They always say, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.”
I don’t know who coined that phrase, but whoever it was, must not have been referencing airplane travel!
Obviously, flying is not my favorite thing to do. Oh, no! For as much as I love traveling — exploring new cities, savoring exotic cuisines, and hiking through different mountain ranges — I find flying tolerable, at best. However, over the years, I’ve realized that there are a few items I can pack that make any journey much more relaxing and enjoyable!
Here are 10 must-pack, carry-on items for long-haul flights!
1. A scarf or wrap
A soft, oversized, cozy scarf is the one thing that I never travel without.
Not only are scarves a quick way to dress up your travel outfit, but also they can be used as neck pillows, and even mini blankets!
I used to carry on a travel pillow, but never again! That’s just one extra thing to carry and I find my scarves more comfy anyway!
In other words, traveling with a scarf is 100% necessary.
2. Sleeping kit
To survive a long-haul flight, you’re going to need your beauty sleep! I always put together a little sleeping kit, complete with this eye mask, earplugs, and sleeping pills to make sure I can actually sleep on my flight — even if everyone’s windows are wide open and there’s a crying baby behind me…
3. Change of clothes
I always pack an extra change of clothes for my long-haul journeys — especially ones that include layovers. Packing a second outfit is always a good idea, just in case your checked luggage gets lost. But that’s not my primary reason for packing a secondary outfit!
Just before I step on an airplane after a layover, I head to the restroom to change into some fresh clothes and wash my face, so I can feel somewhat better about my current situation.
My go-to travel outfit is usually a cute sports bra, a comfy sweater, a scarf, stretchy yoga pants, and tennis shoes.
4. Cleansing Facial Towelettes
These Neutrogena Hydrating Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes are essential to surviving a long-haul flight. I am a freak about keeping my skin clean and clear, especially while flying. These towelettes remove your makeup, while keeping your skin clear and hydrated!
You will never, ever, ever catch me on a long-haul flight without these towelettes.
5. Travel coloring books
Of course, most all airplanes have televisions now and a seemingly endless stream of movies. But what about when you’re sick of staring at the screen?
Adult coloring books are all the rage right now — and I am in love with Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist Coloring Book. This coloring book features 100 intricate drawings of the world’s greatest destinations, perfect to inspire your current and future travels! Fantastic Cities and Gulliver’s New Travels are two other awesome travel-inspired coloring books.
Also, make sure to purchase travel guidebooks and novels related to your specific destination!
Noise-cancelling headphones are another must-pack item for long-haul flights!
These lovelies block out all outside noise, so you can focus on your movie, your music, or the back of your eyelids. They’re ultra-comfy and the sound quality is top-notch.
7. Travel-sized toiletries
Of course, you can’t board any long-haul flight without your travel-sized toiletries!
My toiletry bag always includes:
- a toothbrush and toothpaste
- my contact lens case and contact lens solution
- my Tory Burch roll-on perfume
- hand lotion
- kleenex and allergy pills (I have bad allergies — bleh!)
- basic makeup products like my Bare Minerals powder foundation (the best!) and some mascara
8. Reusable water bottle
Staying hydrated on a long-haul is super important, if you want to beat jet lag and feel good. And trust me, you do!
Water bottles cost a fortune inside the airport, and throwing away all that plastic isn’t good for the environment either. Get yourself a good-quality reusable water bottle that you can fill up, again and again, once inside the airport.
Then, during your flight, instead of getting one tiny plastic cup of water, you can ask the flight attendant to simply fill up your water bottle!
Just like water bottles in the airport, buying snacks in the airport — or aboard an airplane — is expensive. Some of my favorite snacks to pack are fresh fruit, trail mix, Clif Bars, beef jerky, and my mom’s awesome banana bread.
10. Hand sanitizer
The last thing you want is to get sick while traveling! Since airplanes are full of nasty germs, you should protect yourself with a little bottle of hand sanitizer. I never go anywhere without this stuff!
What are your must-have carry-on essentials? Do yours differ from mine?