Who says long-haul flights are unbearable? Well, they can be unbearable for those people who clearly don’t have the best travel accessories for a long flight. Have you been missing out on these flying essentials? It’s about time you try out some of these genius items for your next lengthy trip! They can turn any unpleasant long-haul flight into a cozy plane ride from takeoff all the way through landing. Don’t believe us? Try them yourself! We’ve got some tips and an awesome list of flight essentials just for you.
How to Survive Long Haul Flights: Facts & Tips
A flight that is 6 hours or more in duration (which are usually international flights) is considered a long-haul flight. If a 2-hour flight can already stress you out, then don’t get us started on the long ones. Here are the most important facts about long-haul flights and some tips on how to survive them:
✔️ Fact: Long-haul flights fly at higher altitudes which puts you a bit closer to the ozone layer and the sun's radiation.
Pro Tip: Wear sunscreen! And don’t forget your polarized sunglasses, especially if you’re sitting near the window.
✔️ Fact: Long-haul flights are more dehydrating on your body because of the constant dry, cold air that is circulated around the cabin for a longer number of hours.
Pro Tip: Hydrate and moisturize! It’s very important to replenish the liquids that your body is losing so you don’t get dehydrated. Squeeze a little bit of moisturizing cream on your hands and face so you won’t look and feel like a raisin.
✔️ Fact: Long-haul overnight flights can throw off your body’s circadian rhythm as you travel across multiple time zones.
Pro Tip: Eat whenever meals are served to help your body adjust to the new time zone. The flight attendants are serving food according to your destination’s time zone so it's best to eat the food right when it’s served because it'll help your body adjust to the new time zone.
✔️ Fact: The food is typically a bit different. It's saltier and tends to have more dairy which can make you more bloated.
Pro Tip: Bring your own healthy snacks (like apples, nuts, sandwiches, etc.). If you don’t want to eat airplane food, at least you have something that you can munch on when you get hungry. This is very important especially if you’re traveling with kids.
✔️ Fact: When you're on a long flight, everybody eats around the same time and everybody's digestive system works pretty much at the same time, so 30 to 45 minutes after eating, the lines to the toilets are going to be very long.
Pro Tip: Try to go if you can before the big rush.
Long-Haul Flight Travel Essentials
Ready to face the long-haul flight that awaits you? Don’t go without the best gadgets for air travel! Making sure to pack the right travel items is very important for your comfort as well as for limiting the flight's effects on your body. Let's go over our list of tried and true items to bring with you on the airplane so you can have the best flight experience possible.
1. Having the right personal items bag is key. All the travel items that we will share with you in this post should fit in your personal items bag, which can be a tote bag, a duffel bag, or a small backpack. Check beforehand that your airline allows it and make sure it fits perfectly under the seat in front of you.
✅ What to Wear on a Long Haul Flight
2. Face Mask - A face mask has now become an essential part of everyone’s airport outfits. Don’t forget to wear your mask before you leave and bring a few extras just in case.
3. Compression Leggings - These are a must have for a long hour flight. Compression leggings are designed to compress your muscles, from your ankles to your hips. Wearing this on the flight will aid in blood circulation in the leg area and prevent your limbs from swelling. Other than keeping your legs comfy from takeoff to landing, leggings are a versatile piece of clothing so you can definitely style and pair it with any top!
4. Compression Socks - These are also important for long-haul flights lasting more than 5 hours. Compression socks or stockings helps reduce swelling, discomfort, and blood clots from forming on your legs throughout the entire duration of the flight. It also keeps your feet warm and comfy, especially if you wear regular socks over them. Don’t forget to move around during the flight to get those legs moving!
Pro Tip: It is best to check with a doctor before using compression leggings and socks to check the right amount of compression for your legs. But for a more comfortable fit, buy a size bigger than your original size.
5. Tunics - A tunic is the perfect top to pair with leggings, making them the best airport outfit to travel in. They’re super comfortable and stretchable so you can sit or lay down, bend down any way you want. Airports and airplanes can get really cold so having a tunic on can really give you that extra warmth and heat that you need.
6. Cashmere Cardigan - Cardigans are great for layering and cashmere ones are the best kinds. They're lightweight for summer time, yet perfectly cozy and warm for colder seasons. Cottons and acrylic just aren't as airy and breathable as cashmere. So if you want a versatile cardigan, we definitely recommend wearing one made of merino or cashmere wool.
