Essentials for Long-Haul Flights | Must-Carry Items


Last updated on Feb 7th, 2024 by Heena Ganotra

Travelling can be very stressful if you’re flying over a long distance, which is why you need some long flight essentials to make the journey comfortable. That’s especially true if you’re flying in a cramped economy class with small seats and little leg room. We have a list of things to bring on a plane that will make your journey as comfortable as possible. 

What Can You Take on a Flight?

1. Sleeping Essentials

Sleeping on a long flight can be difficult and most people end up only catching a couple of hours. There’s a reason why overnight flights are called red-eye flights, after all. These sleeping essentials can make your life easier:

  • Travel Pillow – Many passengers forget or skip packing travel pillows. However, they are beneficial and will help prevent neck pains and ease the strain on your back. These pillows are small in size, which makes it convenient to carry around. 
  • Sleeping Mask – A sleeping mask will block out light, which can disrupt your sleep. You can grab a nap during daytime or sleep comfortably during the night even if someone switches the lights on. 
  • Ear-plugs – It’s always a great idea to pack earplugs as airplanes can be pretty noisy. People will talk, children will cry, and the movements of passengers will create a lot of disruption. If you want to sleep comfortably, ear-plugs are a blessing.
  • Sleeping Aids – Many travellers simply can’t sleep naturally on the plane and end up staying awake throughout a 15-hour flight. Sleeping aids like teas or even low-dose melatonin pills can help you relax and enjoy a good rest. 

These plane travel essentials can help you avoid the dreaded red eyes and ensure you arrive at the destination without being completely exhausted. 

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2. Entertainment Essentials 

Wondering what to do on a flight? Packing some entertainment essentials will help stop boredom on long-haul flights, especially if you’re travelling alone. Some entertainment essentials include:

  • Kindle – For those who love to read while travelling, Kindle is the best device. You can read your favourite books, explore tomes that have been hanging out in your wishlist for ages, and even explore the free books on Kindle if you don’t have any options in your library. 
  • Laptop – Most travellers will take their laptop with them, even if they’re going on a vacation. This is to ensure they have tech on hand to manage their trip but a laptop can also be an excellent way to keep yourself engaged. You can play games, catch up on work, or watch Netflix easily. 
  • Back-up Entertainment – Most airlines offer in-flight entertainment but they’re not the most reliable. Many travellers end up facing a blank screen while trying to see something interesting. Back-up entertainment is the only way to avoid this issue. Download your favourite shows or movies on your Netflix or Amazon Prime at home so you can watch the entertainment without any disruption.

These in-flight travel essentials will ensure you’re not bored during your trip. Don’t underestimate how long a flight will feel if you don’t have something fun or interesting on hand. Other entertainment options include music, portable gaming devices like Switch, etc. 

3. Skincare and Beauty Airplane Travel Kit 

If you’re on a long-haul flight, it is a good idea to pack some skincare and beauty items as a part of your in-flight travel accessory kit. On an international flight, you need to pack these items in small 10ml transparent cases and store them in a transparent Ziploc bag. You can explore a full list of what you can and can’t take in your carry-on bag before your trip. Skincare and beauty essentials include:

  • Hand Sanitizer – One of the most essential items to carry while on the plane. There might be people sneezing and coughing in closed space for an extended period. Planes can be a hotbed for the spread of germs. Carrying hand sanitizers ensures you are less likely to catch something. 
  • Moisturiser and Lip Balm – The environment in planes can be incredibly dry. It can dehydrate your skin and lips, which is a very uncomfortable experience. For long flights, make sure to take lip balm and moisturizer to keep your lips and skin hydrated throughout. 
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste – If you’re having an overnight flight, it’s better to carry a small toothbrush and toothpaste. You can purchase travel-sized dental care items for your trip to save space in your carry-on. 
  • Wipes – Carry wipes to clean your face and hands, which can feel pretty grimy after a long-haul flight. Wipes will help you feel clean and refreshed, especially before you land. 
  • Make-Up – If you wish to look fresh and presentable just as you land at your destination, consider taking a few make-up items with you on your flight. You can touch up before you land and head to a meeting or a conference directly. 

