Looking for travel advice: the long flight

In January I survived a nine and a half hour flight.  It was more difficult than I thought it would be.  For one, there was no in-seat entertainment.  I think it’s been 10 years since I’ve been on a trans-Atlantic flight without personal video screens.  I wasn’t impressed.  Second, I was traveling with a young child who would have been very content watching whatever was flickering in-front of him.  Instead I read the same three books to him ad nauseam.    It wasn’t terrible, but I wouldn’t chalk it up as the best way to spend nine and a half hours.

In April, en route to Afghanistan, I’m facing a 14 hour, commercial flight.  This will be the longest flight I’ve ever been on.  I’ve been looking for some travel tips and have come up with a standard lists consisting of:

  • drink water
  • bring an e-reader
  • wear warm socks & comfortable clothes
  • consider an eye mask & ear plugs
First Class sleeper

On a Public TV budget this isn't an option (Photo British Airways)

I could check out what the likes of Rick Steves and Rudy Maxa say, these PBS travel experts would never lead me astray, would they?  I’m more interested in what you’ve learned.  What would you never leave home without again?  What has helped you get through the drudgery of a long flight?