7. Big Scarf - If you're going to bring a scarf, make sure it's a big one. And by big, we mean it-can-double-as-a-blanket big! You can wear it as a scarf when navigating the airport and transform it into a blanket when you're on the plane. There are infinity scarves that even have this secret pocket that you can use to subtly keep your wallet, ID's, and other essential travel items.
8. Comfy Shoes - What counts as a comfortable pair of shoes is quite subjective but we definitely recommend shoes that can be easily worn and taken off, not only for passing through security but also when you’re on the plane and your feet start to swell mid flight or feel cramped. Being able to take them off without having to bend over and take off the laces would be great, especially when you need to wear them again if you want to go to the toilet.
9. Polarized Sunglasses - Wearing polarized sunglasses is not only for fashion statement but for protecting your eyes from the sun's glare especially if you'll be sitting by a window seat. This will also help you take photos during the day without hurting your eyes.
✅ Entertainment for a Long Haul Flight
10. Notebook and Pen - Perhaps one of the best ways to pass the time when your flight is long enough to complete an entire series of a Netflix show is to write down any ideas that come to mind. This is very likely to happen especially when you're cooped up in your seat with nothing else to do. A pen is also very important in the airport when you need to fill out any immigration / customs forms , or anywhere else that will require you to fill out paperwork. Traveling these days, you might want to rethink before using other people's pens, so best bring yours.
11. Portable Charger - You're surely going to use your phone, tablet, or any other devices during the flight. And chances are, you'll easily run out of battery, especially if you're going to watch movies, listen to music, browse social media apps, and more. Just in case the plug at your seat is broken, bring your own power bank (fully charged before going to the airport). Just make sure it’s under 100 watt hours (Wh) or below 26,800 mAh.
12. Handheld Gadgets - Like your mobile phone, it’s okay to bring any other gadgets (tablet, laptop, Kindle, etc.) on the plane. Don’t forget their chargers! You’ll need all different kinds of entertainment for a long-haul flight. Some aircrafts don't have in-flight entertainment while a few will require you to download their app in advance so you can access their entertainment system and watch it on your devices.
13. Reading Materials - If you’re an avid reader, then you can bring along some paper reading materials that’s like a magazine, book, or even a puzzle book. But don't go overboard because their weight can really add up. For those who get dizzy while reading on the plane but would still like to finish a book or two, audiobooks are a lifesaver! You can easily listen to it during your flight and perhaps it will help you fall asleep.
14. Noise Cancelling Headphones - You'll be surprised how loud the plane can get. Noise reducing headphones can help drown out a lot of the background noise on the plane so you can get some beauty rest and sleep. It's very important to have a pair that won't hurt your ears especially when you're wearing them for a long time watching movies or listening to music, podcasts, or whatnot. If you have iPhone headphones, make sure that you bring a connector from your headphones to the entertainment system.
✅ Sleep Helpers for a Long Haul Flight
15. Naptime Playlist - Save a playlist on your phone of ambient noise or soothing sounds, peaceful music, meditation recordings that can help you sleep.
16. Neck Pillow + Sleep Mask - It’s essential to get a neck pillow that’s very comfortable and cozy. If you’re in the market for a new neck pillow, we recommend this one from Cabeau. It's made of memory foam and keeps your head and neck secured so it won’t bobble from side to side during the flight. It fully supports your spine as well so you can get some sleep during the flight without hurting your back. It comes with an eye mask that’s super silky and soft and has little cups for the eyes to make sure that no light gets in.
17. Olly Sleep Gummies - One of the best ways to prevent jet lag and to make sure you get enough sleep on a long-haul flight is by taking melatonin gummies. Our absolute favorite is Olly's. These sleep time goodies will help boost your body's natural sleep hormone to help relax your mind and calm your senses so you can go and catch some Z's.
18. Breathe Right Nasal Strips -The cold temperature on the plane may trigger clogged nose or may trigger any sinus issues that you already have. Bringing Breathe Right strips with you on the flight will ensure that you can breathe easily so you can fall asleep very deeply.
✅ Toiletries for a Long Haul Flight
19. TSA-Approved Toiletry Bag - Basically it's a small clear bag that you can use to put all the liquids that you're going to use on the plane with you. Place it in an easy access place so you can easily grab it and place it in a plastic bin when going through security. We love this TSA approved liquids bag because it stands up on its own, it’s super easy to clean (just use a wet wipe to remove any stains), it's got sturdy double zippers, so it's not all flimsy and you can just stick it in your bag really nicely. This is great for organizing all your 3 oz liquids into one place so you're not like scrambling to pull it if they ask you.
