Carry On Essentials for Long Flights

People always ask us how we survive long international flights. And while we’ve been traveling frequently for awhile now, its taken us a while to be fully prepared for long flights. We are firm believers in traveling “light” and packing as much in your carry-on (or backpack if you’re backpacking in Southeast Asia) as possible. Preparing for a long-haul flight can be rather intimidating. If you’re preparing for a international flight, make sure to pack these essentials in your carry on.  Being in the air for a long time can make you uneasy, but having these items in your carry-on will make your flight that much more enjoyable. If you have a long flight coming up, we’ve put together a list of our favorite carry on essentials for long flights easier.  If you’re not sure what to pack for a long flight, this list will help!

Carry On Essentials for Long Flights

What to pack in a carry-on for a long flight. All the carry-on essentials for surviving a long flight

What to Pack in your Carry On for Long Flights

Carry On Luggage

  • Backpack
    If you want more of a backpack, we love our knack bag expandable backpack because it fits in the overhead compartment, but has plenty of room and storage to fit all our electronics and other fun carry on essentials! The knack bag is the best carry on bag for long haul flights, because of its versatility and expandable compartment.
Knack Bag Expandable Bag
  • Purse/Tote
    For women, a nice big purse is ideal as well. The best handbag for long haul flights is Baggallini womens Travel Avenue Tote, Charcoal, One Size US because I can stuff lots of things in there, but can still find them easily. It’s nice to have separate pockets for everything, like laptop, passport, and other things youll be bringing in your carry on.


  • Wireless headphones
    These Apple AirPods with Charging Case (Previous Model) are the absolute best for the airplane because the charge lasts forever. 5 hours of listening time on one single charge, plus the case has a charge also. Plus no cords at all!


In-flight entertainment

  • Podcasts and Music
    Find some good things to listen to. It helps if its something you enjoy and calms you, it takes your mind off the long flight.
  • Phone or Tablet with offline games
    Having a tablet or New 2017 Model Apple iPad 9.7-inch Retina Display with WIFI, 32GB, Touch ID (Space Gray) while you travel is great for podcasts, audiobooks or offline games like sudoku or crossword puzzles.
  • Journal or coloring book
    A  or Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book will both help speed up the time. We carry a jounral when we travel anyways to write down places we visit or things we want to remember on our trips. Adult coloring books are the new craze and supposed to be great for managing stress!

Fire 7 Tablet (7" display, 8 GB) - Black - (Previous Generation - 7th) +


manta sleep mask


Snacks and Drinks


Burt's Bees Coconut and Pear Lip Balm, Lip Moisturizer With Responsibly Sourced Beeswax, Tint-Free, Natural Conditioning Lip Treatment, 2 Tubes, 0.15 oz. +  Lingito Travel Toothbrush, Folding with Built in Cover, Hiking, Camping, Emergency, Packable, collapsable, Foldable, Pocket Medium Bristle Brushes (2 Pack) (Blue-Green)Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes for Sensitive Skin- 30 Count

**For all your small toiletries, pack them in a ziploc bag. Remember to carry on liquids, they must be 3.4 ounces or smaller, and fit in a quart sized, resealable bag**

Travel Documents

Everything above is replaceable and can be purchased almost anywhere you are going. These are the things that mean the most and cannot be replaced so don’t forget these

  • Passport/ID
    Obviously you won’t be getting anywhere if you dont have your passport or even ID, so don’t forget this!
  • Cash and Credit Card
    Always better to bring all of this with you on the plane. Never put anything valuable in your checked bag
  • Copies of Important documents
    Make sure you make and bring copies of any documents you made need, such as car rental, hotel reservations, itinerary, travel insurance and so on.
  • Medications
    If you have any medications, make sure you bring those in your carry-on. It’s also safest to bring them in their normal containers with the names on them.
  • Travel wallet
    Having all your cards, cash, and passport in one spot makes traveling much easier. This NeatPack Rfid Travel Wallet, Document Organizer & Passport Holder, Grey keeps everything organized plus it has RFID blocking pockets to protect against thieves.

SaveSaveSo there you have everything you need to pack in your carry on for long haul flights. This is everything we pack in our carry on. We find it easiest to just keep these in one spot to make it easy to pack it all at once before our trip. Getting ready for a long international flight can be stressful, so having all your carry on essentials in one place makes it so mcuh easier.

What are some carry on essentials that you make sure to pack on your longer flights? Let us know if we’ve missed anything that we should be packing in our carry on

If you enjoyed this carry on packing list, check out our other packing lists:



  1. Complete and well-categorized carry-on essentials you have here. Taking Magnesium would really help those who have trouble sleeping on the plane. Great idea. Thank you for sharing.

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