Planning vacations brings me great joy…from picking a destination, to narrowing down must-see sights, to packing my bags. I love the whole process! I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets enjoyment from planning vacations. In fact, it’s been proven that planning vacations makes people happier than actually taking the vacation. I’m planning for a trip in March that I’ll talk about in a separate post, but as I check off things on my list that I’ll need for my trip, I thought it would be a good time to recap items I recommend packing in your carry-on for long-haul flights.
iPad or Kindle
Entertainment is always key for flights of any length but particularly for long ones. Be sure to load up your tablet of choice with books, magazines and maybe even a few seasons of a show you’ve been meaning to catch up in case you aren’t feeling the in-flight movie options available.
Phone + External Charger + Cords
Because you’ll likely need your phone when you arrive at your destination even if it’s just to send snaps and post to IG or Snapchat when you’re connected to WiFi.
The laptop isn’t required if traveling for vacation, but sometimes it’s easier to do research on restaurants or purchasing tickets for sightseeing on your laptop during your down time.
Headphones or Earbuds
Come in handy for listening to music, movies or podcasts you’ve downloaded. You can invest in noise cancelling headphones, but if they aren’t in your budget, there are less pricey options to choose from.
Magazine – It’s nice to have some reading material that doesn’t require a screen so packing magazines is always a good idea. In need of some magazine inspiration? Read this post.
Passport + wallet
Obviously your passport and wallet are needed during any international travel.
Paperwork (Itinerary Info, Airplane tickets)
Even if you have your ticket on your phone, cell phones die or heaven forbid get stolen during travel…so carry all of your travel info printed out in a folder as a back-up just in case.
When I went to Spain last summer I took all of my pictures with my phone in an effort to lighten my bag and that made sense but I missed my camera. If you’re a person who enjoys taking pictures, pack it in your carry-on bag and not in your main suitcase.
Notebook + Pen
Whether you want to just have a back up to jot things down to save your cell battery of if you like to chronicle your travels in a journal, be sure to pack a small notebook and pen for your writing needs.
Snacks + Tea Bags + Green Powder + Vitamins
The food on flights these days is passable but rarely good. It’s also easy to eat out of boredom which is never a good practice. Pack your favorite staple snacks, tea bags, and green powder (get those greens in!). I’ll do a separate post on the snacks I plan to bring on my next long flight.
Empty Water Bottle
Do your skin a favor and stick to water or tea on your flight (no booze). Flying dehydrates your body and it’s ideal to just have an empty bottle you can fill up after getting through security and during your flight. Having tea bags on hand is also a good idea for when you want a hot drink during the flight (stay away from coffee which will also dehydrate you).
Anti-bacterial Spray or gel
If climbing over your fellow passengers every time you want to clean your hands is undesirable because…germs, pack a spray or hand gel. Make sure it’s a natural/non-toxic option if you can. I prefer a spray with lavender in it like this one.
Toiletries in Clear Bag
Pack all of your toiletries in your carry-on in a clear toiletry bag so you don’t have to make it easier while going through security. You can always put it in your main suitcase when you make it though security. Be sure to check size requirements from your airline for travel sized toiletries so favorite items don’t get tossed by TSA.
Skincare Items for Use During the Flight
Pack a facial spray (either homemade or store-bought) to apply during the flight because flying can be so drying internally and externally. Packing face masks can further refresh and hydrate skin during a long flight flight. Here are a few options I plan to pack on my next long haul flight abroad: Rose Facial Spray | Sleep Mask | Under Eye Mask | Sheet Mask.
They do provide pillows on long flights so this is a matter of preference that you can forgo if you’re running out of space, but it’s nice to have your own pillow. Consider packing one that comes in it’s own case that takes up little space to save yourself from an achy neck upon arriving at your destination.
If you are checking your main luggage bag (but really, try to carry-on if possible!), be sure to pack a spare outfit in case your luggage doesn’t arrive when you do.
No matter the season, carry a scarf that can double as a blanket while on my flight. I almost always end up using it.
Consider packing a cute head wrap in case your hair gets in disarray during a long flight. When you arrive you can: Duck into a bathroom, wrap your headwrap, and add a pop of lipstick to feel pulled together.
Image: The New Potato