30 Life Saving Essentials To Pack In Your Carry-On For Long Flights

Do you dread long plane rides like me? Long flights are usually uncomfortable, but they don’t have to be! If you know what to pack in your carry-on for long flights you can have a smooth landing.

From my journeys, I learned from experience the travel essentials that are a must in your carry-on. So I will help you prepare for whatever may occur. Avoid the mistakes I made and find out the 30 essentials to pack in your carry-on for long flights. They are life-saving!

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Essentials To Pack In Your Carry-On For Long Flights

If you’re not sure what to pack for long flights, this post has you covered. Don’t board that plane without tossing these life-saving long-flight carry-on essentials into your bag.

Clothing To Pack In Your Carry-On For Long Flights

A lady sitting on a carry on luggage but not with the essentials for a carry on for long flights


Packing some extra panties in your bag is a must in your carry-on for long flights. If you’re going to pack anything, pack extra undies!

You never know with short or long flights if you’re going to have an unexpected layover or get your luggage lost. At least now you got some clean underwear in your carry-on to stay fresh, especially for a sudden overnight stopover.

Also, I like swapping my panties between long-haul flights. Before hopping on the next plane, I do a quick change at the airport and it makes me feel like a whole new person.

Just remember to pack a little baggie to keep them in so your dirty undies aren’t touching your other carry-on items.


No need to impress anyone for long-haul flights so dress comfortably. Wearing comfortable clothing for long plane rides is a must. For comfy outfits, I prefer to wear leggings or yoga pants, a comfortable t-shirt, a sweater, and some slip-on shoes.

Don’t forget when packing your carry-on for long flights to throw in an extra pair of leggings or yoga pants. Besides clean undies, it’s nice to feel fresh everywhere. My favorite yoga pants to wear are from Amazon. They are thick, sturdy, and comfortable for long flights.


Packing extra socks was a carry-on essential lesson I had to learn. If you’re like me and book long layovers to your destination is always nice to change your socks. Especially, if you’ve been in transit for a day.

While spending a cold layover in Paris, all the walking caused my feet to sweat and my socks became wet. After wearing them for 10 hours I was thrilled to get to the airport and buy a dry pair of socks. They really don’t take much room, just stuff an extra pair in your carry-on.


Nothing like getting settled in your seat and immediately taking off your shoes. If you’re not one of those people, remember to wear shoes that can easily be removed and slip right back on your feet. Having easy shoes to put on makes it so much easier just in case you need to stretch or go to the restroom.

RELATED POST: Essential Tips To Survive Long Flights

Sleeping Carry-On Essentials For Long Flights

picture of circles with a sleepy face and zzz's

Neck Pillow

I get so jealous when I see other passengers sleeping with their heads on the tray. If you are one of those people, just know I envy you! A neck pillow is a non-negotiable in my carry-on for long flights. With a neck pillow, I have somewhere to rest my head to ensure I get some sleep.


Airplanes always tend to be a little chilly, more like freezing. Packing a small foldable blanket with you in your carry-on for those long-haul flights helps keep you warm and cozy.

However, airline blankets are typically thin and small and really don’t serve their purpose. So I always pack with me and know it’s clean too.

Eye Mask

Eye masks are a necessity for me not just on the plane, but also at home. It’s something I cannot live without when trying to get sleep for long flights. Eye masks are cheap and you can just keep one in your carry-on that you only use for traveling. They will always be packed and ready to go.

My favorite eye mask has built-in headphones to block out white noise. This super soft eye mask blocks out all the light so you can rest peacefully. Having an eye mask is one major carry-on essential for long flights that I never leave without!


If it wasn’t for melatonin, I could honestly stay up the entire flight watching foreign films My adrenaline is usually pumping from excitement to arrival, and falling asleep can be difficult.

By popping melatonin I’m knocked out in 15 minutes. I wake up refreshed and ready to get the adventures started.

Toiletries Essentials To Pack In Your Carry-On For Long Flights

picture of toiletry bottles


Planes have a dry environment and cause extreme damage to the skin. It’s crucial to keep your skin hydrated throughout the flight. I do this by spraying lots of facial essence, and it helps prevent breakouts from the stale airplane air.

