Travel Essentials for a Long Flight

Travel Essentials for a Long Flight

This post was originally written years ago, but it’s been one of my most popular posts to-date. For the second time, I’ve brought it back with a fresh new look and updated products. If you’re going on an international trip, you’re getting ready for a long flight and chances are, you’re trying to put together a list of travel essentials. Spending hours in the air is a lot more enjoyable when you’re comfortable and have something to do, so I want to share my (updated) ultimate packing list of the best things to bring on the plane. Here’s a list of the best travel essentials that get me through a long flight.

Travel Essentials for a Long Flight

Long flights are rough. I’ve been to Europe a handful of times and South America (longest travel day of my life) and always struggle. If I’m very lucky, I’ll get 2-3 hours of sleep on an international flight (terrible sleeper when flying) which still leaves hours of just sitting there. So I never bring a travel pillow, but if you can sleep on a plane, I’d recommend bringing one. It’s been a few years since my last big trip, but I still know a thing or two about getting through a long flight. If you’re planning on traveling soon, this is the ultimate travel essentials list for your next trip.


A spinner (carry-on on 4 wheels) is a must-have for getting through the airport.  If you’re carrying a laptop and lots of essentials, a crossbody is always nice. I keep my tote or duffel on top and just glide it through the airport. Keep your must-haves for travel in your tote and choose a bag with comfortable handles or one that slides onto your spinner’s handle. Clear bags are a great way to store makeup, electronics, and snacks once you’re up in the air. 

Carry On

Remember that everyone can bring one carry on and one personal item, so it’s nice to keep travel necessities in your carry-on bag. I like to include an extra pair of clothes, medication, travel insurance documents, and anything I can’t live without should my checked baggage get lost. If you can squeeze one or two packing cubes with clothes in there, I’d recommend it. This will give you peace of mind should your checked luggage get lost. 

Travel Bag

You’re going to want a duffel or travel backpack as your personal item that will go below your seat. Keep things you’ll want quick access to. I like to keep everything that will keep me entertained – computer, iPad, phone, and a book. Since I never sleep on long haul flights, I need options to keep myself busy. 


I like to have a weekender or duffle with me. This one is beautiful – I have it in this style and love it. It has so much space – enough for a laptop and all my essentials. 

Cosmetic case

I always (always) have a makeup bag or cosmetic case with essentials. Depending on where I’m going, I like an end of flight face refresh before landing, so I feel somewhat put together upon arrival. It doesn’t take too much time and a small case won’t take up too much room, so I like to keep this under my seat. 

Clarity clutch

These keep my bag organized – I like them for snacks, documents, and cords. This has become an essential travel item for me. It’s so much better than having a bunch of miscellaneous stuff floating around my bag. These are a great budget-friendly option that I own as well, and I love them for keeping things organized. Truly the easiest way to keep your bag organized. You could use any small pouch – but something like this is one of my favorite travel items for organization. 

Tech carryall

Protecting your computer is a must, and this will keep it from getting scratched while it’s in your bag. 

Passport Holder

I suppose you don’t have to have a passport case, but I prefer to protect my passport, so I’d recommend having one. It’s pretty much the most important travel document you’ll have with you. 

The Best Travel Accessories

Pro tip: bring a cozy travel wrap that doubles as a blanket or pillow, an eye mask or sunglasses to get some shut-eye. And don’t forget a cardigan and socks to stay warm, ad comfortable shoes. If you find yourself going on vacation, don’t forget these must-haves for your flight. 


I like to dress in layers and always bring a cozy sweatshirt, because I’m either very hot or very cold and you never know what you’re going to get on a plane. 

Comfortable pants

These tie waist pants look cute but are so cozy and feel like sweats. Cannot recommend them enough! There are few feelings better than landing and feeling like you’re dressed all while remaining comfortable. And shocker – I tend to stick with neutral colors so everything goes together. 

Cashmere travel wrap

This is a total splurge but is one of my most worn items when it’s cold, and it functions as a little blanket or even a pillow for flights. It’s very oversized and so cozy – I have it in a few colors and live in these during fall and winter. Just make sure you have extra layers in case you get cold. 


No, you probably don’t need sunglasses on your flight, but you might need them when you arrive at your destination. 


You’ll want a comfortable shoe – one that’s easy to wear and ideally, easy to slip on and off when going through security. 

Electronics & Entertainment

I always carry my laptop or iPad to watch movies or to work on a blog post. If you don’t want to bring the extra gear, your iPhone and a charger works, too. Most international flights also have TVs with decent movie selections, so that’s also a great option. I usually to like to have my computer in case I need it. If there’s wifi, I’ll do a little work and chat with people over my messages app – such a great way to pass the time. I tried the whole kindle thing but really prefer turning pages, so I bring a good old fashioned book with me.

Apple Airpods

I always (always!) bring headphones on any flight, no matter the flight length. If you’re really into music or want to drown out everything around you, consider a pair of noise-canceling headphones.

Travel Charger

I love the slim design of this charger. It’s one of my essential travel accessories. It’s always nice to have on hand for when you’re at the airport or en route to your hotel, or even out and about. I tend to rely on my phone’s google maps while traveling (don’t we all?) and never want it to die while I’m on the go. Airplanes now have USB ports, so be sure to have your charger cable with you. 




Health & Beauty

I pack my daily skincare routine but keep anything go. With the exception of perfume, does anyone buy travel sized products anymore? I just fill a refillable container with my favorite serums and oils (you can see all my favorite clean beauty products here). The gotoob travel bottles are great, so I keep the important products I’ll need on-hand in my carry-on. As long as I have something to keep my hands and lips moisturized, a toothbrush for a mid (and end) of flight refresh, and some cover-up so my skin looks fresh, I’m good to go. And don’t forget your reusable water bottle and healthy snacks. 

Resusable water bottle

Bring a refillable or collapsible water bottle to stay hydrated while you’re up in the air. A must-have for a long trip. 

Lip Balm

This is pretty obvious, but long flights will dry out your skin and lips, so keep products on hand that will help you stay moisturized. 

Herbivore Botanicals

Body Oil

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Clean Perfume

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Clean Perfume

I love a mid or end-of-flight spritz of perfume, but be polite and apply in the bathroom and not while you’re at your seat. 


I always always keep my toothbrush in my carry on so I can brush my teeth at the end of a flight. Most international flights go overnight, so the alternative would be arriving at your destination with unbrushed teeth. You’d never not brush your teeth in the morning, so why wouldn’t you brush before landing or freshen up at the airport once you land? If you haven’t done this, it’s a game changer after a long flight. 

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