Flying long haul in economy can be painful and uncomfortable but after years of flying, I have learned how to survive long flights and make the best of the situation. For starters, I have a list of long haul flight essentials that I always pack in my carry on bag for overnight or international flights. My long haul flight essentials list includes all the travel items I need to be comfortable and entertained on a long flight in economy.
Here are in flight travel essentials that every flyer needs on a long flight.
Long Haul Flight Essentials (2023)
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1. Reusable water bottle
Drinking water on long flights is crucial – because the air is so dry on airplanes, dehydration happens quicker when flying than it would on the ground. I always bring a reusable water bottle full of water when I board a plane which is handy if I get thirsty before drink service begins. During the flight, I ask the flight attendants to fill up my bottle so that I don’t use all those disposable plastic cups. I like Klean Kanteen bottles because they are insulated and keep my water cool.
2. Hand Sanitizer
Airplane surfaces can be very dirty so I always bring antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer with me when I fly. I use antibacterial wipes to wipe down my tray table, arm rests, seat belt buckle etc when I first board a flight and hand sanitizer to clean my hands before I eat.
3. Lip balm and lotion
The air in the flight is very dry so lip balm and lotion are at the top of my in flight essentials list.
4. Reading material/entertainment
Other than sleeping, the best way for me to pass the time on a long flight is to read a good book. While I prefer reading actual books, a Kindle E-reader is a space saver because I can download my favorite travel books, instead of bringing a bunch of books with me.
5. External battery
I always bring an external battery to charge my phone and electronics because some airplanes don’t have power outlets in economy.
6. Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
I find it easier to sleep after I brush my teeth, so I always pack toothpaste, a toothbrush and floss in my carry on bag.
7. Noise cancelling headphones
8. Eye mask
If you have trouble sleeping with lights on, pack an eye mask.
9. Travel Pillow
10. Comfortable Clothes (Including Layers and a Scarf)
I always make sure to wear loose fitting and comfortable clothes when flying. The key is to wear layers so that you can adjust to the airplane temperature. Airplane cabins can sometimes be freezing so I never fly without a scarf (which can also be used to block out light in lieu of an eye mask). I also recommend wearing slip on shoes without laces so that you can take them off easily and put them back on when going to the bathroom.
11. Socks/Compression Socks
I always bring a pair of comfortable socks to keep my feet warm and clean when taking off my shoes in flight. While everyone is at risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on long cramped coach flights, compression socks are an absolute must if you are pregnant, older or have a history of blog clots.
I always bring a few energy or granola bars just in case I get hungry between meal service or I don’t like the food.
So this is my list of long flight essentials which are always packed in my carry on bag. To make sure you don’t forget anything, I have a printable carry on bag essentials packing list which includes all my long haul flight essentials as well as other important items (such as valuables, medication, extra underwear, etc.) that need to be in hand luggage.
Do you have any long haul flight essentials?