10 Must Have Travel Supplies for Long Flights

Airplane wing at sunset

Whether it’s your first time flying overseas, across the United States, or you’re a frequent traveler looking for a better way to pack your carry-on, here are some travel supplies to make those long flights bearable.

1. Backpack with Multiple Pockets

First, you’re going to need a backpack to cram all your stuff into. For the detail oriented person (hello, it’s me), it’s nice to have all of your stuff separated into different pockets. That way, you’ll have easy access to your passport and know what pockets other items are in without having to dig around. Here’s an Amazon link to a similar backpack.

2. Food

Airline meals are notoriously unreliable so make sure you pack some granola bars, candy, and something salty to hit all the cravings. Frequent flyer tip: request a special vegetarian or kosher meal when you book your flight. Those meals are made individually, not in bulk like the rest, so they’re much fresher with lots of good fruits and veggies!

3. Neck Pillow

Portable sleep, duh. There are a ton of great products online, but if you would rather try them out in person, visit your local Marshalls or Ross for some of the cheapest prices. Here is a list of some great pillows from Amazon.

4. Headphones

If you’re at all forgetful or scatterbrained (also me), pack 2 pairs because the free airline headphones will just disintegrate. Bring some you have or splurge on some noise cancelling ones.

Keep in mind that airline personal TV screens require the regular headphone jack so your iPhone headphones or Airpods won’t work for that.

5. Layers

Prepare yourself for both cold and hot flashes in the circulated air. Socks are a must, especially on the dirty isles! Wear some kind of comfy pant and top so you can add or subtract layers as needed. The airline will also give you a small blanket once you’re seated.

6. Ticket Confirmations / Printed Plans

Though it might feel old-school, it will add a sense of security to your travels so that when you arrive in the next country, you don’t have to spend 30 minutes trying to connect to Wifi to open your emails in the airport before you can get in a taxi. Traveling with a little folder of your documents including hotel bookings, flight/train/boat bookings, and a calendar plan.

Megan's sample Asia calendar

7. Sleep Aid / Melatonin

While up in the air, you won’t have the typical daytime/nighttime cues and it can be pretty difficult to sleep through turbulence, so try packing some sleep aids on your next trip. They should be just enough to knock you out for a few hours so that you’re rested when you arrive.

8. Toothbrush

After you’ve been asleep for a few hours, we all know your mouths is not pleasant, so pack your toothbrush in your backpack instead of your checked bag. On longer international flights, a lot of times the stewardesses will give you a toiletries bag that includes a little bit of toothpaste. Save yourself time in the airport and brush before you get off the flight.

9. Extra Set of Clothes

I found this out the hard way after several years of long international flights and hating smelling like circulated plane air for hours later. Now, when I go brush my teeth at the end of the flight, I also bring a change of clothes into the bathroom (usually just another pair of black leggings lol) that at least makes me feel better internally after an 8+ hour flight.

10. Multiple USB Cables

While in China, I was traveling so frequently that I lost THREE changing cables/ blocks that year. But I always brought backups so I wouldn’t be lost once I exited a flight. Here’s the set of 3 I bought from Amazon.

Whatever extras you choose to take, DON’T FORGET YOUR ID!!! No worst-case scenarios for you!

Download this printable packing carry-on list here!

Carry- on Packing List
Pinterest: Long Flight Must Have Supplies

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  1. Emma on March 31, 2020 at 7:41 am

    I love this article! Especially the change of clothes, I had never thought of that but it makes so much sense. Also, the food you bring is totally the best part of the flight, right?

    • Megan on April 1, 2020 at 2:24 am

      Totally! I’m a big believer in plane snacks haha! 🙂

  2. Mitchell Varela on August 4, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Great article! Handy tips in easily to read sections. ??

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