view from airplane window of hawaii below

Taking that dream trip to Europe, Asia, or maybe the Maldives? Chances are that you will end up on a long haul flight or two. Sitting in a confined space for an extended period of time is hard. So, how can you make it easier? Here are our suggested essentials for long haul flights!

Whether you find yourself flying long-haul flights regularly or it’s your first time, it’s important to know what to bring. That way you’re able to pass the time quicker and enjoy your time while you’re in the air.

Our family of four ranging in age from ten to fifty plus took our first transatlantic flight together to Norway this summer. We’ve been to Costa Rica and Hawaii. But these were long haul flight with multiple connections. Purchasing items to make the travel as restful as possible was an excellent investment.

These are travel essentials for long haul flights that can help everyone have a more comfortable and restful trip. 

View after take off from my home airport of Eagle Vail in Colorado.

Travel Organizer

A travel organizer will come in handy for all your important documents. This includes your passport, boarding pass, and any other form of identification.

Having a place to keep all these things together will help you stay organized and stress-free while going through security.

During Covid security lines may have been short. But that all changed the summer or 2022.

TSA Pre-Check

Of course, having Global Entry, TSA Pre-Check or CLEAR can also smooth your way through security and immigration. Many credit cards will actually pay for your application fee for these programs.

Minors or others on the same reservation as the person with CLEAR or TSA Pre-Check can often accompany that person through the respective lines. But each individual, regardless of age, will need their own Global Entry to be able to go through that line.

Of course the goal of these programs is to get you through the lines faster. With children this can be even more helpful. Often children haven’t yet developed the patience to sit in long lines without complaining or melt downs.

centurion lounge dia
Entrance to the Centurion Lounge at DIA, a comfortable place to spend a 4 hour layover, also providing both breakfast and lunch that day.


And, having lounge access can also make travels easier. On one of our many layovers, we loved having access to the Centurion Lounge with our Platinum American Express.

Different lounges offer different amenities. At a base level, you should be able to expect food and drink. But many also have game rooms, workout facilities, showers and sometimes even a place to sleep.

The real perk of lounge access is having a comfortable place to wait out a layover. Of course, you can head to a restaurant. But they aren’t going to be happy having you attempt to hang out at the table long after having eaten.

Compression Socks

I first learned of compression socks when having a surgery. Come to find out that they are also great for travel. Compression socks improve circulation and help prevent swelling.

Put the socks on before your flight and they can be worn for up to sixteen hours.

airplane taking off in the sky
There are many ways to make air travel more comfortable.

Noise-Canceling Headphones

I simply don’t know if I ever survived without noise-canceling headphones on long haul flights.

While it may not necessarily be noisy from the people around you, these amazing headphones will drown out the noise from the flight so that you can catch some sleep.

Eye Coverings

If you’re like me, then you appreciate total darkness when you go to close your eyes and catch some z’s. 

An eye mask will do just that and also keep any unwanted light from waking you up during the flight.

Neck Pillow for Long Haul Flights

Don’t be tired, uncomfortable, and restless throughout the entire flight.

A neck pillow will help support your head and neck so that you can get some rest.

They come in all different shapes and sizes so that you can find the perfect one for you.


Who knows? You may wake up from a nap a mile above the ground with an excruciating ear or headache.

Or maybe your meal from earlier just isn’t sitting right with you?

You shouldn’t run into any problems when packing aspirin, tums, and other OTC medicines as long as you still have them in the original container.

Hand Sanitizer

You never know when you’re going to need to clean your hands throughout the flight.

Whether it’s before you eat or after you’ve used the restroom, hand sanitizer is a must on long flights.

Look for a small travel size so that it doesn’t take up too much room in your bag and make sure it’s easy for you to access.

Moisturizer and Hand Lotion

Your skin can get pretty dry after only a few hours up in the air.

Imagine going a whole trip without anything to freshen up your skin.

That’s why I always bring moisturizer and hand lotion with me on long haul flights.

I like to apply them after washing my hands so that my skin doesn’t feel too dry.

Lip Balm

Chapped lips are the worst, especially when you’re trying to enjoy your time on a long flight.

Lip balm will help keep your lips moisturized and protected from the dry air on the plane.

Collapsible Water Bottle

You’re going to want to stay hydrated on long flights, but you don’t want to have to keep getting up to go to the restroom.

A collapsible water bottle is perfect because you can fill it up before your flight and then empty it once you’re in the air.

That way you can stay hydrated without having to make too many trips to the restroom or pay for water while on the plane.


Bringing your own snacks on long flights is a must and most airlines allow it. Not only will it save you money, but you’ll also be able to control what you’re eating.

I like to pack a mix of healthy and unhealthy snacks so that I have something for whatever I may be craving at the time.

Nuts, granola bars, candy, and chips are all great options.


You’re going to want to have some form of entertainment with you on long flights to help pass the time.

This can be anything from a good book to your favorite movie. I like to bring my laptop so that I can watch movies and TV shows, but if you don’t want to bring it, consider getting a Kindle.

That way you can still access all your favorite books without carrying around a lot of weight.

Portable Battery Charger

On long flights, your phone battery is going to die way before your plane even lands.

A portable charger is a great way to keep your phone charged and also have a little bit of backup power in case of an emergency.

Comfortable Clothes

This next one is a given, but you’re going to want to be sure to wear comfortable clothes while on long flights.

You’re going to be sitting in the same spot for a long time, so you might as well be comfortable. I like to wear leggings and a loose-fitting shirt or sweater.

And if you get cold easily on flights, be sure to pack a scarf or light jacket that you can put on if needed.

A Travel Hairbrush

Traveling for a long period of time on a plane can cause a lot of static and have your hair looking absolutely ridiculous when you finally arrive at your destination.

To avoid this, be sure to pack a travel hairbrush so you can fix your hair before you leave the plane.

Hair ties would also be a good idea when you’re just tired of messing with them.

Small Toothbrush and Toothpaste for Long Flights

When you’re midway through a flight and have hours of sleep behind you, there’s a good chance that you’ll feel like freshening up your breath.

Remember to bring a small toothbrush and toothpaste so your teeth look shiny and your neighbor isn’t casting you sideways glances due to your bad breath.

If you don’t like the idea of brushing your teeth on a plane, the least you could do is bring a small travel-size bottle of mouthwash.  

These are just a few of the essentials that you’ll need on your long haul flight.

By being prepared and having everything you need with you, you can make your long flight a lot more bearable. So, the next time you’re packing for a long trip, be sure to keep these things in mind.

More Travel Tips:

Essentials for Long Haul Flights
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