20. Clorox Disinfecting Wipes - Once you get on the plane, the first thing you’ll want to do is to disinfect everything you’ll be in contact with (#covidtravel). This includes your seat along with the seat belts, armrests and headrest, the air vent, window, and any surfaces that other people might have touched. Simple wet wipes might not be enough, you’ll need these travel size disinfecting wipes instead which are more powerful and can kill more germs.
21. Mini Toothbrush and Toothpaste - Very important to keep your breath smelling fresh during and after the flight. Keeping yourself fresh and clean will help in improving your mood and experience in a long-haul flight. You can also bring along some teeth wipes so you can brush your teeth even without water. It's flat, so it takes up no space at all. You just slide it over your finger, stick it in your mouth and start brushing. It’s very minty and it doesn’t taste bad at all! #properhygieneforthewin
22. Mouthwash and Floss - When brushing your teeth is not enough, follow up with mouthwash and don’t forget to floss!
23. Travel Size Silicone Containers - Decant all your liquids, creams, gels, and spray in these little squeezable containers so you can bring them on the plane with you. Being aware of TSA’s 3-1-1 Liquids Rule will save you time going through security and will prevent your full size liquid bottles from being confiscated or thrown away.
24. Deodorant - Keep yourself feeling fresh and free from unpleasant odor on the plane by bringing a deodorant. Don’t worry, you can bring the full size on the plane if it's a solid stick. But for packing reasons, just bring a travel size one or perhaps these Deodorant Wipes if you want to pack even lighter.
25. Oil Blotting Sheets - If you don't feel like wetting your face with water or wipes, you can use oil blotting paper to absorb excess oils on your face so your skin feels clean and refreshed.
26. Acne Spot Treatment - If you're experiencing breakouts, using overnight spot patches can help to clear blocked pores, reduce pimple size, remove excess oil, prevent acne marks, and diminish blackheads. You can wear this once you get on the plane and then take it off before landing.
27. Clear Makeup Bag - If you’re going to take off your makeup on the plane, make sure you’re carrying your makeup staples in your personal tote bag so you can easily retouch or redo your makeup before landing. Don’t forget to wash your face or use cleansing wipes before applying any makeup.
28. Travel Mini Wet Brush - Your hair can get all tangley and oily while you’re on the plane. You can tie it up while you’re on board but when you’re about an hour or 30 minutes before landing, start with prepping yourself up and brushing your hair so you feel fresh and clean upon disembarkation. This mini travel wet brush is so small but it gets the job done.
29. Scrunchies - Very useful for tying your hair when you’re washing your face or when you simply don’t want your hair touching your face.
30. Stain Remover - Long-haul flights can be frustrating enough so make sure there isn't anything that can add fuel to the fire, say, a stain on your favorite travel shirt! Yikes! Pack these handy stain remover wipes so you can easily get rid of any smudge before it sets in. Don't worry, these wipes have very-little-to-no fragrance so you or the person sitting beside you won't be bothered by the smell.
31. Wet Wipes - It’s really a hassle going back and forth to the toilet to wash your hands whenever you want to take a bite or when you’re really hungry. You can use these wipes instead to clean your hands or wipe your face before and after eating.
32. Travel Makeup Remover Wipes - Bare faced is the best face! Take your makeup off when you're on the plane. Use some makeup remover wipes and do your skincare routine. This will make you feel refreshed throughout the entire flight. Don't forget to put makeup on again or repeat your skincare routine 30 minutes before the plane lands.
33. Travel Pack Tissue - By now you've got all kinds of wipes with you but not to worry, these are all in travel size so you can easily pack them in your purse or personal items bag. Aside from your wipes, make sure to bring pocket tissues as well. Plus, you never know when you're gonna spill something, have a runny nose, or whatnots.
34. Feminine Care Products - Bring your preferred brands of intimate feminine products such as wash, wipes, pads, tampons, etc. in case you have an unexpected visit during the flight.
35. Pocket Razor - For your shaving needs, this little compact razor right here is all that you’ll need. It comes in a little travel case so it won't cut anything. It also has these holes in it so it can breathe, and if it's wet, it'll get the air out so it won't get moist. It's perfectly nice and compact and perfect for travel.
36. Hand Sanitizer (duh) - These days, you can never be without hand sanitizers. Use them as frequently as needed, especially after touching surfaces or things that could have been potentially touched and contaminated by other people. You can never be too careful these days, so keep one in all of your bags!
