What to Pack in a Carry-On for a Long Flight

What to Pack in a Carry-On for a Long Flight

What to Pack in a Long-Haul Carry On Flight

When you’ll be in the air on a 12 - 24 hour flight, having certain items with you in your carry-on luggage can be a lifesaver. Knowing how to pack for a flight and what to bring on a plane so you’re properly prepared will save you from going crazy and enable you to have a pleasant and relaxing experience – at least as much as you can while on an airplane for so many hours!

Below you’ll find the essentials you should pack in a carry-on when taking a long haul flight.  


Long Flight Essentials

Wondering what to pack in a carry-on for a long haul flight? We’ve got you covered with this list of long flight essentials.



While most of your clothing will go in your checked luggage, there are a few items you’ll want to have with you.

  • Slip-on Shoes - This style of shoe will get you through security faster and are easy to remove on the plane. Plus, they’re more comfortable to wear for several hours!
  • Socks - Cozy socks will keep your feet warm. Wool ones are recommended, as cotton ones can get sweaty when worn for a long time.
  • Hoodie or Sweatshirt - Having an extra layer to put on will be a lifesaver when your upper body gets chilly and needs to warm up. If you need something a bit dressier, bring a cardigan or a relaxed-style blazer.
  • Outfit Change – Bringing an outfit to change into at the end of your flight or right after you land will help you feel refreshed after sitting in the same outfit for all those hours! This is especially important if you’ll be traveling to a location with a very different climate than the one you’re leaving from.


Eye Mask & Ear Plugs

Sleeping on planes is hard for many people. To make sleep easier - and help you stay asleep once you finally doze off - wear an eye mask and ear plugs.


Noise-Canceling Headphones

Although you’re usually given headphones on a plane, you never know what quality you’ll be getting. Bringing your own noise-canceling headphones will enable you to watch movies and listen to music while enjoying good sound quality and without the disruption of outside noises.



Since plane cabins are dry, staying hydrated while flying is important – and even more so on long flights. Having your own water bottle will allow you to drink water whenever you’re thirsty, rather than waiting on water to be brought around on a cart or having to ask for water several times throughout your flight.



Pack your own supply of snacks to have on hand for when you get hungry in between meals. Some snack ideas that are good to bring on flights include:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Trail mix 
  • Cereal or energy bars
  • Dark chocolate (hey, it’s a long flight – you deserve a little treat!)



You’ll definitely want some things to do on a long flight to keep yourself entertained. While this will be a matter of personal preference, some ideas include:

  • Magazines
  • Books (or a Kindle for a lighter, more compact and convenient reading option)
  • iPad or laptop with downloaded movies to watch (in case you don’t like any of the in-flight options)
  • Smartphone with downloaded music playlists to listen to offline


Pen & Notepad

It’s always good to have a writing utensil and paper for jotting down ideas, journaling or sketching. Plus, you’ll need a pen to fill out customs forms.



Keep a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and face wipes in your carry-on so you can quickly and easily freshen up at the end of your flight. Lip balm and moisturizer are also good for keeping your skin and lips hydrated.


Important Medications

If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications, you should always keep them in your carry-on in the event your checked luggage gets lost or arrives late. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your airline’s rules for traveling with medication, as well as the specific requirements at your destination.


When packing for a flight, bring these essentials in your carry-on luggage and your flight experience will be more seamless and – dare we say – enjoyable!

If you’re in need of luggage or are looking to upgrade your current pieces, we highly recommend our Baseline luggage collection for long haul flights. The Expandable Cabin Bag allows 45% more space when you need it and the Carry-On Wheeled Garment Bag carries your hanging garments, allowing you to avoid checking in bags (and the fees associated with doing so!).

Find the best luggage for air travel in our vast selection of durable, stylish travel bags before your trip.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.