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Blue sky with a plane

Including long haul carry-on essentials and packing list

When you’re heading away on holiday you need to remember to pack some important things in your hand luggage. These are the items you don’t want to be without, you might need on the flight itself and should something happen to your suitcase, you’ll still have some things to keep you going.

This is our full flight essentials list that will make your long-haul flights not only successful but stress-free!

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Long haul flight packing list

This is the ultimate packing list for long-haul flights. We’ve included everything that you’ll need to make your long-haul flight fun while trying to reduce jet lag.

Passport and visas

You’ll be surprised how many people forget their passports and travel documents. Make sure that you have them in an easy-to-grab place and also have a copy on your phone just in case they get lost.

Hotel information

Makes sure that you have copies of your accommodation, any car hire or transfer information so that you aren’t stuck on the other side of your flight. Remember to bring all your travel insurance documents with you too just in case the worst happens.


It’s best to try and sort out any currency you need before you reach the airport. Remember to pack a spare debit or credit card as a backup in case you need more money. Most credit cards also offer a great exchange rate on purchases.

International flight essentials

These are items that everyone needs in their carry-on bag for all long-haul flights. These are travel essentials that you really shouldn’t be without when flying. Unless you are lucky to be sat in first class, these personal items will make your trip a much nicer experience.

A comfy backpack

This is to put all your items in on the flight. We aren’t talking about a hiking pack here. Just your normal size backpack that can fit on your back leaving your arms free to wheel your suitcase without to much hassle. Make sure that the straps are comfy and padded as you may be wearing it for a while during check-in and departure.

Our top three backpacks that we’ve used before are:

Laptop Backpack, Anti-Theft Rucksack*
This is a great rucksack for travelling. It has loads of organizational pockets which you can keep everything you need safe inside. The straps are soft and can be changed quickly and easily.

Trespass Waterproof Albus Unisex Outdoor Backpack*
This is a soft-fronted backpack that is made from durable polyester. It has three zip sections at the front and is a great all-round back for whatever you plan to do on your holiday.

Amazon Basics Classic Backpack*
This may be a basic backpack but it’s great as a travel bag. It’s lightweight, durable and would fit easily in an overhead locker on a long-haul flight.

Spare clothes

This might be more part of long-haul flight essentials but consider packing some spare clothes. You might want to change your underwear or simply have a spare t-shirt if you’re travelling during the hot season. It’s been known for people to get to their destination and their suitcase full of clothing has gone missing for their entire holiday. So having some spare clothes in your carry-on could save you living in the same outfit for a few days!

Travel pillow

You should also have a travel pillow with you. Whether it’s one of those blow up ones that goes round your neck or a more personal mini pillow you’ve sworn by on previous plane trips, not only will t help you be comfortable and sleep better, it will help you avoid neck pain.

Eye Mask

If you want to sleep during the day or just be able to plunge yourself into darkness when you want, an eye mask is essential.

Ear Plugs

One of your travelling essentials should definitely be earplugs. You don’t know who you’re going to end up sitting near or what noise might be beyond irritating. It could be a stag party or a baby crying. Having some earplugs helps you switch off from all of this and get some sleep should you wish.

Compression socks

These aren’t sexy but they are great for helping to increase blood flow to your legs if you have to be sat down for a long period of time. It is recommended that if you can, having a short walk up and down the plane regularly can also help. Please check with your doctor before you plan any long haul flight if you know it may cause you any medical complications.

Eye drops

Eye drops work wonders after a long flight and can really help you to feel more refreshed, especially if you have another onward journey to make.

Essential Long Haul Flight Health And Beauty Items

All these items belong in your carry-on bag and can help make you feel 100% better.

Medication & Remedies

Lots of us rely on medicine and have to take it at specific times during the day. If you have plans to leave the country for any amount of time the general consensus is to talk to your doctor about it 2 months ahead of time. You should carry medicine in your hand luggage with a copy of your prescription. Remember that some over-the-counter medication from one country may be controlled in another.

There is lots of advice about travelling with medicine on the NHS website. If you have anxiety about flying or want help sleeping during the flight, you might want to take a small bottle of Rescue Remedy (under 100 mls is fine to carry on) or a lavender sleep balm a part of your hand luggage essentials.


As mentioned, you are fine to take things through in your hand luggage that are under 100 mls. If you’re heading on a long-haul flight you might want to freshen up occasionally. So pack a mini tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush. A small deodorant, face wipes, and chewing gum are also great ideas for your hand luggage essentials.


With so many people on the plane, it makes sense to have some hand-sanitizer in your bag for when you need it. We also bring hand wipes to wipe down the lap tables before we eat too.

Lip balm

Long flights can really dehydrate your lips so having lip balm to hand can help them fill better and make you feel a little brighter.


Having good moisturiser in your bag can help to brighten up your skin after a long flight.

Sweets and snacks

These are vital for every part of a long-haul flight. They stop your ears from popping on the way and down and can help you feel more hydrated. Pack as many snacks as you like that will help to keep you full.

Water bottle

You want to stay hydrated when you’re travelling but you can’t take a bottle of water through security with you. You can though, take a water bottle and fill it up once you’ve gone through your checks. Lots of airports have water fountains but if you can’t find one sometimes staff in cafes and food outlets can be helpful. Take an empty reusable water bottle with you.

Entertainment Ideas For A Long Haul Flight

This is everything you are going to need to keep yourself amused during your long-haul flight. You can easy count the hours down with these items.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Along the same lines as the ear plugs, your hand luggage essentials should include noise cancelling headphones. This lets you focus on getting some work done (see below), listen to music or watch one of the in flight movies. Being able to use this time in the air to our advantage is a great thing to do and if you’re travelling far, this could be a key part of your long haul flight essentials.

Book and magazine

A lot of people swear by having a good book to read during travel. You might find yourself stuck at an airport waiting for a 12 hour delayed flight. Having a book to flick through and escape into helps you pass the time. You can pick up a cheap long read from a charity shop for less than £1.


As mentioned further up, some people use the time spent in flight to catch up or get ahead with work. This could be creating presentations, writing content, editing videos. If you’re planning on doing this, be sure that your laptop s properly packed and protected in your hand luggage.


I’d always suggest putting expensive and important gadgets in your carry-on rather than in your suitcase. Things are known to go missing when they are placed in the hold of the plane. You might also want to capture images from the sky and if you’re a vlogger, having your camera with you is integral to creating video content.

Power-bank & charging cables

Your travelling essentials should include a power-bank so you can charge your devices on the go as well as all the cables you’ll require. Don’t forget an adaptor for foreign countries too.

What else would you add to your traveling essentials? What do you always take with you on a long haul flight? Essentials are so important to help us be prepared for the unknown and enjoy the flight with a little less stress. Let us know your favourite and never-left-behind hand luggage essentials.

Laura x

If you enjoyed this post and would like some more travel tips then have a look at our section here for our full guide to what you need for the perfect holiday. You could also pop over to our Pinterest boards for lots more travel tips on Travel Tips for Beginners and Beginner Travel Guides.

Heading away on holiday? Then this is the best long haul flight essentials list that walks you through exactly what to pack by Laura at Tweet Your Trip

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