Some people take facemasks and skincare treatments along with them during the flight just to enjoy a pampering session during a 10-hour flight. Why skip it if you have nothing else to do and can have a good time?

4. Medicine 

Taking care of your health is important, especially if you’re going on a long trip. Make sure you pack all the medicines you might need on your trip and account for emergencies. While all countries have pharmacies and similar medications, you may not be able to buy replacements easily at your destination. 

  • Prescription Medication – Always carry your prescription medication with you, especially if you suffer from chronic health conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, and heart issues. You can pack all the medicines you need for your trip in your carry-on. 
  • OTC Medication – Your long-flight essentials kit should include a few over-the-counter medicines for pain, stomach upset, rehydration, wounds, etc. Carry headache medicine if you’re prone to headaches as well. 
  • Healthcare Devices – Make sure you pack any essential healthcare devices like blood glucose kits with you. You can mention any necessary medical equipment to your airline while booking a ticket.  

If you have some serious health concerns, speak with your doctor and discuss what you need to include in your long-haul flight essentials kit before you pack for the journey. 

5. Other Things to Bring on the Plane 

There are a few other essentials you can bring on the plane in your carry-on to make your trip comfortable. These include:

  • Scarf or Shawl – It’s better to wear a scarf or shawl around your shoulders, which works as an additional blanket in the air-conditioned space. 
  • Collapsible Water Bottle – Airlines serve water but carrying a collapsible water bottle is handy. These bottles can collapse when empty and won’t take up any space. Instead of spending money by buying water, you can simply fill the bottle at rehydration stations at your airport. Just make sure the bottle is empty before you head for the security check-in. 
  • Portable Power Bank – If you want to keep your devices active during a long trip, carry a portable power bank. While the newer planes do have USB charging stations, some of the older ones may not. A good power bank ensures you don’t need to care about the diminishing battery on your phone or Kindle. 
  • Snacks – Hunger pangs can strike at the worst of times and there’s nothing more unpleasant than being hungry on a long-haul flight. It is a good idea to carry a few filling snacks to munch on between meals provided by the airline. Make sure these snacks are healthy and don’t contain a lot of salt, which can be very dehydrating. 
  • Disinfectant Wipes – Carry a pack of disinfectant wipes to wipe down your seat and tray. While most airlines strive to keep a clean environment inside their planes, this isn’t always guaranteed. A disinfectant wipe offers some extra security. 

What you pack also depends on what you prefer and need. For example, if you’re not an avid reader, a Kindle is useless. If you’re a music fan, you need to carry a pair of good-quality headphones. Consider what things you need to survive the dreaded long-haul flight while packing. 


Q. What to do on a long flight?

Ans: Aside from entertaining yourself, you also need to move around and stretch your legs, especially if you have been stuffed in a cramped economy seat. Make sure you drink a lot of water and remain hydrated throughout the flight. 

Q. What are the best travel gadgets for a long flight?

Ans: The best travel gadgets include an eBook reader like Kindle. Noise-cancelling headphones to block out the sounds of your travel companions. You can carry things like Nintendo Switch if you like to play games instead of reading. A good tablet is a great choice for people who enjoy drawing and digital art. 

Q. How to survive a long flight?

Ans: Reserve a good seat in a good airline. You can’t underestimate the importance of a good seat. The last thing you want to do is end up feeling exhausted when you land. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Don’t dress to impress unless you have to. It is also a good idea to consider the destination’s weather before picking your travel clothes. 

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About Heena View All Posts

A writer by both passion and profession, Heena Ganotra is "half agony, half hope" but all heart. And oh, she has been a book lover from the start! Her love for books is what convinced her to make a career in the wonderful world of words. She loves what she does and is out-and-out a satisfied soul with a wish to spread happiness and kindness in abundance. Insight- Some say she is living the best life anyone could because she reads, writes, travels, and makes merry. They’re right because what else does one really need! :)

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