When you fly somewhere, the two things you HAVE to make sure you put in your carry-on are any medications you need, and a change of clothes in case your luggage gets lost. I'd also like to add your cell phone charger, but here's one more thing you might want to toss in there . . .
Here's why . . . and anyone with a bad back might already know the answer . . .
A tennis ball is really good for giving yourself a massage when you're sitting down. Which is important, because all that sitting wreaks havoc on your back, and your leg muscles.
Even if you don't have a bad back, it's a good idea because it increases blood flow, which can help with jet lag. Plus it's small, so it's easy to fit in your bag.
Just put it behind your back . . . lean on it . . . and roll it back and forth. Or you can massage yourself by rolling it across your shoulders, legs, and feet. You should also still get up and stretch if it's a long flight.
If you DON'T bring a tennis ball, you can still give yourself a quick leg massage. A lot of people's legs swell up when they fly. So start at your ankles and work your way up to your knees.