COVID Update: In light of the recent pandemic, TSA is currently allowing each passenger to bring up to 12 ounces of liquid hand sanitizer container in their carry-on bag. All other liquids, gels, creams, and aerosols still follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Read more about this here.
37. Spray Alcohol - This is a great addition to your Hygiene Kit. It's super easy to use on surfaces, to sterilize your small trinkets, tray table, remote, hairbrush, and anything that you might feel like needs a bit of disinfecting. It also dries faster compared to hand sanitizer and won’t get your hands all sticky. Just apply hand moisturizer after spraying alcohol on your hands because they can make your skin really dry.
✅ Medicine Kit for a Long Haul Flight
38. Medicine Kit - This clear extra small cube can be a really great storage for all your travel meds and other necessary emergency essentials. This makes a great first aid kit because it’s compact, lightweight, and clear, making it easier for you to grab and get what you need right away.
39. Vitamin C - Boosting your immune system before, during, and after traveling is very important. Load up on Vitamin C to boost your immunity against viruses and illnesses.
40. Prescription Medicine - You definitely do not want to be without those in case your luggage got lost, so pack them in your carry on. Liquid medicine doesn't have to be under 3.4 ounces but make sure you pack them in an easy to access place so they can be checked separately during airport screening.
41. Ibuprofen - For pain relief.
42. Pepto-bismol - For when your stomach gets upset.
43. Benadryl - Or any allergy relief medication that works for you.
44. Cold Suppressant Medication - For cold or flu relief.
45. Bandaids - Just in case of any first aid needs.
✅ Staying Hydrated on a Long Haul Flight
46. Water Bottle - Bring an empty bottle when you go through security. Fill it up with water afterwards. It’s very important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the entire flight, from takeoff to landing.
47. SPF Sunscreen - Reapply sunscreen throughout the flight to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. You are flying through an atmosphere that’s closer to the sun and the sun’s radiation up in the sky is literally stronger than if you are going to a tanning bed. So if you’re at a window seat, most especially, be sure to apply sunscreen every now and then till you reach your destination.
48. Face Lotion / Moisturizer - Moisturize your face especially when it feels dry and oily. Don’t forget to wipe (or wash) your skin first before applying moisturizer so you won’t end up feeling icky and sticky.
49. Hand and Body Cream - Your hands can also get really dry, especially after countless times of applying hand sanitizer and alcohol. Bring a travel size hand and body cream to bring moisture to your skin so you feel refreshed.
50. Lip Balm - Your lips can get dry and cracked when the air is too dry, and that’s exactly the case when you’re on the plane. Make sure to bring your good ‘ol trusty lip balm so you can kiss your chapped lips goodbye.
51. Hydrating Eye Cream - Keep the areas around your eyes moisturized as well by applying hydrating eye cream over and around them.
52. Eye Drops - Since you’re on a long-haul flight, you’re for sure going to be doing a lot of reading, watching movies, scrolling through your phone, or getting some work done on your laptop. The cold air vents might be blasting on your eyes and you're not blinking as much if you're having a lot of screen time so it's good to avoid having dry eyes by bringing some hydrating eye drops, too. For those with sensitive eyes, it’s best to consult an eye care professional first.
53. Hydrating Spray - These travel size bottles of facial spray with refreshing ingredients are enough to make your entire face feel so hydrated during the flight. These containers are within TSA’s liquids limit so you can pack them in your carry-on bag. Just make sure you pick one that’s naturally scented and not too overpowering so it won’t tickle the nose of those sitting next or close to you.
✅ Avoiding Hunger on a Long Haul Flight
54. Snacks - Bring an abundance of snacks with you on the plane. That way, if the in-flight food is not to your standards, you’ll have your own snacks to munch on. It’s also very important to bring your own food in case you accidentally sleep through a meal (it happens), and when you wake up, you want to have something to nibble on to tide yourself over. Don’t forget to also bring your favorite sweetener, several packets of your favorite condiments or tea just to make your meal or your drinks feel a little bit more familiar.
55. Gum - To help relieve and neutralize ear pressure as the plane takes off.
✅ Must Haves for a Long Haul Flight
56. Extra Shirt and Underwear - Bring one set of an extra shirt, bottoms and a few pairs of underwear in your carry-on bag so you have something to wear just in case the airline loses your checked luggage or if it gets delayed.