My favorite and super affordable essence is from Mario Badescu Skincare. They have a variety of light and clean scents you can choose! Rose will always be my number one!

Essence is not just for the plane, it’s a great refresher for your face throughout the day.

Sheet Mask

I will proudly whip out a sheet mask during a flight. Sheet masks are a total game changer keeping the skin hydrated for long flights.

Plane air can make your face look deflated, and using a sheet mask will keep you looking hydrated and dewy.

Andalou are my favorite sheet masks that I use religiously cause the do the job! They target all skincare concerns. For your trip, I suggest packing a few so you can give yourself a refresher at the hotel.

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Face Wipes

Stepping off the plane I use facial wipes to remove that recycled airplane air from my face. They are easy to pack and help your skin feel refreshed from international flights.

One of my favorites to clean my skin are from Yes. You get so many wipes for your buck to have throughout your trip too and use when needed.


It can’t be stressed enough to keep your skin hydrated when flying. Altitude, travel time, and cabin pressure are all factors battling your skin. The holy-grail moisturizer that I use religiously is from Belif-Aqua Bomb.

Toothbrush & Toothpaste

International flights are long and our breath is going to get funky. Brush your teeth so you don’t have stinky breath! Packing a toothbrush and toothpaste in your carry-on luggage so you can freshen your breath before leaving the airport.

This is a very important carry-on essential for long flights, plus you will feel so much better with minty fresh breath.


Avoid stinky armpits and pack a mini deodorant with you. A few sprays are great for a little awakening boost!


Besides keeping your face hydrated, your lips need some attention too when flying. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask is the best for keeping my lipss moisturized.

This is a miracle worker for hydrated lips. One jar will last you over a year so it is definitely worth the investment!

Body Splash

I always feel stinky stepping off the plane from a long flight. I can give myself a little refresher by packing a soft scent in my carry-on.

Do avoid overpowering scents if you’re going to do a few sprays on the plane.

Hand Sanitizer

Keep hand sanitizer handy in your carry-on for long flights. Being on a large plane with many people there will be coughing, sneezing, and who knows where their hands have been.

Hand sanitizer is a nice carry-on essential in case you decide to step outside the airport for a layover.

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Hand Lotion

My hands tend to get a little dry on the plane. Massaging moisturizer on them keeps them nice and smooth. One of my favorite and deliciously-smelling lotion is from Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Cream.

I have seriously developed an obsession with this scent and its texture. This lotion is super thick, and creamy. Leaves my hands feeling amazing!

Dry Shampoo

If your hair tends to get greasy and oily on international flights, like mine then I suggest packing a small bottle of dry shampoo. So you can fake a fresh hairdo by doing a couple of sprays to keep your hair looking newly washed. My favorite dry shampoo is from Psssst! order from Amazon here.

RELATED POST: How To Survive Long Flights In Economy

Electronics to Pack In Carry-On For Long Flights

picture of a man with a laptop on a plane one of the electronics to pack in your Carry-On For Long Flights


Airlines do provide headphones for international flights; however, I personally prefer to bring my own. Headphones are useful to listen to your favorite tunes and/or cancel out noise.

If you need complete silence to sleep, then I suggest purchasing noise-canceling headphones or earplugs. My favorite noise-canceling headphones have good battery life and will ensure you have no interruptions.


Honestly, we are all attached to our phones these days. It’s an essential you will take with you.


Not often do I take my laptop with me on my trips, but it is always in my carry-on if I do. NEVER put expensive items in your checked bag, only in your carry-on for long flights or any flight!


Take a book, audiobook, or Kindle you have been dying to finish, which can help quickly pass time on international flights.

Food Essentials To Pack In Your Carry-On For Long Flights


Snacks and meals are distributed at specific times during long flights, so pack a few small things to eat in case you get hungry before.

Nuts such as pistachios have always been my absolute favorite. They are filling and easy to stash in a small bag. Other snacks that are great for packing in your carry-on and delicious are beef jerky and granola bars.

Reusable Water Bottle

Be sure to drink lots of water on the plane. When you finish drink more to avoid being dehydrated. Drinking lots of water helps you avoid arriving with fatigue, nausea, or other unwanted side effects of flying. Also, help out the planet with a reusable water bottle!

