing fellow aisle-seaters on the trips to and fro.
    2) Traveling with my wife, we often book an aisle and a window seat. Airlines will only ever fill the middle seat between two people as the last resort, so unless the plane is rammed, you’ll end up with a threesome! If someone else does sneak in between you, they are normally so dismayed to be seated in the middle of an affectionate/rowdy/argumentative couple that they’ll willing trade you for either the aisle or the window, in which case you’re no worse off than you would have been anyway. Sorted!
    3) Plane headphone adaptor – one o’ them 2 pronged jobbies to make sure your kick-ass earbuds will fit into the plane’s malarky. Nuff said.
    4) MINTS! Worth a mint. At very least, they avoid you blowing wine-breath all over the immigration official at your destination, which is generally a good idea…
    Right! I’m done 😉


    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:45 am

      Hi Tony,

      All excellent tips.

      Flying twice today I totally hadn’t thought of the seating strategy. Smart! Who would want to be sandwiched between a couple? Airlines resist selling the middle seat and if someone splits a couple they will soon go window-side. Clever.


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