For my very first long haul flight to Istanbul, I missed carrying so many long haul flight essentials in my carry on that I only realized how useful they are when it was too late and I couldn’t do anything about it. But for my second flight, I had learned a lesson, I referred to my previous flight to make sure that I packed all the flight essentials in my carry on. So since I am now aware of what’s needed, I’m sharing a list of the carry on essentials for long haul flights, that you shouldn’t forget to pack.
But before we look at the carry on packing list, you need to know the carry on rules in regards to how many ounces you can take on a plane to what you can’t bring on a plane. Hand luggage rules differ from airline to airline, so before you pack your carry on bag, read the specific carry on luggage rules of the airline to determine what to bring on a plane. You should also check to find out whether all the items are TSA approved. Here is a list of all the TSA approved items that you can refer to.

Essentials for long haul flights

Long flight essentials to keep you refreshed

Baby wipes.

Who doesn’t get those puffy eyes after a long flight? If you don’t, then you’re so lucky. To give my face a refresh, and my body a quick “dry wash” after a long tiring flight, I use baby wipes and they always do the magic. I use these ones to look fresh before I step out into a new destination. It’s like my good luck charm that prepares me to have an amazing start of the trip.

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Lip Balm.

If you’ve not yet noticed that the air in a plane is as dry as that of Botswana (maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit but you get the point), you need to pay attention on your next flight. So to keep your lips from drying up just because you’re on a plane, grab this lip balm. It is exactly what I use and if it worked wonders in the dry air of Chobe National park, then it will be even better on a plane.

Collapsible water bottle

I know what you’re thinking, yes they provide water in the cabin but you don’t want to be that one person that calls a flight attendant every 30 minutes for water. Why not just pack a collapsible empty water bottle and ask the attendants to fill it up for you. So if you chug down the tiny disposable cups of water that they give in the plane in just a split second like me, then this Nomander collapsible water bottle should be one of the essentials for long haul flights to pack. The advantage of this bottle is that you can just roll it up and put it in your carry on without taking much space in your bag and it is absolutely leakproof. And remember staying hydrated is one of the tips to surviving that long haul flight.

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Chewing gum

Chewing gum never misses in my carry on while going for a long flight. It’s not only good for the ears at take-off or landing, but it’s also perfect to keep your breath fresh. There is no shame in that, a long flight is likely to change your breath for the worst but this fresh mint chewing gum will switch things around for the better but if you prefer your gum sugar free, buy these instead. So if you thought gum is not one of the long haul travel essentials, I hope I changed your mind.

Essentials for a long haul flight to keep you comfortable

Sleeping mask

If you’re that person that can easily be awakened by airplane lights or even spot shadows of people moving along the aisle while you sleep (Is that really a thing?), then you need to get a sleeping mask. And not just any eye mask, but this soft silk eye mask that blocks out all the light yet staying gentle and soft on your eyes.

I am not really an eye mask person because I can literally sleep anywhere with any amount of light but I don’t know what happens when I am on a plane. I literally go under the cover (all head in) to block out the light and if that doesn’t work, then this eye mask comes to my rescue.

A scarf

Even when planes offer a blanket or a scarf, they’re always light and I never find them enough for me because the plane can get really cold. So I carry my own scarf to compliment what they provide. This scarf is warm enough but still lightweight to provide that extra warmth within the plane.

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Travel pillow

I have to admit I don’t own a travel pillow because I always feel like it’s gonna take a lot of space in my carry on yet I like to pack light and I don’t like the idea of carrying it outside my bag. So I was still making my neck suffer while flying but recently a friend of mine recommended this amazing travel pillow which I am yet to try out. It is lightweight so it can easily fit in any carry-on and it also comes with a free pair of earplugs plus a sleeping mask.

Compression socks

If you’ve ever flown for over 12 hours you know keeping your shoes on is the most uncomfortable thing you’ll ever do on a place. Since I didn’t know this tip on my first long haul flight, I secretly judged people who took off their shoes – don’t judge me too, I grew up knowing that taking off your shoes in public is a sign of disrespect and here I was seeing people do it- it turns out its the most comfortable thing to do on a plane.

It’s not just about taking off your shoes, but when you do, wear good quality compression socks for utmost comfort. These socks are thick, comfortable and will keep your feet dry during the entire flight.

Earplugs

Block out the noise from the plane, crying babies or even loud neighbors by using earplugs to have a really nice sleep. There are a ton of sleeping earplugs but not all are great especially for people with sensitive ears. I recommend buying these ones as they don’t just block out the noise from your surroundings but are also gentle to your inner ears.

Wear comfortable clothes

I normally see questions like “What to wear on a long haul flight?” Easy answer, wear comfortable clothes. There is no better way of staying comfortable on a long flight than wearing comfortable clothes. Our definition of comfortable might differ slightly but I am sure it doesn’t mean 6-inch heels or a really tight and unbreathable pair of jeans. I like to wear clothes that can easily stretch while on a plane. I don’t rule out jeans as long as they’re a bit buggy, leggings or yoga pants are even perfect- and you can’t go wrong with these sweat pants. So any of those clothes should give you utmost comfort while on a long haul flight.

Carry on essentials for long flights to keep you entertained

Kindle reader

If you’re wondering what to take on a long haul flight for entertainment, then a kindle should be first on your list. I have to admit that my first option on a long flight is to watch movies but after 2 or 3, my eyes can barely squinch because of the screen light. And when this happens, I switch to reading and this kindle E-reader saves me from boredom. Don’t have a kindle? Go the traditional way of reading by carrying your favorite book.

Noise cancelation earphones

Sometimes the surroundings might just get annoyingly noisy that the headphones/earphones the airlines provide just can’t let you hear everything when watching your favorite movie. Instead of ruining your flight by getting mad at people, just pull out your noise cancelation earphones. These earphones are perfect as they cancel out almost all the noise creating a whole new environment for you. Prefer something bigger, then grab these headphones instead.

Download some cool games.

If you’re obsessed with games like someone I know, then download some great games on your phone before you get on the plane to keep yourself entertained.

Travel gadgets to add to your carry on packing list

A phone: Duh!! But you already know that! My phone literally goes where I go! If my phone is not there, chances are high I am not there.

A USB cable: Playing games or editing photos on your phone will definitely run out your battery. But luckily for you, some planes have a USB port to charge from. Don’t forget your USB cable as it is one of the hand luggage essentials.

Travel wallet: Stay organized by keeping all your important documents in a travel wallet. This travel wallet is perfect as it is sizeable and has multiple compartments to keep everything in order.

I hope you now know the carry on essentials for long haul flights that you shouldn’t leave behind. Are there other long flight essentials that you take but aren’t included here? Share those amazing tips with me in the comment section. Are there some that you find unnecessary, still do let me know.

Still looking for more travel tips to plan your trip easily? Check out these posts

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