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Carry-On Essentials for Long Flights (2023): The Ultimate Checklist

Posted by Dianne Chen on
Blonde woman creating checklist of carry-on essentials for long flight

Packing - that dreadful task you must accomplish before leaving for your trip. We know you’re pretty exhausted already from all the prep, shopping, flights, and packing, well it’s not exactly your favorite part. #youretellingme

If you’ve taken the time to find this packing list for your carry-on essentials for a long flight, congrats girl. You’re one step ahead of the game. Follow these steps to a tee, and you’re golden.

The Ultimate Checklist for Carry-On Essentials

Before we put your packing skills to the test, let's make sure you have these essentials first. Feel free to tweak the checklist according to your personal needs. The important thing is, we've got the basics covered so you won't miss anything. Shall we begin? 

Travel Essentials:

Carry-on essentials for long flight including passport, identification card and eye mask inside small packing cube

Whether it’s your first time traveling outside the country or you just want a packing refresher, here are the long-haul flight essentials you need to keep in your carry-on tote bag or purse.


☑ Passport

 Wallet / ID

TSA Update:  Starting October 1, 2021, the TSA will require every traveler to present a REAL ID-compliant or state-issued enhanced driver's license, or other acceptable forms of identification, such as a valid passport or U.S. military ID, to fly within the U.S. Read more about this here.

☑ Cash

☑ Credit Cards (call banks to inform them of travel destination)

☑ Mobile Boarding pass (check in night before)

☑ Tissues

☑ Hygiene Kit

Travel Tip: Always keep a hygiene kit with you. Pack a travel size hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, and alcohol in this clear pouch to sanitize / disinfect surfaces and handles before touching them.

☑ Headphones

☑ Eye Mask or Ear Plugs

☑ Phone Charger

☑ Journal or Pen

Travel Tip: Use an Extra Small Cube for travel toiletries, airplane essentials (shown above), or electronics. Clear and easy to grab out of your bag, and TSA compliant,  this perfect sized cube will be your new teeny tiny bestie.


First aid kit

Always bring a First Aid Kit. You just never know. You might experience tummy aches, headaches while flying, be clumsy and fall (we’re not judging) or react to the food of the new country you’re visiting.

Grab an Extra Small or Small Cube include the following:

☑ Prescription Meds or Birth Control

☑ Pain Meds

☑ Anti-Diarrhea

☑ Band-Aids / Gauze

☑ Neosporin

☑ Altitude Meds

☑ Nasal Spray

☑ Tissues

☑ Wet Ones


Packing entertainment for travel

A two-hour flight is long enough when you’re excited about arriving at your  destination. What about a 13 hour flight? Okay, now we’re approaching real boredom.

Prepare yourself with these items:

☑ Books / Magazines

☑ iPod / iPad / music 

☑ Movies (pre-select 2-3 you’ve been meaning to watch forever)

☑ Headphones (consider noise canceling)

☑ Laptop (make sure its charged)

☑ Journal / Pen

☑ Coloring Books (because why not?)

☑ Chargers (phone / laptop / iPad)

Travel Tip: Place these items inside a Small Cube, which then can fit inside your backpack, tote bag, or duffle bag you’ll take on the plane. The cubes are transparent so you can easily see what’s inside (avoiding the hassle of  taking everything out).


Long flight items like blanket, eye mask and neck pillow for comfort

No matter how comfortable (or hot) the plane feels when you first get seated, it will for sure get cold. Don't forget to bring the following airplane essentials so you can get comfortable while flying.

Be prepared and bring the following:

☑ Scarf

☑ Small Blanket (call the airline to see if they provide one)

☑ Small Pillow (inflatable) / Neck Pillow

☑ Extra Socks

☑ Eye Mask / Ear Plugs

☑ Comfy Shoes

☑ Change of Clothes

Travel Tip: Use an EzPacking Medium Cube to carry your comfy essentials together and place it under your chair.  


TSA Approved Clear Toiletry Bag

It’s always a great idea to bring mini toiletries with you on the plane. Why?

1) To freshen up your face, brush your teeth, and powder your nose before landing

2) Just in case your checked bag goes missing or gets lost! It happens people - be prepared.

What toiletries should I bring in my Extra Small Cube?

☑ Makeup

☑ Toothbrush/  Toothpaste

☑ Mouthwash / Floss

☑ Retainers

☑ Hand Sanitizer

TSA Update: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the TSA is currently allowing up to 12 ounces of one liquid hand sanitizer container for every passenger for the time being. Learn more about the new rule here.

☑ Deodorant

☑ Small Hairbrush

☑ Lotion

☑ Chapstick / Lip Balm

☑ Birth Control / Meds

☑ Small Sunscreen 

Snacks & Water:

Kids snacks for long haul airplane flight

When flying internationally, you should arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight. If all goes as planned, you’ll have some extra time to hangout, have a snack, do some stretches, and charge your phone. Avoid paying double the price at the airport and come prepared with some light, healthy snacks. Also avoid jet bloat by staying extra hydrated.

Some items to bring:

☑ Healthy Protein Bars

☑ Fruit / Dried Fruit

☑ Packaged Nuts / Trail Mix

☑ Nut Butter Packets

☑ Peanut Butter Sandwiches

☑ Reusable Water Bottle

☑ Gum / Mints

☑ Kids Favorite Snacks

Travel Tip: Most airlines have canceled their in-flight food and drinks to prevent the spread of coronavirus so be sure to pack your own snacks and drink for the flight. Know more about major airlines' changes on food and beverage here.

Now that you know what to take on a long-haul flight, get out your suitcase, your clear packing cubes, and let the fun begin. Separate items by category, think about what you will need for each day you are traveling, and pack light. Become the packing guru you’ve always wanted to be.

Have a safe flight & happy packing!

P.S. Want more tips for airplane travel? Click here for over 80 flying tips and tricks for your next flight. 


The Ultimate Carry-On Essentials Checklist for a Long Flight


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