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Carry-On Essentials for Long-Haul Flights (That You Probably Don’t Pack, but Should)

Carry-On Essentials for Long-Haul Flights (That You Probably Don't Pack, but Should)

We all know the typical things that most people carry-on a flight with them. Neck pillow, some form of entertainment (smartphone, tablet, etc.), eye mask, yadda yadda yadda. However, I’m going to share with you a few carry-on essentials that you may not have ever considered, especially for long-haul flights. They’ll make your long flight just a little more comfortable and have you a little more prepared.


Water Bottle

Carry-On Essentials for Long-Haul Flights (That You Probably Don't Pack, but Should)It is so important to stay hydrated during flights. It helps prevent dehydration and helps fight against jetlag. Instead of the tiny cups provided in flight, bring a refillable water bottle and have the flight attendant fill it for you. Also, if you’re anything like me and anything less than freezing cold water is unacceptable, then a reusable, insulated, water bottle is the way to go. My favorite insulated bottle is the Klean Kanteen water bottle. It will keep your drinks cold for 50 hours, or if you have a hot beverage it will keep it hot for 20 hours.



Wet聽wipes shouldn’t be just a carry-on essential, but an everyday life essential. They are multi-purposeful and great for literally EVERYTHING! On flights I use them to freshen up; everything from my face to the “land down under”.

Panty Liners

Speaking of freshening up, ladies this one’s for you. Long haul flights, mean long periods of time with no shower. There’s nothing that makes me feel not so fresh and so clean clean聽 like being stuck in an encapsulated tube for 18 hours. To stay fresh I always bring, and wear, panty liners that I can change on long haul flights. Remember those baby wipes I was just talking about? Put those to use! It’s not a shower, but it’s enough to hold you over.

Compression Socks

Air pressure affects everyone differently. Me? My feet and ankles swell up like Professor Klump, on the Nutty Professor, to the point where I can barely get my shoes on, if at all. This is caused by lack of circulation from sitting too long. Once I found out about how serious this could be (the formation of blood clots) I’ve taken measures to minimize the risks and you should too! Compression socks are a must have for long-haul flights. They help reduce the risk of blood clots and keep the swelling down.


Extra Change of Clothes

This is also a must. Anything could happen. A spilled drink, lost or delayed luggage, you just never know. So, always always bring an extra set of clothes with you just in case. Also, make sure it’s something you would be comfortable wearing out to a restaurant or event. Again, just in case.

Incipio Battery Case

It’s 2017. You’d think all flights were equipped with charging portals for your devices, but they’re not. It’s easy to drain your battery watching movies, reading books, or playing Candy Crush or whatever the new addictive game craze is at the moment. Nothing is worse than getting to your destination with no battery life. So, be sure to bring along a back up battery to charge up before getting to your destination. My recommendation, the Incipio OffGrid Express battery case. This thing is a Godsend! There’s no muss and fuss with annoying cords and an extra pack you have to carry around. You simply just slide your phone into the case and you’re good to go. The battery case gives you an additional 14 hours of talk time.


Pack of Kleenex

Ok, so I’m like that little old lady that always carries around Kleenex and tissue. But, they always come in handy, for both you and possibly a sneezy and snotty neighbor. Having Kleenex on hand may save you a trip to the bathroom, and the hassle of having to crawl over your seat mates if you have the window seat.


I love these because they are small, yet powerful. I always bring a travel toothbrush and toothpaste onboard, but the next best thing are wisps. Nobody wants funky morning, evening, or night breath on a long-haul flight. Brush away that gross film on your teeth and leave your breath minty fresh. The great thing about these little do-dads is they don’t require water to use them!

Backup Documents

This is so important! Always keep a copy of backup docs (i.e. passport, travel insurance, visa, etc) in case anything goes array. Never EVER pack them in your checked luggage. If you are traveling internationally, here is a checklist of documents and things you should do before traveling.

