Cramped seats, dry air, way too many people in your personal space, boredom, turbulence and the high necessity for patience…I think it’s safe to say long haul flights are is thee worst part of travel and it’s time to admit- we lowkey hate flying.
We’ve found some essentials that help make it more tolerable. Which is kind of necessary when you love to travel!
From 2 hour flights to 18+ hour flights, we’ve been there. And so far, the discomfort has always been worth the reward of arriving in an exciting, new place.
These are the things we use to survive long haul flights and things that work for us. Most are items that can easily be added to your carry-on, but I’ll get into some mind soothing ideas as well. *deep breath*
We put together this comprehensive guide full of long haul flight essentials, and hopefully it’ll help you tolerate your next flight!
For starters, you’re going to want the perfect long haul flight outfit. See Below.
Long haul flight outfit:
It’s all about being comfy, and rocking layers. My perfect long haul flight outfit consists of:
- Aerie Yoga Leggings: I swear by these, they’re so comfortable and super high quality for half the price of most competitor yoga pants. If its a shorter flight, I’ll wear my favorite express jeans, but that’s more rare.
- Comfy T-Shirt: I always wear a comfy t-shirt (preferably something made from hemp, merino wool or organic cotton). Merino wool clothing is great for travel because it wicks moisture and it’s anti-odor, great for long flights or lasting freshness between those few and far between laundry days!
- Warm and Comfy Sweatshirt: I love this North Face one because its super cozy. It’s warm but breathable which is perfect for long haul flights! Airplanes are always so cold to me but if you prefer something more lightweight, this Quilted-Pattern Lightweight Sweatshirt is a good option too. Cute and fashionable but enough to keep you at a comfortable temperature on the flight.
- SmartWool Socks: These are a game changer. Another appearance of Merino Wool, these SmartWool Socks are amazing for travel, hiking and every day. They’re anti-odor so again, easy to rewear if you’re unable to do laundry or change for a long time. Plus they’re warm and breathable, aka a long haul flight essential.
- Vessi Footwear Sneakers: These ultra lightweight, waterproof, vegan sneakers are a travel essential. Ever been roaming through Europe or Bali and it just starts pouring out of no where? Same. That’s why I love that these are waterproof! Plus they’re super cute- don’t have to sacrifice comfort for fashion. Win -win!
Best Carry-On Luggage
Now that outfit is out of the way, let’s get into the essentials. What to carry on to the plane?! Hint: I advocate for carry-on ONLY. Whether that be a solid travel geared backpack or a sturdy but compact suitcase…we just stick to carry-on.
No one wants to be stuck paying baggage fees, losing luggage, or waiting at the conveyor for your bag to pop up. We’ve got places to be people! (Am I revealing my impatient Aries tendencies?)
Keep in mind, good luggage (backpack or suitcase) is an investment. Better to invest in quality luggage and not have to replace it every trip. Choose something that will last.
Best Carry On Travel Backpacks
- Pacsafe Venturesafe Anti-Theft Carry-On Backpack: I hate top loading backpacks. That’s why the two I’m recommending here both open up suitcase-style! Makes it so much easier to access your things and stay organized. This Pacsafe bag is the perfect size and will fit in any overhead compartment, and even under the seat if needed. It has tons of compartments and a super sleek design. It also has puncture resistant zippers and cut resistant material to help keep your stuff safe.
- Osprey Farpoint 40: This Osprey was my first travel bag and I still have (and use) it! It’s super durable, I’ve taken it on many international trips and it doesn’t show any wear. Even though I’ve tossed it into the back of taxis, dragged it around in foreign countries, and left it on various floors with little to no respect (I’m sorry, dear Osprey). Luckily, these bags are so very well made and can withstand the dangers of traveling with me. Highly recommend. It also has tons of compartments to help me organize all my toiletries, electronics and travel gadgets. And I love the waist strap on this bag, it helps take the weight off your shoulders! My shoulders seem to always be tense, sigh. And again, opens up suitcase style which I adore and is my number one requirement for travel backpacks. (unless its a daypack/small backpack, then different story of course)
You may also want to read: How to Plan a Trip: Step by Step Guide to Travel Planning
Best Carry On Luggage
If you prefer to have wheeled luggage instead of a backpack, here’s some great options for carry-on sized suitcases. Sometimes these are a good option for long haul flights, especially if you’re someone who struggles with lugging a backpack around. Both backpacks and suitcases have their perks, just depends on your preference and where you’re going.
- Away Carry-On: Away luggage is the “it” brand for modern travelers. Their bags come in cool colors, include battery packs that can charge your electronics directly from the bag, and are overall very sleek and stylish. All while still fitting in overhead compartments! If you’re down for a little splurge, these are worth it.
- Chester Carry-On. Chester luggage is similar to Away, but a bit easier on the budget. Without the capability to charge your electronics, it still has several perks like coming in a variety of pretty colors, having internal compartments to help organize your bag, and a hard shell cover that will keep your items secure. Plus those 360° wheels will make it easy to stroll along huge airports! Your shoulders will thank you.
Preparing for Your Flight
Preparing for a long haul flight definitely requires the gathering of some essentials. I like to make sure my immune system is taken care of and supported, I have travel insurance booked already, and a little handle of in-flight necessities to keep nearby on the journey.
- Travel Insurance: World Nomads is our go-to travel insurance company, they cover everything! Important to have just in case anything happens while you’re traveling. They even cover adventure sports and all kinds of stuff that most travel insurance companies don’t.
