Winter Travel Essentials for a Long Flight

After going on 12 trips and 30+ flights last year–which was a huge change for me, by the way–I learned a thing or two about what to pack and what to keep in my carry-on. I shared some of my favorite products 6 months ago and although these essentials work outside of winter, I thought I’d update the list with some of my favorite items to stay warm and cozy while traveling during winter.

Luggage: I always bring a tote and carry on. This Cuyana weekender is one of my favorite bags and is perfect for holding your laptop and basically everything on the list above. I throw my tote on top of my Away carry on–it’s light, is easy to pull since it’s on 4 wheels, and it has a USB charger for your phone and iPad.

Entertainment: A good book (I’m reading this one right now), iPad, laptop, a case that’ll keep your phone charged, and some headphones for music or a movie. If you have spotify, don’t forget to download your playlist to offline mode so you’ll be able to play it on the flight. Download a new show or a classic–I keep Something’s Gotta Give, Royal Tennenbaums, and some other go-to favorites on my iPad since I can watch them a few times a year without getting bored.

Healthy Snacks: Airplane food is the worst, so I always come armed with some of my favorite healthy snacks. I bring enough RX bars for the flight and to have on hand throughout the trip, and will be traveling with my new favorite, JicaChips. If you’re looking for more healthy snacks, I have a list for you here. And don’t forget to pick up a large bottle of water or two. Stay hydrated. And don’t forget your gum and mints, too.

Skincare and Beauty products: I never get on a plane without making sure my toothbrush and toothpaste or in my carry on. I also carry concealer, hand lotion, lip balm, a hydrating spray or oil, and a rollerball to freshen up before getting off the flight. If you’re going on a really long flight, I’d recommend bringing some face wipes, too.

Cozy stuff: Maybe it’s just me, but my flights are either too hot or too cold, so I usually wear an oversized sweater and a t shirt underneath. Rag and Bone Jeans are the only real pants I’ll wear since they’re stretchy, but it’s rare I’ll pass up a good pair of leggings. An oversized scarf will serve as a mini blanket or head rest and I bring a fresh pair of socks and an eye mask, too. As far as shoes go, I’ll wear tennis shoes or a comfortable pair of loafers like these or these.

Apps: Going somewhere new? Try duolingo. I didn’t spend enough time refreshing my Spanish before heading to South America last year but Conor has been working on his Italian every day and it’s made me want to get back to it.

What are your favorite travel essentials? 

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  • Most of those are on my list, too. I keep makeup in my carry on, but not usually with me and I find it feels extra drying on my face and I’d wear mascara but I seem to rub my eyes a lot. My must haves are: gum, my swell to fill as necessary, ipad and headphones instead of earbuds so my ears don’t get sore, travel sized face moisturizer and hand cream, always a pack of tissues and allergy meds, and throat lozenges. Layers are guaranteed, and scarves DO make the perfect blanket (hello window seat). My only difference is snacks, I pack one healthy one, usually dried mangoes and a larabar, but always pack a fun one, too. Sweedish berries or sour patch kids and a couple homemade cookies. Travel is fun and should start with a sweet treat.

    1. Oh, throat lozenges are a great idea! A fun snack isn’t such a bad idea either. I LOVE sour patch kids. Especially the red + blue ones 🙂

    2. Sour patch kids are a travel essential for me! I never eat them except on long flights – and they are such a treat!

  • Did you opt for “the carry-on” or “the bigger carry-on” from Away?

    1. I have the original carry on but would recommend the larger of the two. It just wasn’t out when I ordered mine but more space is never a bad thing!

  • These are such great suggestions Danielle! I travel a lot this is just the “wish list” I need to make sure I have the essentials. Particularly obsessed with the carry on suitcase that charges your phone! Great post. xo

    1. I’m glad you liked this one! That carry on is really the best. It’s so light weight–you’ll glide right through the airport with it.

  • Great tips! I love the idea of an oversized sweater and layering. I also love that Netflix now lets you download things for offline watching, which I did on my last flight. 🙂