Ballerina Slippers

Again ladies, this one’s for you. Long-haul flights are, well…long. You may as well make yourself as comfortable as possible, because you’re gonna be there a while. I typically wear slide ons when flying, something that’s easy to get on and off; however, even those get uncomfortable after a while. So, I’ve started bringing a pair of ballerina slippers onboard with me. They’re not exactly fashion-forward, but they’re super comfy and take up essentially no space in my bag, so I rock the heck out of my ballerina slippers. Get you a pair. You’ll thank me later.


Of course you should always bring any prescription meds with you, but here are some others to consider. Dramamine is good for nausea or motion sickness. Also, my biggest fear is having an upset stomach on a flight. Can you imagine a 10 hour flight with a bout of the bubble guts? *inserts distraught-face emoji* Given this, I’m always extremely cognizant of the things I eat the day before a flight, and always bring along immodium just in case. Other meds I have in my emergency kit includes: Ibeuprofen, Tums, and Zzzquil.

So, what do you think? Do you carry any of these items onboard with you? Would you consider it, if not? I want to hear your thoughts and suggestions for other carry-on essentials. Leave a comment below.

Carry-On Essentials for Long-Haul Flights (That You Probably Don't Pack, but Should)

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  • Rhiannon

    These are really helpful tips! Long haul flights suck (15 hours from Australia to LAX – ew!) so staying somewhat comfortable is super important. Great post, super helpful! 馃檪

    April 29, 2017 at 10:57 am Reply
  • Antonia Uri

    Helpful post with a lot of things I had never thought of before, thanks for sharing!

    April 29, 2017 at 10:59 am Reply
  • Paulina

    These are some useful tips! I will definitely come back to this one before my next flight

    April 29, 2017 at 11:06 am Reply
  • Telma | Blank Canvas Voyage

    Hi Colby!

    I didn’t know there was such a thing as “compression socks”! hahah Definitely worth a try, long flights are awful, at the end every part of our bodies hurts!
    I never travel without a hoodie, eye mask and ear plugs!

    Telma @ Blank Canvas Voyage

    April 29, 2017 at 11:16 am Reply
  • Harmony, Momma To Go

    These are great tips! Love the panty liner trick!

    April 29, 2017 at 11:40 am Reply
  • Rashmi and Chalukya

    This is a great list. I had never thought about an extra pair of clothes and the ballerinas they do make a great deal when in need. Keeping oneself hydrated and handy medications are also amongst the important things to remember.

    April 29, 2017 at 12:02 pm Reply
  • Sara

    Ah those wet wipes are a good idea. Something I never thought of, to be honest. I made a list like this too. Great list!

    April 29, 2017 at 12:13 pm Reply
  • Kristine Li

    I would never have thought of compression socks but this long flight coming up soon, I’m definitely trying! Medication is a must for me now too ever since I suffered big time from gastric pain while flying to Sydney. Ballerina flats sounds like a good idea.. hmm. Thanks for the list!

    April 29, 2017 at 12:43 pm Reply
  • Jean

    Oh I swear by the wet whipes too!!! It’s not a shower but it’s nice not looking dead at the other end.

    April 29, 2017 at 1:04 pm Reply
  • Danielle

    Wet ones!!! I just recently traveled to Malaysia and they were a literal lifesaver. Love this!

    April 29, 2017 at 1:27 pm Reply
  • Erika Estrada

    Great tips! I never thought about the change of clothes idea, but that’s a very good point! Definitely doing that for my next long haul trip.

    April 29, 2017 at 2:41 pm Reply
  • Paulina Grabara-Kr贸l

    so cool list! thanks for writing the article as the things seems to be obvious but I always forget something!

    April 29, 2017 at 2:59 pm Reply
  • Paulina Grabara-Kr贸l

    thanks for writing the article as the things seems to be obvious but I always forget something!

    April 29, 2017 at 3:01 pm Reply
  • Emily Bloor

    Thanks for sharing! Some great tips here. I’ve never heard of Wisps but they sound perfect for long hauls!

