Anyone who has ever been on a long flight knows, getting your carry on bag just right is almost as difficult as packing your actual suitcase. You are allotted only so much space so it is important to bring the bare essentials. With so little space available, it is imperative that you pack all the essentials, since no one wants to be stuck on a 10 hour flight, wishing they had packed one thing– or worse, the dreaded realization that you forgot something right as the plane is about to take off.
Knowing what to bring on your trip and what to leave at home is difficult, luckily we have collected a comprehensive list of the must-haves for any traveler.
- Reusable water bottle– because flights are super dehydrating, and that drink cart only comes around so often. Making sure you have a water bottle with you at all times is also smart because it cuts down on the use of plastic bottles. Simply fill up your reusable bottle post-security and feel refreshed and hydrated all flight long.
- Pens– this one might seem a bit odd, but think back to how many times on a flight you found yourself scrambling around or asking your neighbor for a pen. You can use it to fill out important forms, play Sudoku or crossword puzzles for a few hours, or simply doodle on a napkin. Pens are cheap and small, so there is no reason not to bring a couple along with you.
- Notebook–going off the pen idea, why not bring a small, travel sized notebook as well. I know for us, we never go anywhere without a notebook in hand– who knows when an idea will hit. Having a cute, fun notebook to take notes in or simply write a fun story– just to forget about how long the flight is, is always worth it.
- Scarf– bringing a lightweight scarf with you is very important, as scarfs are super versatile. They are great blankets on a cold flight, can be used as a pillow if you have no other option, and they are just great things to have on your actual trip. Try to find a lightweight, colorful one that also doubles as a fashionable accessory.
- Compression socks or tights– if you know the flight is going to be longer than four hours we recommend investing in some compression gear. Sitting in the same seat for long periods of time isn’t just uncomfortable, especially when your legs fall asleep, aka the worst thing ever, but it can also lead to some serious health problems like blood clots.
- Good headphones– you don’t have to go all out and buy some noise canceling Bose headphones, any good ones (not the free ones some airlines hand out) will do the job. Headphones are great for listening to music, watching a movie and for when you want to try to catch some ZZZ’s but your neighbor is snoring.
- In-flight entertainment– some people like Kindles, others like the standard book or magazine. Whichever you prefer, don’t forget to grab it on your way out the door. Having something to do while on a flight will make it 100 times easier. While we are not saying bring the heaviest book you own, make sure to bring something that will keep you engaged for hours on end.
- Portable charger– having your phone die is up there in terms of worst possible airplane ride scenarios. Making sure you have a way to charge it is imperative, not just for in flight entertainment, but for when you actually land. How else will you Snapchat everyone about making it to your awesome destination?
- Small bag for miscellaneous items– are you a big snacker on a flight? Or do you just need to make sure all your technology is in one place? Either way, having a pouch to keep all of that stuff will make it much easier to access, especially if you have to store your bag in the overhead bin. I know for us, bringing healthy snacks aboard is a must, so having the perfect size bag to hold them all in makes flying so much easier.
- Face wipes and other beauty essentials– being on a long flight often makes you feel a little gross, so before you land and get off the plane to face the world, make sure to take a second to clean yourself up a bit. A quick face wipe, hand cream and maybe some hand sanitizer (also smart to use during the flight because planes are kinda gross), will make you feel refreshed and ready to take on your new destination.
Making sure you have all the travel essentials ready to go in your carry-on bag is imperative to a good flight. It sets you up so that you can actually relax and think about how fun you will have in your final destination.