Other Carry-On Essentials For Long Flights

picture of a passport, phone,  and money some of the things you must pack in your Carry-On


Don’t forget your passport! I am sure you have it if you made it on the plane!


Always carry a few bucks of your country’s money and the local currency. Some places may not take a credit or debit card and you don’t want to be stranded for anything you may need.

Credit/Debit Card

Just in case you become short on cash, you should have a backup with your card. I suggest using the American Express Platinum Credit Card. It’s my favorite credit card for traveling.


You need a pen to complete those entry forms. Keep one handy so you don’t have to ask anyone!


Don’t forget your keys so you can get back into your house when you return home! Or, maybe you don’t want to return home…

Just a friendly reminder to make sure all your carry-on essentials are travel size and fit TSA requirements. I typically pack my carry-on essentials in a mid-sized backpack just in case I leave the airport during flights. It is easy to store in case there are not any lockers available.

What Do You Pack In Your Carry-On For Long Flights

Since you know what essentials to pack in your carry-on for long flights your next trip will be easy peasy. Try them out for your next long flight. I hope they help you as they do me. Is there something you must have in your carry-on?

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Need Additional Travel Tips? Check Out These Other Related Posts!

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    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      That is so wonderful to hear. Thank you for the wonderful compliments!

  2. Julie

    This is a very thorough list of essentials for long flights! I always carry a pen with me for the same reason-learned that lesson the hard way!! I was feel way less anxious when I’m prepared and this list is a great resource!

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      I so agree with you! I got so tired of asking. Being prepared is key!

  3. Natasha

    These are great tips! I always travel with just a carry-on, so I always bring hygiene products, underwear, etc., but I never remember to bring face masks and other moisture pamper products.

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      Thanks girl! I wish I could just travel with a carry-on. Working on it slowly!

  4. Albi

    A reusable water bottle is always my savior, especially in airports. It is so easy thing just to take it with you. Great tips, these really are life-saver

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      Yes, I cannot travel with out my reusable water bottle!

  5. Amanda Kerr

    I travelled for 4 months and my eye mask, noise cancelling headphones, hand cream and face stuff was my lifesaver! 🙂

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      Oh those things are like a MUST!

  6. Francesca

    All of these items are so handy! It’s easy to get caught up in packing for your trip that you forget about the crucial comforts for the travel itself. I definitely couldn’t travel on a long haul flight without a sleeping mask, earplugs or a toothbrush!

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      Oh girl me either. I cannot live without my eye mask at home either!

  7. Hannah

    Headphones and an eye mask are my go-to essentials for any flight. You’re braver than me though, I’ve not dared to whip out a sheet mask mid-flight yet!
    Hannah | https://getlost.blog/

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      Those are must have items in a carry-on. You can do it next time. Your skin will thank you!

  8. Kez

    I only ever travel with carry on, so I always have everything I need!

  9. Rachel Day

    I always have a toothbrush it make you feel much fresher. Great tips.

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      It really does! Nothing like minty fresh breath!

  10. Disha Smith

    I love your list! I never get on airplanes without hand sanitizer. It’s a lifesaver.

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      Thanks girl. I know I feel the same about hand sanitizer!

  11. Patti

    This handy. My biggest problem is over packing.

  12. Jen Nilsson

    Is it weird that I sort of love long flights? Or maybe that’s just nostalgia for our long-lost world of travel! Ha. Good tip on the blanket. I learned that the hard way once on a frigid overseas trip. Great ideas here!

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      I feel you, it’s not weird. Would love to be on a long flight right now.

  13. Ally

    These are great tips! I definitely couldn’t survive a long haul flight without my sleep mask and sanitizer!

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      That sleep mask and sanitizer is everything for long flights!

  14. stephanie

    Such a useful guide! I always take my bikini with me in my carry on, in case the luggage gets lost 🙂

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      Good idea! Will definitely do that when heading to a Beachy vacation. It is hard finding a swimsuit you like, so great way to be super prepared!

  15. Jasmine

    Honestly, as soon as I read the first item, I was like “she gets me”, I never go on a flight without taking extra panties, it’s so nice to put on fresh ones half way through a flight! I also take so many other items you’ve listed on here! Thanks for the read!

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      Totally get you girl! It is so refreshing changing the undies between long flights. Makes such a difference!

