I am not someone who looks forward to long flights. I have never been able to sleep on a plane and can find myself getting bored and fidgety very easily. With that being said I like to be as prepared as I can and make the best of long flights. I’ve been on flights as short as 30 minutes all the way to 12 1/2 hours and have learned along the way items I cannot live without while flying. Below are my must have items to bring in my carry-on for long flights.

  • Travel pillow – A pillow and blanket were provided on my recent flight to China, so a travel pillow didn’t come in use. Depending on what airline/seat you buy, it may be beneficial to purchase a neck pillow. This is the one I have!
  • Pen and paper – I always bring a notebook whenever I travel in case I have creative ideas or thoughts I want to write out. I also bring a pen which can come in handy for countries that require custom forms/visas to be filled out before entering the country. Make sure you have your passport number/visa number close on hand because you will need to write them down on your forms.

  • Medicine – I tend to get headaches and air pressure on a plane doesn’t help at all. I like have a bag of meds on hand in case of an emergency.
  • Book(s) – If you’re on an overnight flight, your seat mate may not love you turning the overhead light on to read, but it’s always a great way to pass time.
  • Wet wipes/hand sanitizer – I am one of those people who like to wipe off the seat, tray and arm rests before I get settled in. You never know the last time they were cleaned and I feel much more relaxed knowing my seat isn’t covered in germs from previous passengers.
  • Fuzzy socks – DO NOT FORGET THESE. If you hate feet, you might want to skip this, but 90% of people on the plane will take off their shoes to get comfortable and I am one of those people. You do not want to be stuck barefoot on an airplane (imagine all the germs, yuck)! Fuzzy socks help make you get more comfortable and relaxed and they really do make a huge difference.
  • Hydrating Face Mask – You may get funny looks from passengers, but they will be the ones with dry skin while yours feels refreshed and hydrated!
  • Collagen Eye Mask – These are perfect to get rid of puffiness and to make you feel ready to conquer your jet lag! I usually will do the face mask and then the under eye pads. I bought mine from amazon!
  • Moisturizer – I like going makeup free on a flight and using a thick moisturizer that hydrates my skin and helps keep out the recycled dry air on the plane.
  • Chaptick/Lotion – Airplane air is not your friend and will leave your skin dry if you don’t bring along reinforcement. Chapstick and lotion are a must for long flights.
  • Deodorant – You’ll want to feel clean and fresh after a long flight and deodorant is so helpful to making you smell clean and feel refreshed.
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste – Fresh breath is a must especially since you are in close proximity to so many people. I like to have a small travel toothbrush and toothpaste that I can easily pack away to use after a meal on the plane or before you land.
  • Snacks – Since I have a bunch of allergies, I like to be prepared with snacks when I travel. I like to bring protein bars and cereal cups that I know will fill me up. My favorites are Garden of Life, Vega Protein Snacks and Hope Bars (my favorite is the almond coconut)! One tip with snacks is to pack only what you think you will need in your personal bag and put the rest in your carry-on.

  • Gum – This is a must especially to help with when your ears start to pop!
  • Hair tie – There is nothing worse than wanting to put your hair up and not being able to find an elastic hair tie.
  • Small bag of makeup for touch ups before you land – Not everyone does this but it definitely helps me feel refreshed and put together before you land. You don’t have to bring your entire makeup routine on the plane, but some concealer, boy brow, mascara, blush and gloss will go a long way.
  • Headphones (they may provide you with some) – On my flight to and from Beijing we were given headphones and I didn’t use the ones I brought with me, but it doesn’t hurt to have a back up pair just in case.
  • USB – There were outlets and USB ports in our seats and I was so happy I brought a USB to charge my phone during the flight.
  • Portable charger – Just in case you’re not lucky enough to have an outlet or USB port it is always great to have a back up option with a portable charger.
  • Comfy sweater – I cannot travel without a comfy sweater. I am always cold on planes even when they provide a blanket, I always need that extra comfy option.
  • Change of clothes and under garments – Before you land it is a good idea to change and freshen up. If your plane ride is 7+ hours I highly recommend to bring a change of clothes. You will feel so much better getting off the plane feeling clean and ready to conquer your city you traveled to.
  • First aid kit – This one Is self-explanatory. I usually have Neosporin, band aids, stain remover and medicine.
  • Passport/ID – I like to keep these two items together because when traveling internationally you’ll need them out a lot (mainly your passport) to get checked and no one is happy when they have to wait on you to find these items.
  • Printed out flight and hotel & transportation papers – If you are going to a country where you don’t speak the language, have the hotel written down where you are going and maybe even have a picture printed out of the building to help communicate clearly so you don’t get left stranded.

This ended up being a lot longer than I was expecting but it is so helpful and a list I rely on for every flight whether it is one hour or 12 hours. Let me know below your must have carry-on items!


Stay Lovely,

Hannah Shanae



Saving this for my next trip!!!


What an awesome post! I am so bad at packing my carry on!!


I’ve been trying to hard to be better at this. This is such a good overview!



Great packing list, I love the fuzzy socks… I never take those but I feel like they would be a game changer on long flights!!

xo, Sarah


This is such a great list of items in your carry-on! I have the same list for my carry on too!


Definitely saving this for my next trip! So many great tips!



These tips are all great (especially about the fuzzy socks– I’m always FREEZING on planes so sometimes I’ll put on a pair of fuzzy socks over my regular socks!) The longest flight I’ve been on has been 6 hours, but I plan to travel more out of the country so I know these will all come in handy. Thanks for sharing!


Such a great in-depth list!! I am all about the thick fuzzy socks on long international flights.

xo, Laura


This is such a helpful list! I always end up throwing more than I need and forgetting the important things in my carry on!


these are such great packing tips! I love a good list. Thanks for sharing!


What a perfect perfect post especially for the frequent traveler like me! I absolutely love the list! It’s so perfect


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