Yes flights are exciting because you are heading to a new destination but the reality is that flights can also be a major drag. The solution is to make these long trips as comfortable as they can be with these long haul flight essentials.
Not only will these essentials for long haul flights be helpful while you are traveling on a red eye or overseas but they will also be useful for layovers or let’s say bus rides.
Below I have listed all the carry-on essentials for long flights I make sure I have in my bag every time that I travel. These are also carry on essentials for short flights. Basically no matter how long the flight I travel with these essential travel items every time.
You may also want to check out these travel accessories that every traveler should have and the best travel gadgets for backpackers before you plan your next adventure. Here is a list of what to take on long haul flight.
TRAVEL TIP: If you have long layovers and fly often investing in a Priority Pass will be a life savor. With the Priority Pass you have access to over 1300 airport experiences worldwide.
The lounges are quiet, connected spaces to relax or work in, with pre-flight bites, drinks and other added perks that help keep you refreshed and revived.
20 Essentials for Long Flights
*I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post including Amazon that gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to make a purchase. All proceeds go to keep Jess traveling, coffee ☕️ and let's be real...probably wine 🍷. I thank you in advance.
Long Haul Flight Essentials Checklist
Travel Backpack – Nomatic Travel Pack
Of course having the perfect travel pack to carry all your long haul flight essentials is a must. The Nomatic Travel Pack is the best travel pack in my opinion on the market and for so many reasons.
Everything about it was designed with the traveler on the go in mind and the perfect bag to take with you when you are doing the actual act of traveling, like spending all night on an airplane, train, bus or even a 2 day slow boat journey through Laos…well you get the picture..
First it is small enough that it fits under the seat in front of you on the airplane or in the overhead bin. It slides under the seat, doesn’t stick out or intrude in the leg room that you have left.
Second, there is a separate pocket for all of your belongings. This makes it easy to stay organized and grab what you need quickly if need be. The Nomatic travel pack keeps all of my electronics safe, organized and holds an extra outfit and a sweatshirt because we all know how cold it gets in airports and on planes.
Having separate pockets also makes it a breeze going through security, your laptop is kept in a separate pocket where it can be zipped and folded back to easily remove your laptop. You can read my full review on the Nomatic Travel Pack here and why it is one of my top carry on essentials for long flights.
Headphones or Earbuds
Having the proper headphones for a long flight are essential! I absolutely love my recent purchase of the Bose headphones. These headphones are an investment but worth every penny.
A main reason I love these headphones is how comfortable they are around my ears. My ears tend to hurt when I wear most headphones but not with the Bose.
Second, they completely cancel out all the noise around you. This makes it easy to drown out the crying baby in the back or the person snoring on your shoulder in the seat next to you. Okay let’s hope that is not the case but at least you know that you have the Bose headphones on your side.
They come in several different colors and have a built in Alexa to easily change music on voice command. Plus they are easy to travel with as when you’re not using them you just keep them around your neck. Do yourself a favor and put these headphones on your Christmas list because these are the best travel accessories for long flights.
Cleansing Toilettes/ Face Wipes
Cleansing toilettes or face wipes are a must and an essential on a long haul flight. The air on an airplane is circulated which dries your skin out. One way to avoid this is by wearing a mask but if you don’t have the money a quick solution is traveling with face wipes. The face wipes quickly cool your face, arms or anything else that needs cooling.
They also double as a napkin in a bind. Hello whoops I accidentally spilled ketchup on my pants.
And most importantly, the face wipes can quickly remove the mascara that has accumulated under your eyes after a rough night of sleeping on the airplane. These are a low maintenance beauty essentials for long haul flights.
One of the top things to take on a long flight is a pashmina. The uses of a pashmina are endless. I always carry one with me when I travel, whether its on a plane, a bus, a boat, a train…well you get the idea. You never know when you will need to use it as a blanket. I always get so cold on airplanes or in airports and it also doubles as a pillow.
I will never forget one of the worst bus rides overnight through Myanmar, I was so cold my whole entire body was sore from shivering all night. It was from this day forward that I vowed to never travel without a pashmina again.
Ever get off a long haul flight and your ankles are the size of your calves, creating the infamous cankle? This portable airplane footrest is the solution to your problem. These long haul flight essentials are easy to use, just unroll and snap it around the seat in front of you or over your tray table. This can also be used on a train, bus or at a table.
The travel footrest relieves fatigue and can reduce lower back pain, stiffness and leg swelling that occurs during long flights. The lightweight and compact design folds up easily and to fit into your carry-on luggage. This travel product makes a wonderful gift for the whole family especially the travel lovers in your life.
Compression socks are an effective way to promote better circulation and to eliminate stress and fatigue. Compression socks provide more pressure to your legs which enhance blood flow thus reducing pain and swelling. Not only do compression socks provide support they also keep your feet warm on an airplane where I always seem to freeze.
I always keep a pair in my carry-on bag. These compression socks come in a value pack and have several different stylish patterns to choose from.
My feet always get cold, yes even in Hawaii so it is imperative that I always have a pair of socks with me when I travel and you should too, you’ll thank yourself later.
Travel can be tedious and at times very time consuming. A Kindle E-Reader are perfect travel accessories to help pass the time and makes it possible to travel with multiple different books and magazines.
This Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader comes with up to 32 GB of storage and is waterproof. This makes it easy to read while you’re lets say on the beach in Maui or laying by the pool. There is a built in light so you can read day or night, indoors or out. The best part is the battery life as lasts for weeks off of only one charge.
There are multiple different colors to choose from including black, blue, plum and sage making it possible to match your travel gear. Bonus buy some sleeve covers to have more stylish options. These make great stocking stuffers.
Inflatable Neck Pillow
Trying to fall asleep on an airplane can be uncomfortable and not being able to sleep can make for a terrible flight. This inflatable neck pillow is ergonomically designed, perfect for both long hauls and shorter flights. The pillow is meant to reduce neck stiffness, fatigue and promote proper spine alignment.
It’s compact and easy to travel with. There is an air release valve that you push down until you get desired stiffness so no mouth blowing necessary. This item is suitable for both children and adults. Get ready to have a peaceful nights sleep on an airplane!
Collapsible Water Bottle
The Nomader collapsible water bottle is the perfect travel companion. It is sturdy and comfortable to drink from, rolls up for compact travel and can easily attach to your bag for easy access. It has a sealing twist cap the eliminates leaks and spills.
It’s flexible, shatter proof, has a wide mouth easy for cleaning and has a durable carry strap. It’s dishwasher safe, freezable and can hold hot or cold drinks. Fill up the water bottle once you get pass security.
Okay snacks are probably thee most essential long haul flight item because no one wants to be hangry. Now a days since the awful pandemic showed its face, snacks on airplanes are much limited than they were before.
Do yourself a favor and stock your bag full of healthy and not so healthy snacks. A few of my favorite go to’s are cliff bars, trail mix and beef jerky (dental floss required).
Universal Airplane in Flight Mount
This is a great travel accessory if you want to watch movies on an airplane or bus but don’t want to hold your phone the entire time. It’s compact and light weight making it easy to take with you anywhere. It comes with a strong clamp being able to mount to the tray table, the arm of a chair or stationary on a desk or table.
This universal airplane in flight mount is compatible with multiple phone styles including the iPhone and Samsung Note. This is the perfect stocking stuffer for the on-the-go traveler.
Power Bank Charger
Having an extra, portable power bank charger is a travel accessory I never leave home without. It’s a safety issue with me, I would never want to find myself in a situation where I needed to call a cab or find an important email but couldn’t because my phone was dead. But in this case it is a long haul flight essential because of how much slower that plane ride would be if your electronic devices that you use for entertainment were dead.
This power bank has lots of battery life, being able to charge multiple phones at once, twice before it would run out of battery life. And its only the size of an iPhone.
Charging Cords Organizer
No more fumbling around for the correct cord or not being able to get to your charging cord because its packed away in your suitcase. Traveling with a charging cords organizing case in your carry on is a convenient way to keep your cords for your entertainment devices organized on the long haul flight.
I’m sure you’re all to familiar with having a gazillion charging cords, I mean you need them for everything now a day’s. I need a separate charging cord for my phone, MacBook, watch, earbuds, GoPro, drone, aresanl… the list could continue but you get the hint. This travel electronics organizing case is waterproof and can hold all your chargers, an external hard drive and possibly a travel speaker!
Keep your cords untangled and organized in a nifty zip up pouch. No more wasting time trying to find the right cord for the right device. These are my favorite type of travel accessories, efficient and organized.
A sleep mask is perfect on sleeping on the plane. The sleep mask is made of memory foam, it’s soft and has wide eyes making possible to blink freely. It’s lightweight and easy to bring with you in your carryon.
Take a sleep aid, throw on your headphones, mask up and let sleep come to you.
Chances are you’ve been drinking coffee or wine or some substance waiting for the inevitable flight to final board or on the flight. Having a travel toothbrush to brush your teeth on the go is crucial.
This travel toothbrush is easy to carry with you, concealable and convenient. Especially for a mid flight brush. This is my favorite go to travel brush and you can buy them in packs, perfect for you and your partner.
Just like your skin, your lips also dry out. Lip balm is a must, I always carry Burt’s Bees lip balm with me anywhere and everywhere I go. The best flavors is Hemp, Vanilla, Pumpkin Spice and Pomegranate.
P.S. Don’t accidentally leave the chapstick tubes in your pocket which get transferred to the dryer…they will ruin all of your clothes. Speaking from experience.
This was always a essential for long haul flights or traveling in general but ever since COVID showed its ugly face a bottle of hand sanitizer is an absolute must. Luckily its convenient to buy a bottle of hand sanitizer that is travel size and you can find it anywhere in the world.
Get this snap on travel hand sanitizer that you can latch to a purse, diaper bag or keychain. It’s there when you always need it.
It’s always nice to be able to get a nice snooze especially on an airplane. Unfortunately its much more difficult to achieve that goal that I’m sure we’d all care for.
Having a sleep aid to assist in this mission is the way to go. I will warn you though, once you start taking a sleep aid on your long haul flights, you won’t ever go back.
I recommend a small dose of Melatonin. It’s non habit forming, all natural and you don’t wake up feeling groggy. You can purchase Melatonin at any health food or vitamin store. Or order one here from Amazon.
Now a days you can’t travel without a face mask, I mean it is 2021 after all, plus the air on airplanes gets circulated. In order to protect yourself and others around you, wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. This keeps your germs contained.
And the positive side, you can now sleep with your mouth open and no one will know!