13 June 2019

10 Flight Essentials to Pack in your Carry-On

Long-haul flights can be a great time to kick back, relax and chill with the latest movies back to back. On the other hand, it can be a painful test of endurance. That’s where taking the time to pack your carry-on thoughtfully is crucial.

With another long haul flight looming for myself next month (the current longest flight in the world, eek!), it's the perfect time to share the ten inflight essentials that I pack (and you should too) for every single flight.

1. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Investing in a good pair of high-quality headphones is a must. Noise-cancelling is an absolute lifesaver to help drown out background noises (aka crying babies). Having a good fit over the ear and ensuring they are super comfortable to wear for long periods of time is important to look into before buying too.

2. Entertainment

Sometimes the inflight entertainment is phenomenal, other times… not so much. Therefore, my tip is to load up all your devices with plenty of backup films, TV series, games and the like to keep you entertained. Don’t forget to pack your cables or a portable charger to keep your devices charged. I always pack a book too or have plenty downloaded on my Kindle app to read on my phone.

Check out my favourite Carry-On bag: Muzmm

3. Reusable Water Bottle

For any long-haul flight, hydration is key. Taking a reusable water bottle on board ensures you’ll stay hydrated (which is an important step in the battle against jet lag). It saves you having to ask for a million refills of a tiny plastic cup and it also helps reduce single-use plastic consumption. Hover around the kitchen area when needed and ask a flight attendant who will be happy to refill your bottle for you.

4. Toiletries

Perhaps the best way to stay sane on a long flight is to stay as fresh as possible. Packing some deodorant, makeup wipes, a toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm and moisturiser is an excellent way to keep you feeling nice and clean and back to your normal self (as much as is possible in economy class). Don't forget that hand sanitiser too, your best ally in the battle against germs. Be sure to check all of your liquids are under 100ml or bid farewell to them at security.

5. Something Warm

Heading to a tropical destination so you rock up to the airport in shorts, sandals and a T-shirt? Not the best idea. Plane temperatures are regulated and it can get a wee bit chilly, especially since you're sitting still for long amounts of time and work up little body heat. Bring a sweater or jacket to keep you warm and wear long trousers (no, no one wants to see your PJ pants). I also like to bring a light scarf and a fuzzy pair of socks. Being warm and comfy will also make it a lot easier to get some sleep.

6. Neck Pillow

Not everyone is a fan of neck pillows but I personally like to use one if only to stop myself from nodding all over the place. I have a blow-up one from Kathmandu which can pack away small and fit easily in my hand luggage. Whenever I'm feeling sleepy I just whip it out and blow it up. I've heard memory-foam neck pillows are great too that mould to the shape of your neck.

7. Eye Mask & Ear Plugs

I would have no chance of sleeping if I didn't pack my trusty eye mask and ear plugs. Even when the lights are turned off in the plane, there are still plenty of people watching movies and using reading lights etc. Blocking out the light and the noise will definitely aid you in the not-easy task of sleeping in an upright position.

8. A Pen

This is pretty obvious but you'd be surprised at the number of times people have asked to use my pen. With long haul destinations, it is highly likely that you’ll have to fill out a landing or immigration form before you can enter your destination country. Do yourself a favour and pack one.

9. Snacks

Real talk, sometimes inflight meals aren't the best... hence packing snacks is a key essential in your hand luggage. My go-to snacks are fresh fruit or healthy, low-sugar protein bars. I always pack gum and mints too in case the person next to you is sleeping and prevents you from getting up to brush your teeth for a while.

10. Spare change of clothes

Having a spare change of clothes in your carry on is an absolute essential. When you travel to the opposite ends of the world like I often do (New Zealand to Edinburgh for example), it takes two back-to-back long-hauls which can often take 35+ hours in total. If I have a long enough layover between them I will take a shower at the airport. If there isn't enough time, I head to the bathroom, use makeup wipes, put on fresh deodorant and my spare change of clothes. 
It's the perfect way to freshen up and feel like your normal self again. No one wants to be sat in the same clothes for 35 hours. No one.

Those are my top ten in-flight essentials to pack in your hand luggage. Do you have any other essentials to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.

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Happy Travels,

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