What Should I Pack in My Carry-On for a Long Flight?

by Nichole Eaton

Carry on for a long flight

I had never been on a 15 hour flight…followed by a 7 hour layover followed by another 8 hour flight…but for the stunning scenery in the Maldives, I’d give 24 hours’ worth of travel a go! 

But the question came down to packing. I’m not a big carry on person. In fact, domestic flying I usually go bare minimum. So, what did I really NEED while traveling on a lengthy international flight (other than the obvious passports/visas/travel documents)? 

The following is a list of suggestions plus an additional list of “I wish I would’ves”: 

 1. Entertainment. 
 • Laptop + Charger (Consider including an electrical adapter for both your layover locations and your final destination) 

• Phone + Charger 

• Notebook + Pen 

• Books, Magazines, etc. 

• Headphones (If you have the iPhone headphones, grab some normal ones to use for the in-flight entertainment) 

2. Medicines

• Small packet of Advil/Ibuprofen if you’re prone to headaches. 

• Your personal medicines. 

• Emergen-C Packets 

3. Water/Snacks 

• Healthy Fruits. (Small oranges, cut up apples) 

• Purchase water at each stop or bring an empty water bottle to fill up as you go. 

• Gum/Mints 

• Granola Bars/Protein bars

4. Beauty Products. 

• Josie Moran Tinted Moisturizer 

• Weleda Skin Food Moisturizer or any Hyaluronic acid serum 

• Sample-size Mascara 

• Travel size Batiste dry shampoo 

• Young Living Essential Oil: White Angelica (For peace and calming during your flight) 

• Tooth brush/travel sized tooth paste 

• Cetaphil travel-size face wash 

• Under eye concealer 

• Hair ties and bobby pins 

 *Pro Tip: Most international airports have a duty-free shop with high-end skin care lines that have samples or testers. Find a great overnight mask or eye cream that you might not purchase otherwise and give it a go. I’m currently writing this from Shanghai with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil plastered on my face. 

5. Comfort. 

• Your coziest sweatshirt 

• Neck pillow 

• Small blanket 

6. The Obvious.

•  Passport/ID

•  Travel documents. (I.e. Hotel or transfer information)

•  Extra Clothes. (don't forget undies and a swimsuit!)

 Wish I would’ve: 

• Compression Socks. My feet were swollen for the first three days of vacation. Swelling can lead to major health issues.

• Eye mask. There were many times I was asleep on the flight and they would turn on the lights for food service.

• Scarf. One that can be rolled up and additionally use as a blanket. Our flight ended up pretty cold. 

My best suggestion is to pack intentionally but minimally. I definitely couldn't have lived without my laptop but being able to freshen up at each stop i.e. toothbrush/toothpaste, face wash, essential oil was vital for me. 

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