- In-Flight Necessities Kit: In a separate make-up bag or small toiletry bag I keep a little flight necessities kit. A toothbrush & toothpaste, body & face wipes, deodorant, gum, moisturizer, lip balm, tissues and a collapsible water bottle. Good to have these things on hand so you stay comfortable on the journey.
- Immune System Builders: If you know me, you know I’m Organic Olivia’s number one fan. But it’s for a reason. Her products are top of the line but still affordable considering the quality. She takes great care in sourcing her ingredients and alchemizing her products- I’ll be loyal forever! That being said, if you want to support your immune system before and during flying I highly suggest the following:
- Immune Shroom: Capsules of superfood mushrooms that will support your immune system at the deepest level. I always take these before travel or once in awhile when I feel like I need the extra support and am amazed when I don’t get sick.
- Elderberry Immune Elixir: This is my “flu shot” 😉 Elderberries are an incredible immune system supporter. They’ve been shown to inhibit viral reproduction, so basically if you come across any viruses but then take this, the duration and severity of sickness can lessen greatly, if you even get sick at all.
- Aloe Echinacea Soothe Your Throat Spray: Love having this on long haul flights since the air gets soo dry in those planes! Soothes any throat dryness, especially if you get that before the cold throat itch. It also has lung supporting herbs- great for potential breathing issues. My favorite remedy for stale plane air. Ahhh.
- Not Your Average Probiotic: A daily necessity for me. Among several other benefits, probiotics help keep the immune system strong. Majority of our immune system strength comes from our gut so having a healthy balance of the good guys in there (probiotics) will support your overall health.
Disclaimer: These are only suggestions that have worked for me. Always consult with your doctor regarding any potential health concerns.
You may also like: The Essential Herb Tinctures and Formulas I Never Travel Without
Long Haul Flight Essentials for On the Plane
For me, sleeping is the most essential thing on the plane. I’d much rather kill time snoozing than trying to keep my mind peaceful or occupied.
That being said, it’s not always easy to fall asleep on flights but some of these thing can help.
- Travel Pillow & Small Blanket: Yeah yeah we get it, the neck pillows are tacky. Don’t care though because its way easier to sleep on a plane with one than without! Cabeau travel pillow is my favorite but I’ve heard great things about the Trtl Neck Pillow, pretty unique and I plan on trying it out on my next flight. As for the small blanket, most airlines will include one if its a long flight, but if you’d rather bring your own, anything small enough to layer into your carry-on is great. We usually pack at least one compact fleece blanket, nice to have in airports too if you’re on a long layover. Plus who knows how often the ones provided in flight are cleaned. Eek.
- Comfy Clothes: See above for my favorite long haul flight outfit. But another thing you may consider is some compression socks. These will help with blood circulation support and help fight swelling that can happen on long flights.
- Entertainment: Always good to bring something to do, for that time that you are awake on the flight. Headphones, a journal & pen, a book or kindle. I also like to download a few podcasts or guided meditations to enjoy! Hay House Meditations is available anywhere you source your podcasts and they have a huge selection of wonderful meditations you can download.
- Sleep Essentials: It’s not easy to sleep on planes but it is possible. Sleep juice is a huge help, it has several sleep supporting herbs that will help you fall asleep and stay asleep. I love that it has Valerian Root- always calms my looping thoughts that appear when I’m on a flight, and help me settle so I can actually sleep. Sleep juice and this silk eye mask are all I need 🙂
How to Soothe Your Mind on a Long Haul Flight
Anyone else get a restless mind when flying? Somehow my thoughts always loop back around to “how much time is left on this flight?” …very annoying when this occurs every 15 minutes… here’s my tips for that, please feel free to share yours in the comments!
- Journal: It is nice to have some time to just freewrite! Let your thought stream out onto paper without editing, judging, and so on. Who knows, maybe you’ll pull a J.K. Rowling and start writing a book on the back of a napkin! But those airline napkins are pretty tiny… so like, bring a journal maybe and write that book, or just put your thoughts on paper.
- Read: Speaking of books… read one! My favorite at the moment is Becoming Supernatural by Joe Dispenza. It’s so fascinating what our minds are capable of. He tells so many cool stories about experiences and realizations people had when changing their life or healing from various ailments. For the skeptics who are slightly curious about manifestation and healing and all that goodness, this is a great start for you. Its packed with science and research behind the brain processes that are responsible for changing our reality.
- Peace Juice: This is another formula I almost always have on me… traveling or not! It’s a gentle blend of calming & grounding herbs for when you feel anxious, stressed or uncomfortable. Love having this on the plane for instant relief.
- Essential Oils: I always bring at least one essential oil with me on the plane. It’s nice to have something that will soothe your mind and body through scent! Lavender, Spearmint or Peppermint, and any Citrus scents are my favorites. I use a little bit of carrier oil like jojoba, with a tiny drop of the essential oil and that does the trick!
- Crystal Palm Stones: Crystals are another way I like to calm my mind when I’m restless on a flight. I usually bring a couple stones with me to hold or keep in my pocket. Selenite, Rose Quartz, Blue Calcite and Hematite are my favorites for this purpose, but there are tons of options. See which ones you feel drawn to and then decide from there.
Hopefully you found some tips for making that long haul flight bearable! What’s in your long haul flight essentials kit?