Traveling on a long-haul flight is never easy. There is a certain limit for me when it comes to plane travel. Anything over 5-hours spent sitting on a flight is just bad news. If you’re anything like me, you will likely find yourself getting irritated, cranky, and will start wondering to yourself, why did I ever sign up for this? Thankfully, things have gotten easier over time. With enough preparation, you too can step confidently onto the worlds longest budget airline flight. Yes, we were really crazy enough to try! These travel must haves for long flights should absolutely be in your carry on bag next time you head to the airport.
Eye Mask (and Earplugs)
The first item on this list is a trusty eye mask. Sleeping on an airplane is never easy and most people will need all the help they can get. An eye mask can help block cabin lights and keep you from waking up when your neighbor turns on their reading light. Many people also pack earplugs in their carry-on luggage. They can really improve your quality of sleep and help you wake up feeling refreshed and well rested. This was the first thing we bought when we decided to spend 2018 – 2019 traveling the world.
These earphones are great for listening to music or movies when on a plane. Don’t be the guy blasting music for the whole plane to hear. I don’t enjoy using earplugs when I travel – or ever. I like to leave my earphones in while I sleep since they cancel out a good amount of noise from the people around me.
If you’re like most people, you use your phone a lot on flights. The worst thing that could happen is to see the low-power notice pop up with a few hours left before you land. A good powerbank is a necessity if you want to keep your phone and small electronics running on a full charge.
Soft, comfortable socks are a must-have when taking a long flight. The first thing you should do is take off your shoes and get comfortable. By the time you are on the plane your feet and socks will likely be a sweaty mess and in need of refreshment. Some thick soft socks will make your feet feel great and refreshed while on a long flight.
Blanket / Jacket / Scarf
Let’s face it, airplanes are cold. And many airlines, especially budget companies, don’t include a blanket on the flight. It’s much better to take care of yourself and bring some carry-on comfort. I typically wrap up with a nice hoodie since the hood can be pulled over your face while you sleep for some extra privacy. A scarf or small blanket would also be good options for keeping warm on the flight.
This is possibly the most important of the travel must haves for long flights. Airplane cabins are very dry – and your body will notice. A good stick of lip balm will do a great job of keeping your lips hydrated while you’re in the air. My personal favorite is the brand Carmex, although the brand you use is really up to you!
Book / Reading Material
Some non-electronic entertainment is key to having a great flight. I always pack a new book before heading to the airport. It’s sometimes hard to find time to read when life gets busy. Use the time spent on the flight to your advantage and make some progress on a new book! I prefer a physical book to an e-reader as it’s one less battery to worry about.
An Empty Water Bottle
You can’t take water or liquids through security – but don’t let that stop you from bringing a bottle! Once you get through security you can head to a water fountain and fill up on water for the flight. Staying hydrated isn’t easy, so take as much water as you can onboard. A reusable bottle is a good way to take care of hydration and be environmentally friendly as well.
A list on what to pack for a long haul flight wouldn’t be complete without mentioning snacks! Trail mix, chocolate, and crackers all make great snacks on a plane. I’d recommend against bringing potato chips, however. The bags will pop in the pressurized cabin – creating a very embarrassing situation. If you do bring chips of the plane make sure to cut a small hole in the bag first!
Toothbrush + Toothpaste
This is a must-have if you want to freshen up during your flight. A quick brush after a meal and before you land will keep you feeling fresh and ready to go when you land. It’s also amazing to have with you during a layover. There’s nothing better than freshening up in an airport bathroom when you’re stuck with a lengthy layover.
A black pen is an essential carry on item. However, I think this is the one thing that people forget the most. Many countries require visitors to fill out forms prior to arrival. Having a pen lets you fill out all the necessary forms and move easily through immigration, and will instantly make you best friends the people seated around you on the flight!
These are our recommendations for travel must haves for long flights. Tell us what you think, how many of these do you bring with you when you fly?
Is there anything that you never fly without?