Travel Tips: Carry-on Essentials for a Long Flight

by Country Inns & Suites
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Carry-On Essentials for a Long Flight

A long flight. Not everyone looks forward to long-distance travel, but we all have to do it every once in a while — and some of you might even be distance travel regulars. While we can’t change the length of your flight, we can help you stay comfortable and entertained during your trip! Pack some (or all) of these carry-on essentials for your next long-distance flight:

1. Entertainment

One of the most important things to remember when packing for a long-distance flight is entertainment. You’ll be sitting in a confined space for several hours at a time, and the time will pass much faster if you have something to do. Pack a variety of books (either paperback or digital); a laptop or tablet for games, surfing the Internet, catching up on work, or watching movies; a variety of new magazines (now is the perfect time to catch up on those guilty-pleasure tabloids that you wouldn’t normally read); or a portable gaming system to keep yourself busy for the duration of the flight. If music is your favorite way to pass the time, make sure your phone or other music player is loaded up with your favorite songs.

2. A travel pillow

Many frequent air travelers will tell you that a travel pillow is one of the most important things you can bring with you on a long flight. Whether you choose one that is full of beans or one that inflates and deflates for easy storage, adding a travel pillow to your carry-on bag will help you sleep better in the air and will often decrease the strain on your neck.

3. Layers and clothing to keep you warm

One of the things we often forget when traveling, especially in the warmer seasons, is to pack layers and other items to keep us warm on the chilly plane. There’s nothing worse than trying to go to sleep on a late-night flight and not being able to because you’re freezing! No matter the weather, always bring some form of warm clothing, such as a jacket, cardigan, sweater, or even a scarf, and pack it in a place that’s easily accessible during the flight. We also suggest bringing a pair of warm, comfortable socks to keep your feet toasty warm.

4. Hydration and moisturizers

If you’ve flown before, you know how dry the air can be in an airplane cabin. Stay hydrated and moisturized throughout your flight with your own collection of dry air fighters — including a water bottle (brought to the airport empty but filled up before you board), hand or body lotion, moisturizing lip balm, eye drops, and, for those of you who have sinus issues, a hydrating nasal spray.

5. Toiletries for freshening up

After 12 hours of sitting in an airplane, there’s a good chance that you’re not feeling as fresh and clean as you did when you boarded. Packing a small bag of toiletries is a great way to refresh yourself mid-flight, before going to sleep, or even right before you land. Your bag should contain items such as a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, face or body wipes, contact solution, a contact case, and your glasses (if you wear them). If your toiletries contain any liquid items, just be sure that you’re following the TSA’s rules for carry-ons.

6. Travel-friendly snacks

Anyone who’s traveled by air knows that the snacks and meals offered by airlines sometimes leave your stomach rumbling for more. On your next long flight, pack a variety of your favorite non-liquid snacks in your carry-on bag. Snacks such as protein or breakfast bars, dried or fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, and snack mixes are easy to pack and won’t make a mess when you open them on the plane. You’ll also save money by not purchasing food from the airport’s vendors before your flight.

Do you have any other items you would add to this list before taking a long flight? Tell us in the comments below!