Top 5 In Flight Necessities

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Following on from our Sunday Brunch Travel Chat (#SBTC) with Phoebe (@ShortRoad2Happy) and fellow travel bloggers, we decided to write about our ‘In Flight Necessities’.

We are all culprits of overpacking I am sure but when it comes to the crunch of packing those essential items for your carry on bag for that long haul flight, what do you take with you and cannot bare to leave behind?

During Sunday’s discussion, one of the questions was related to how our in-flight necessities have changed over time and we certainly believe that with the development of technology and personal needs, our opinions on what we need most has changed dramatically. Long gone are the days of a hard back book and ear plugs, now we are all checking out the latest iTunes apps or Android market for something that will help pass the time on a flight.

But, this is just our opinion and I am sure there are many still out there that still prefer to remain old-school and take their favorite book with them. This is the beauty of travel and all of our needs and desires are so different.

As I mentioned, our needs are changing all the time but as of today, Tuesday October 29, 2013, this is what we consider to be our 5 most important in-flight necessities. What are your most important items that you have to take with you?

iPad or Other Tablet Device


When Apple released the first iPad in 2010, I will be the first to admit that I was not sold on this product. I was an avid laptop user (and still am!) but I was not an Apple or Mac user. The look and feel of Apple products was great but I couldn’t justify the cost of this product line. However, after falling for the Apple bug and purchasing the iPad 2 in 2011, I became well and truly hooked.

Heather and I both have iPad’s – one thing I will admit is that there is nothing much noticeably different between any of the iPad generations (we have a 2nd and 3rd generation) but these are absolutely wonderful assets when we travel. iPad’s are perfect replacements for books and/or magazines. You can preload your tablet with plenty of reading material prior to flying, purchase apps or download from a myriad of free apps and add your favorite music and videos for viewing later.

Whenever I consider the main attractions of an iPad or other tablet for that matter, I think about flexibility and versatility. This is what these offer over anything we have seen in the past. The ability to contain a plethora of products and ideas in one device is truly impressive and something that makes flying much more enjoyable. I am sure we are going to see the iPad continue to evolve, especially given that we have recently heard about the release of the new iPad Air which will be much lighter and efficient.



Taking your camera onboard is not a necessity for the flight itself but for any aspiring travel blogger or photographer, taking your DSLR or point and shoot camera on a trip is imperative! Even when we are traveling long distance and check a bag, we never want to check anything with substantial value and our camera certainly falls into this category.

Discussion on Sunday led to us speaking about how travelers and tourists are shifting from using cameras to the use of smartphone technology and the built in cameras. Heather admitted to being guilty of using her iPhone 5 to take pictures and I have to say that smartphone cameras are developing and rapidly bridging the gap with regular cameras. However, this still does not take away from the fact that a smartphone does not have the same capabilities as an expensive DSLR or even point and shoot camera.



An iPad is great for most things but I am still not convinced that it can replace a laptop for many important business needs or travel blogging necessities. When writing blog posts or drafts, I still prefer using the web browser (if Internet connectivity is available) or Microsoft Word to put together my posts for our site. I recently purchased a 11″ MacBook Air and feel that this is the perfect travel companion for a laptop given it’s sleek size, lightweight nature and featuring the new Haswell processor has great battery life! What more could a travel blogger right?



Prior to boarding the plane, we usually like to grab a bottle of water or soda so that we can keep hydrated rather than having to wait for the in-flight service. For the most part, drinks on the plane are sufficient but it is always nice to have an extra bottle handy in case of emergencies (if you need to take some last minute medication such as sleeping pills) or to re-hydrate after back to back connections.



If you are using either your iPad, Laptop or other device to listen to music or watch a movie, the likelihood is that you will need a good pair of headphones. Most airlines will provide a free pair especially if you are a traveling overseas but the quality of these, if you are flying economy, is not particularly good. I have tried the ‘over the ear’ headphones and have never been a big fan of these!

Heather continues to ask me if I think she should buy a pair of Beats but I personally prefer the in-ear options and I have a couple of pairs that I am comfortable with. Koss and Sony are two brands that I have used recently that I am happy with but there are various out there that can suit your needs. Everyone is different and we all have our own personal preferences.

There you have my list of the Top 5 In-Flight Necessities. I am sure that if Heather put together her list, from a female perspective they would be very different as will all of your responses but I think that these give a good indication as to where many of us are heading with the advancement in technology.

What are your in-flight necessities?

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Chris Boothman
Chris Boothman is the co-founder of A Brit and A Southerner. Born near Manchester, England, Chris moved to USA in 2006 where he soon after met his wife and travel partner in crime, Heather. They have since embarked on an amazing journey of travel as they challenge others to follow in their paths of working full-time but also being able to travel frequently! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Chris at [email protected]


  1. I see you’ve fully converted from “not an Apple or Mac user” to owning multiple Apple products. I don’t think it’s physically possible to have just one Apple product. You either don’t “believe in Apple” or hoard Apple products like there’s no tomorrow. 😀

    • Yes, I have to admit that we are now both Apple users! Heather was the first to transfer over and up until recently I have always been a Microsoft guy especially with laptops and desktops. I still prefer Windows for the operating system probably because my knowledge of that OS is higher than a Mac currently.

      We own 2 iPhone 5’s, 2 iPad’s and a MacBook Air so I guess you could say that we are now fully fledged Apple users!

      Are you Apple or other user?

  2. While going in a flight I always use to download some new sons to listen. I also use to carry a journal and some magazines. Never forget to take a camera with you. Choosing the right bag when you are going in a flight is very essential as you will be carrying all your necessary items in that. The bag should be big enough that you can store all the items in it. You can have travelling essentials, lotion, creams and other items in your bag. The bag should be stylish and should have appropriate space. There are various online stores from where one can buy bags at low costs. Special discounts are also available on occasions.


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