  16. Maggie

    I tend to travel with a carry-on only, but when I do check a bag, I basically put everything I wouldn’t want to be without for a day in my carry-on. The checked bag is for superfluous stuff! This is a great list

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      I completely agree with packing at least for a day. You never know what could happen!

  17. Farrah

    I hate long flights so, so much, haha. These are great picks though–I’m all for dressing as comfortably as possible (+ honestly, I try to not have to check anything if possible–saves the hassle/worry!). Definitely all about the snacks + the reusable water bottle too!

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      I am not a fan of long flights, but I would love to be on one now. I get not checking anything, but I have too much when I am gone so long. I’m working on it though!

  18. Francesca

    Granola bars are a must for me to bring on flights too! I always need dry shampoo when I fly as well!

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      Yes dry shampoo is a lifesaver!!!!

  19. Sarah | Travel for a Living

    Packing my carry on for a long flight is always the worst for me. I end up packing loads of stuff I don’t need, yet forget some of the basic essentials.
    Love the idea of a sheet mask. True, why not make the most of the time on the plane. My skin gets so dry and itchy during a long flight, that I rarely know just how much more moisturiser i can slap on to keep me going.

    1. jetlaggedroamer@gmail.com

      I do the same, overpack and forget essentials. You’re not alone. The sheet mask have been a life saver for my skin. Do try when we are able to get back on the plane.

  20. sydney

    this is so helpful! great article 🙂


    Brill ideas here! I swear by noise-cancelling headphones. They’ve been a lifesaver on some flights!

    1. chrissy@jetlaggedroamer.com

      Hey Caroline! I heard those work really well. Haven’t tried them yet though. I can sleep with noise, just not light. That may change though in the future. Thanks for reading.

  22. Krista

    I always wear leggings for long flights so that I’m more comfortable along the way. Lots of great ideas here!

    1. chrissy@jetlaggedroamer.com

      Love leggings when doing long flights Krista. They are more comfortable. Thanks for stopping by!

  23. Hannah

    These are some great suggestions! I’m not sure I’m brave enough to use a sheet mask mid-flight, but I get through a lot of facial spritz and moisturizer! Thanks for the great guide!

  24. Mayi

    Great tips. I can’t stress how important it is to moisturiser your skin, especially with the plane aircon! I always bring sheet masks now with me after observing a Japanese lady doing so. She gave me so much practical tips (most of them in this article)!

    1. chrissy@jetlaggedroamer.com

      Oh that is so awesome to hear Mayi. Those sheet masks do wonders. Thanks for reading 🙂

  25. Shelley

    GREAT, and very thorough list. I don’t think anyone would want for anything on their trip by following your tips on this list. Socks & leggings flights are my go to items… and the sheet mask for after travel skin care is a game changer.

    1. chrissy@jetlaggedroamer.com

      Hey Shelley! Yes, those sheet masks are the best for battling that cabin air. So glad you enjoyed this list.

  26. Destiny

    Yesss, these are totally my essentials too! When I realized I could bring a reusable water bottle– that changed the game for me. Idk how I traveled without it before!

    1. chrissy@jetlaggedroamer.com

      I totally feel you on that one Destiny. They are a game changer!

  27. Francesca

    I always have to pack snacks on flights! I also always make sure to have a toothbrush and an extra set of clothes. You never know what is going to happen.

    1. chrissy@jetlaggedroamer.com

      Oh yes so true Francesca! You never know what is going to happen.

  28. Anne Betts

    Love ’em or hate ’em. Whatever one’s attitude to long flights, the secret to making the most of it lies in what’s packed in a personal carry-on bag. This is a great list of in-flight essentials. Thank you.

  29. Susan W

    “Alert! content is protected” This popped up every few paragraphs scrolling throughout this page. Pretty obnoxious. This was on google chrome

    1. Chrissy

      Thanks for letting me know. If you are on desktop and right clicking it will pop up. It is to alert others they cannot copy any information from the post. My content has been stolen several times. Will look into it though.

  30. Maya

    Agree with everything except the couple of times you recommend using a scented spray. I have asthma, so almost all perfumes bring on an attack. Usually not very serious, but pretty uncomfortable. Other than that, these are great suggestions. Thank you.

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