Preparing for your next adventure? Check out our must-have long-haul flight essentials that will make your next flight as easy and breezy as possible.
International travel is always exciting. The trip planning, the pre-departure anticipation, and the thrill of an escape all add up to a great experience. However, unless you’re flying in business or first class, long-haul flights can be exhausting and uncomfortable.
Learn from our mistakes by bringing along the times we’ve wished we had on past-long haul flights. We want your travels from start to finish to be as pleasant as possible.
Not sure what to pack for your next long haul flight?
23+ Long Haul Flight Essentials
1. A Great Four-wheel Hard Shell Suitcase
A good piece of luggage goes a long way. You’ll get more volume out of this large hard-shell suitcase – and look fabulous while wheeling it around. The hard shell will keep your packed items safe and the four wheels make it easy to handle, whether you’re navigating cobblestone streets or wheeling your way across the tarmac. We’ve loved our Victorinox Lexicon carry-on, not only because it looks great, but because it’s super sturdy (we use it to wheel around our camera gear), and has a spot to insert an extra battery pack when needed.
2. An Electrolyte Travel Supplement
No one wants to get up every 10 mins to go to the bathroom, but at the same time- no one wants to be dehydrated either. Enter electrolyte powder. 1 packet of this can provide the same hydration as drinking 2-3 bottles of water. Maximize your hydration, replenish your body, avoid jet lag! Bonus- these can be used after a bad drinking night as well.
3. Travel Pillow
What better place to take a power nap than on your next long-haul flight? Waking up fresh and relaxed is the best way to feel when you touch down at your next destination. This one is one of our favorites because not only does it provide great neck support so you can avoid any uncomfortable sleeping positions, but is washable, and comes with an eye mask and earplugs.
4. A Reusable Water Bottle
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed on your next long-haul flight, it’s that you’ll get at least a little dehydrated. Fill up a reusable water bottle after you get through security and before you board the plane so you won’t have to constantly ask for a refill of the tiny plastic cups flight attendants pass out. Choose a reusable water bottle like this one from Swell with a sturdy and leak-proof cap so you don’t have to worry about any accidental leaks in your bag.
5. Hand Sanitizer
Do you know how many germs are on an airplane? Actually, you probably don’t want to know. We’ll spare you the gory details but we’ll put it this way: we highly recommend bringing a small bottle of hand sanitizer (or sanitizing wipes) with you and using it liberally on your next flight. Seriously, feel free to go all Naomi Campbell on your next flight. No one is going to judge you!
6. A Travel Wallet
Rather than fumbling with your boarding passes, passport, and credit cards, keep everything organized and ready to go with a travel wallet. Stress less when you need to pull something out of your purse or bag by knowing exactly where everything is located in a travel wallet. And this one has all the pockets, and looks really stylish too!
7. A Mini Hair Brush
Just because you just got off a 15-hour flight doesn’t mean you have to look it. We like to keep a mini travel hairbrush in our bags to smooth out any knots or static. Deboarding a long-haul flight can feel a bit like the life has been sucked out of you, but the same doesn’t have to go for the volume in your hair. This one is not only foldable, but packs really small and works for wet and dry hair.
8. Cosmetic Case for Beauty Bits
Keep all your beauty and skincare items in one place so you can freshen up whenever you want on your next long-haul flight. We love this cosmetic case from Love and Lore to store all our beauty essentials. This cosmetic case is small enough to fit into your purse but large enough to store what you’ll need to feel fresh and give yourself a little bit of pampering next time you fly. Bonus- it’s clear so TSA friendly!
Next up on our list of long-haul flight essentials is something that will keep you entertained for hours on end. While most long-haul flights offer in-flight service in the form of a variety of movies and TV shows to watch, play it safe by bringing along your own version of entertainment. Whether it’s a book, a Kindle or an iPad with your favorite Netflix shows downloaded, keep yourself busy by having something to read or watch.
10. A Portable Charger
Despite the fact that most of us now travel with more electronic devices than we usually need (Hello, smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, laptop, Bluetooth headphones, and more!), not every airline provides a USB port to charge your devices in-flight. Is there anything worse than getting stuck on a transatlantic flight with a dead phone and no way to charge it? Probably, but it’s still a bummer.
Avoid dead devices by bringing along a portable battery charger that can keep your spirits and devices alive. We’ve used Anker products for a few years and love them. This one is 1000mAh which means that it will charge a phone between 2-4 times.
11. Blanket Scarf
We heart a good blanket scarf simply for the never-ending ways you can use it on a long-haul flight. Planes are often cold, so use it as a blanket to keep yourself warm. Or, roll it up into a pillow for your neck. Blanket scarfs are always great because you can wear them onto the plane so they don’t count as one of your carry-on items and then you can stuff it back into your bag once it’s time to get off the flight. We’ve owned this one for a while, and can’t say enough good things about it!
