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

picture of a girl overstuffing her carry on

Who here dreads long plane rides like me? I mean they are totally uncomfortable, right? But, those flights don’t have to be! If you know what to pack in your carry-on for long flights they can be easy peasy.

I have learned from experience the travel essentials that are a must in your carry-on to be prepared for whatever may occur. Don’t make the mistakes I made! Read on and check out the 30 essentials to pack in your carry-on for long flights.

Picture of a pink suitcase and tax that reads 30 carry-on bag essentials to pack that you didn't know about.

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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


Pack an extra panty or two in your bag. I like to pack them for two reasons. One, you never know with those long flights if you’re gonna have an unexpected layover. At least now you got some clean undies in your carry-on to stay fresh. There have been times when the airline kept my checked bag for a sudden overnight stopover.

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


There isn’t a need to impress anyone for long-haul flights so dress comfortably. Of course, you can still look cute though! Being comfortable for long plane rides is a must. Comfy outfits I learn towards consist of 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. I like freshness to go beyond my undies, which helps me stay comfortable on the plane. Some of my favorite yoga pants to wear are from Amazon. They are thick and pretty sturdy, which makes them perfect for these long flights.


Packing an extra pair of socks was a lesson that took me a long time to learn. If you’re like me you may like to book long layovers to escape the airport if you are flying far. It is always nice to change your socks if you have been in transit for a day.

On one of my layovers I had a 24-hour layover in Paris and it happened to be so cold when I arrived. Walking around Paris all day in the chilly weather, my socks became wet from sweating, sexy huh? It felt so delicious putting on a new pair of socks I bought from the airport. They 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

It just irks me seeing other passengers who can sleep with their heads on the tray. If you are one of those people I envy you and gosh darn it I wish I could do the same. Packing my neck pillow is a must in my carry-on for long flights. Having my comfy neck pillow to rest my head I can be assured I will catch a few zzzzz’s.


The airplane environment tends to be a little chilly, more like freezing. Packing a small foldable blanket with you in your carry-on for those long-haul flights will help you stay warm and cozy.

Airline blankets are typically thin and small and really don’t serve their purpose.

It is such a nuisance trying to sleep and you’re freezing your butt off.

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 for long flights especially when trying to get some sleep. Eye masks are inexpensive and a great investment. Just keep a few in your carry-on that you only use for traveling. They will always be packed and ready to go.

This is one major carry-on essential for long flights that I never leave without!


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

By popping melatonin I’m snoozing within 15 minutes and getting some rest so I arrive ready for my adventure. I absolutely love taking this chocolate melatonin on a long flight. It even tastes like M&Ms, yum!

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. To avoid yucky skin spray, spray, and spray lots of essence throughout the flight to keep your skin super hydrated. I tend to break out for those long flights due to the stale airplane environment.

Since I have added essence on international flights my breakouts don’t even occur anymore. One travel size and affordable essence I purchase is from Mario Badescu Skincare. Oh my gosh, it is my fav and cannot express how much I am in love with this product.

They have a variety of deliciously-smelling scents to select from! My absolute favorite is the rose scent.

Essence is not just for the plane and should be spritzed on your face throughout the day. It’s a nice refreshing pep during the workday.

Sheet Mask

I have absolutely no shame in my game whipping out a sheet mask and transforming into that wacky passenger. Sheet masks are not just for your home skincare routine.

Applying sheet masks during a long flight is a total game-changer in keeping fresh skin. Avoid having your face look deflated and keep it looking hydrated and dewy during your flight. You will look fabulous stepping off the plane when you arrive!

My absolute favorites and that I use religiously are from Andalou. They target all skincare concerns. But, I do suggest since you’re traveling, stock up on the masks targeting hydration and brightening to avoid that airplane air damaging your skin.

Face Wipes

After stepping off the plane I always use a facial wipe to remove that last bit of recycled airplane air from my face. It’s a super quick way to make 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. And, they are nice to have throughout your trip too, and use when needed.


I cannot stress enough that you need to keep your skin hydrated when flying. Your skin is battling altitude, travel time, and cabin pressure which irritates your skin.

My all-time favorite moisturizer that I use religiously is from Belif-Aqua Bomb. I cannot tell you how many moisturizers I have used in the past, but I keep coming back to this one. It is the Holy Grail of all moisturizers!

Toothbrush & Toothpaste

It is an international flight so we know it is going to be long and our breath is going to get funky. Brush your teeth because your breath is going to get a tad bit stinky! Avoid arriving with morning breath and pack that toothbrush and toothpaste in your carry-on luggage.

It is one very important carry-on essential for long flights. Plus, you will feel so much better with minty fresh breath.


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


Not only do you need to keep your face hydrated, but also your lips when flying. As I said previously, that airplane air is extremely lethal. I have always dealt with dry lips until I stumbled upon the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask for keeping my lippy moisturized.

This is a miracle worker in keeping my lips feeling lovely. One jar will last you over a year so it is definitely worth the investment!

Body Splash

Stepping off the plane from a long flight leaves me feeling a little stinky and just gross. Packing a soft scent in my carry-on I can give myself a light spritz for a little refresher.

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

Hand Sanitizer

It’s nice to have a hand sanitizer handy in your carry-on for long flights. You’re on a large plane and there’s lots of people and everyone is 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.

Hand Lotion

Every inch of my body I try to keep moisturized on the plane. Massaging moisturizer on my hands keeps them nice and smooth. One of my favorite and deliciously smelling lotions 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, creamy, and leaves my hands feeling amazing!

Dry Shampoo

My hair tends to get greasy and oily on international flights so I fake a fresh hairdo by doing a couple of sprays of dry shampoo. A few spritzes of dry shampoo keeps my hair looking newly washed. Check out my favorite dry shampoo Psssst! from Amazon here.

RELATED POST: How To Take Care Of Your Skin While Traveling

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


Pretty much all airlines provide headphones for international flights; however, I personally prefer to bring my own. Headphones are good to listen to some of your favorite tunes and cancel out some of the outside noise.

If you need complete silence to sleep, then I suggest purchasing noise-canceling headphones or earplugs.


Honestly, not much to say here. Everyone is pretty attached to their phone these days. I know it is essential you will take it 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, but in your carry-on for long flights or any flight.


Take a book, audiobook, or Kindle you have been dying to finish. It is a great way to 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. My go-to is always some kind of nut and pistachios have always been my absolute favorite. They are filling and it is easy to stash 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

Drink lots of water on the plane and after you finish drink more since the airplane can be very dehydrating. By drinking lots of water you can avoid arriving with fatigue, nausea, or other unwanted side effects of flying. And, help out the planet and use 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 highly suggest finding a credit card that offers excellent benefits to enjoy perks during your travels.

If you are looking for a suggestion on which travel credit card to invest in, I suggest checking out my post on the American Express Platinum Credit Card. I am so obsessed with the bells and whistles this card has.


I hate it searching for a pen to complete those entry forms. Make it a priority to carry a pen 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…

quick recap of what to pack in your carry on for long flights

Just your 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! 🙂

  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!

  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.

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