57. EzPacking Packing Cubes - You can organize everything with these. Everything!! They come in different sizes so you can pack everything from your toiletries to your bulky clothing items in them. What's even greater is that they're clear so you can easily see what's packed inside and grab what you need.
58. TSA Approved Luggage Lock - Keep your carry on suitcase safe and protected throughout your trip by having a lock on it. Don’t forget to put a tag with your name and contact information on it as well.
59. Clear Circular Pouches and Half Moon Bag - Keep your chargers, wires, and other cords in these clear pouches. You can also use this for your mini toiletries and mini first aid kit that you can conveniently pack in your personal items bag for easy access.
60. Digital Portable Luggage Scale - Use it to weigh your checked luggage and carry-on suitcase before going to the airport. Bring it with you on the trip as well so you can check your suitcase’s weight after buying or shopping some souvenirs to bring home
61. Small Microfiber Cloth - It acts as a pad for the bottom of your bag so that when something spills or leaks, it won’t ruin your bag entirely. Plus you can use it for washing up, rolling valuables in, or drying off your face and hands after washing.
62. Soft Slippers - When you’ve got everything settled and you’re on your seat, take off your shoes and wear a pair of soft slippers so you can comfortably rest your feet, and feel like you’re at home. They’re very easy to slip on and off when you go to the bathroom or move around the plane.
63. Travel Blanket - Bring your own travel blanket and pillow because airlines are less likely to distribute blankets or pillows on long-haul flights for the safety of their passengers in this time of pandemic. These pillow blankets are made of premium soft micro plush material so it's guaranteed to keep you nice, warm, and comfy throughout the entire flight.
64. Foot Hammock - One of the best travel items to keep you comfortable during long flights is this foot hammock. This travel-sized footrest can give your feet and lower-back the relaxation they deserve. It's very small and compact so it doesn't take up a lot of space in your bag.
65. Phone / Tablet Holder - The perfect solution to keeping you hands-free while watching your favorite shows on the flight. This phone and tablet holder is super light, compact, and you can easily slip it inside your purse. It's got excellent mold qualities so you can bend it into any shape you desire. It's so simple and easy to use!
✅ Optional (But Useful) Items for a Long Haul Flight
66. Window Seat Beverage Holder - If you're a window seat lover and you want more room for your things - and your beverage! - this Bevledge airplane window seat organization station is perfect for you! It is designed to hold beverages, cell phones, pens, eye masks, and other handy essentials you might have. This is very convenient especially when your tray table is already full, so this will give you a little bit extra space to use.
67. Portable Armrest Divider - One of the most annoying things travelers face when flying is fighting for that armrest, especially when you're in a flight with a row of four on each aisle and you're seated right in the middle. This travel accessory will double the existing armrest space and provide a friendly barrier between you and the person sitting next to you. Just remember to ask your neighbor nicely if they're up for some extra armrest space.
68. Spairtray Travel Shelf - Another great travel accessory for maximizing window space is this revolutionary spare tray table. If you're assigned a window seat, this portable travel shelf will allow you to have more space for your drinks and snacks. This can be easily installed and removed so you can easily set it up when needed.
69. Garment Shields - If you sweat a lot while traveling, especially when your body temperature changes throughout your trip, use these garment shields to protect your shirt or blouse from sweat. You can easily insert these directly to the underarm inseam of any clothing item that easily saturates such as your blazers or long-sleeve shirts. These will act as pads that will help keep your underarm area dry leaving you feeling fresh and confident. Especially useful if you have to step into a business meeting straight from the flight!
70. Facial Sheet Masks - One refreshing thing you can do to pass the time on a long-haul flight is to wear face mask sheets while resting. The vitamin E and collagen in these masks will keep your tired and dry skin moisturized and healthy so you feel ever so refreshed when you wake up. Just make sure that when you bring them, you'll be comfortable with the level of privacy that you have on the plane to wear them. Don't forget to wash or wipe your face before putting on any masks and clean up after you use them.
And that’s about all the best travel comfort accessories that can help you stay relaxed and, hopefully, enjoy long haul flights. Feel free to try out some of these long haul flight travel essentials for your next trip and tell us what works for you and what doesn’t. Better yet, if you’ve got other items or hacks for lengthy plane rides that we haven’t listed yet, tell us in the comment section down below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!
If you’re looking for some more flight tips and tricks, we’ve got The Best Flying Tips for Airplane Travel just for you! Be sure to check it out.
Have a safe and happy trip!