12. A Hydrating Lip Balm
You already know that long flights can be extremely dehydrating, and that goes for your lips as well. Avoid cracked and dry lips by bringing along lip balm to keep your lips and skin hydrated. We’ve tried more lip balms than we care to admit, but this one has been one of our favorite long haul travel accessories.
13. Chewing Gum
Chewing gum on long-haul flights can serve two purposes:
- Avoiding bad plane breath by chewing on minty and refreshing gum and
- The chewing can help to alleviate pain built up in your ears and can help you equalize any pressure you may experience from the rising altitude.
14. Toothbrush and Toothpaste
If you really want to stay on top of your game and avoid any possibility of bad breath (it happens to all of us!), pack your toothbrush and toothpaste so you can brush your teeth before or after sleeping on the plane. You’ll feel a million times better if you’re able to do this because nobody likes waking up with morning breath in an enclosed space surrounded by other passengers.
This kit has everything you need- toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash.
15. Noise-canceling Headphones
We’ve all had an experience where we’ve been stuck on a long-haul flight next to someone who doesn’t think it’s an issue to play games on their phone at full volume or a couple of passengers who won’t stop talking. Cut out the background noise with a pair of noise-canceling headphones. We have a pair on-ear and in-ear ones and love them. The on-ear ones are Bluetooth so you are dependent on battery life, but the in-ear ones are great for all other times- including being able to plug them in to watch movies on the flight. We recommend traveling with both. Your ears – and sanity – will thank you later.
16. *TSA-Approved Luggage Locks
Rest easy knowing your luggage is safe with this TSA-approved card lock. These locks fit with luggage of all sizes and can be opened by security authorities for inspection without damage.
17. Compressions Socks
These socks are our secret weapons to not having swollen feet after sitting on a long haul flight. Not only are they comfortable and help your feet hit the ground running when you land, but they keep you warm as well since most flights are known to be a flying icebox.
18. First-aid Kit
Hopefully, you won’t need it, but it’s better to play it safe by bringing along a first-aid emergency kit. Bandaids, gauze, cotton swabs, and disinfectant cream are all good things to have with you when you’re stuck on a long flight. Chances are the flight crew will have some of these things but better to be safe than sorry! This one is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and has everything that you might need.
19. A Pen
Yes, this seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget to pack one and end up awkwardly looking around when it comes time to fill out their immigration forms. This should be on every long haul flight essentials list!
This is more for the people sitting around you. No one wants to have to sit next to someone who smells for an entire flight. We recommend this natural one. Not only is it better for your body, but it also works great!
21. Eye Drops
Long haul flights are notorious for drying out everything- including your eyes. Pack a bottle of your favorite drops so you don’t have red eyes, and don’t look like you were drinking on the plane.
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than having to wear your contacts while trying to sleep on a plane. The air is dry which will cause your contacts to dry out, too. In hindsight, this should be one of the first long haul flight essentials tips we have! Save yourself the hassle and wear your glasses before boarding.
23. A Jewelry Organizer
We believe there’s no such thing as too many options when it comes to accessories. Keep your jewelry tangle-free and safe with this luxe velour jewelry organizer. Perfect for storing all of the accessories you’ll need on your trip, you’ll have five separate clear zippered compartments. Bring all the earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces your heart desires!
4 Tips to Make Your Long-Haul Flight More Comfortable
- Wear the right things. Seriously. I know this sounds like a basic thing, but comfy clothes are the number one way to make sitting for a long time a bit less annoying. We personally prefer either dressy (but comfy) leggings and a cute top, or a really comfortable maxi dress so you look put together when you land as well. While we know that some people are ok changing on the airplane or when they land, it’s just not the cleanest environment to do that in.
- Learn where the lounges are. And then find out if you have access to any of them with your credit or if getting Priority Pass or just plain old paying for the lounge makes sense. One of the reasons we love lounges is for the comfort they provide during long layovers. Not only do they normally have good food, but some of the nicer ones either have nice sofas to rest on, or if you’re lucky and happen to be in a hub, they might also have showers.
- Be mindful of the people around you and don’t wear really strong perfumes or bring on foods with strong aromas. There’s a small chance that people around you might not be feeling the best when flying and strong scents tend to make them feel worse.
- Download all the right apps. We love the following ones:
- Hotel Tonight: Great if you have a long layover and want to book a hotel quickly (use code FANWAR13 to get 20% off)
- Gate Guru: Keeps track of your gate (incase it changes on you)!
- Trip-it: Keeps all your travel docs and itineraries in one place.
- Lounge Buddy: Helps find the lounges that you have access to.
Pack These Necessities Every Time You Get on a Long Flight
These are the long-haul flight essentials we like to make sure to always have in our carry on bags (basically all of our favoUrite travel accessories) before we board for takeoff. We hope you found this list useful in packing your own long-haul flight carry on essentials bag because being prepared is the best long haul flight travel tip we can give you.
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