    April 29, 2017 at 3:17 pm Reply
  • Bri

    I would have never thought to bring wet wipes but that’s genius! I have my first long haul flight coming up at the end of July – 12 hours from the US to London via Amsterdam. Bookmarking this! 馃檪

    April 29, 2017 at 4:17 pm Reply
  • Ali

    Totally agree with these! And I’m all about the tissues, for flying or any other form of travel really. You just never know when you’ll need to use them as toilet paper. You wouldn’t expect the toilet on the plane to not have toilet paper, but it happens. So if I’m going to the bathroom anytime from mid-flight towards the end, those tissues are coming with me. Great list!

    April 29, 2017 at 4:32 pm Reply
  • Sapna

    Good tips, most of these I follow but Compression socks is something I never thought of. Thanks for sharing.

    April 29, 2017 at 5:40 pm Reply
  • Teresa

    Ballerina slippers! What a great idea! I think I might just invest in a pair 馃檪

    April 29, 2017 at 9:47 pm Reply
  • Punita Malhotra

    You have got me thinking. I don’t carry most of these, but now I’m wondering why it never struck me before to be better equipped while travelling. It means a slightly bigger carry-on bag but at least I’ll be more comfortable.

    April 30, 2017 at 5:31 am Reply
  • Bhusha

    A phone case with battery?! That’s interesting. Btw, yeah, I always carry the waterbottle. I drink it up before security and refill it afterwards. I carry all in this list in my carry-on except the compression socks (I take a powerbank instead of that battery case)!

    April 30, 2017 at 7:51 am Reply
  • Stella

    These are great tips! I’ll be flying to New Zealand later this year, so that will be a long haul flight. Like you, my feet swell up when I am traveling, so I definitely need compression socks. I am also like an old lady with always having Kleenex with me too!

    April 30, 2017 at 6:30 pm Reply
  • Ana Ojha

    Great tips! I always keep two power banks for an emergency. I also pack protein bars for munching as I don’t like over-priced unhealthy airport food!

    May 1, 2017 at 12:48 am Reply
  • Sabrina

    Great tips! I do most of those already, but hadn’t thought about the ballerina slipper yet. Thanks!

    May 1, 2017 at 11:01 am Reply
  • Indrani

    First of all it always helps to prepare a list like this. I might as well save it up. 馃檪
    Very thoughtfully prepared.

    May 1, 2017 at 11:11 am Reply
  • Jodie

    Great practical post and oh so true! Still a few of these that I need to get into my packing routine to get more comfortable (or clean!)

    May 1, 2017 at 12:41 pm Reply
  • Tatum Skipper

    I was just about to write a post about this and only had one of yours haha! I love having a water bottle with me at all times. It saves you so much money not paying for it! Compression socks definitely help on long flights and wisps are amazing!! I have never thought to bring little slippers but I am obsessed with them so that’s perfect!! Great list!!

    May 1, 2017 at 2:51 pm Reply
  • Gokul Raj

    I take a pack of gums as well….for dealing with ear popping. I totally hate it when it happens 馃槢

    May 1, 2017 at 4:51 pm Reply
  • Lana

    I had my first long haul flight last year, and I had all these things with me 馃槈 Even a pair of comfortable shoes because I read another blog article where the author recommended ballerina slippers and even said where she buys them 馃榾

    May 1, 2017 at 4:52 pm Reply
  • Ryan Biddulph

    Excellent Colby. Timely too. We are flying from Chiang Mai to NYC in 2 days. I dress in shorts and T-shirt, then layer with sweatshirts. Protects me from the cold and the hot in case the plane climate is a bit all over the place.


    May 3, 2017 at 3:10 am Reply
  • Suruchi

    A great post. I do carry some of the stuff but never thought about the compression socks and wisps. After reading their advantages, I will be adding them to my list too. Thanks for sharing.

    May 3, 2017 at 11:59 am Reply
  • Rosemarie A. Greenwald

    Incipio is out-of-stock on type I need for my iPhone. Who else has this product? I do carryon the other items, though.

    September 5, 2017 at 10:26 pm Reply

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