Some flights can be quite long when you’re bound for destinations on a new continent. It’s not uncommon to be in the air for 12 hours or more. Knowing what to bring on a long flight means the difference between arriving refreshed and ready to explore and arriving grumpy and ready for a nap.
Clothing and Outfits that Must be Accessible
What you wear on a long flight is much more important than what you wear on a shorter flight. The best travel outfits for long flights maintain your comfort yet keep you looking sharp.
Bring a comfortable pair of shoes that are easy to slip on and off. This will also help zip you through the security line faster.
Dress in layers. When it’s time to get some shuteye, it’s nice to slip on a sweatshirt or cozy sweater. Bring a wrap or scarf that can double as a blanket if needed, as well.
For convenience, wear something with pockets. A shirt or jacket with pockets helps to keep things accessible and spares you digging through your bag everytime a need arises.
Most of your clothing will go into your checked bag or carry-on. Take a look at how you can either roll or fold your clothing in the carry-on bag to maximize space.
Electronics and Entertainment to Stave off Boredom
Even the most disciplined travelers must fight off the boredom that will inevitably creep in during these long flights. While most airlines have in-flight entertainment, you may want to bring your own. Noise-canceling headphones will also provide a better sound quality and help drown out other noises.
An e-Reader with a display that won’t cause eye strain lets you choose from any number of books you downloaded before take off.
Don’t risk running out of battery halfway through an international flight. Make sure your charging cables, and even a portable charger, are easily accessible to keep your phone, tablet, and laptop at 100%.
Toiletries to Pack and Use
When traveling for a week or longer, it’s often a good idea to purchase the bulk of your toiletries upon arrival. This frees up room in your luggage and minimizes weight in checked baggage.
There are, however, some items that you will want for that long-haul flight. These must be accessible in your carry-on or personal item so that you arrive feeling refreshed rather than distressed.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste to freshen up and keep your breath pleasant.
- Medication that needs to be taken before you land.
- Deodorant for that airplane stink that creeps in.
Packing the rest of your toiletries can be an art form. Read about the best ways to pack toiletries for travel so you stay organized and so you don’t get hung up in the security line for going over the 3.4-ounce rule.
How to Pack for a Long Flight
You will need access to more during a long flight than when you’re on a shorter trip. Unfortunately, that may mean pulling down that carry-on from the overhead storage bin.
Using carry-ons and personal items with plenty of pockets helps keep you organized. Packing cubes can also be a great way to manage your in flight comfort. You can pack them for the different stages of your flight, such as day/nighttime items, or by categories, like activities, snacks, and clothing.
To pack personal items for maximum convenience, pay attention to what items you use throughout the day. For example, most of us don’t need access to our entire wardrobe, but we will likely need a sweater or sweatshirt. Likewise, we don’t need to change our shoes on the plane, but we might want to reapply lip balm or lotion as our skin dries quickly in the pressurized cabin.
No matter which cabin you are flying in, keep some snacks and a water bottle nearby. No sense in getting hangry while waiting for the flight attendant. Instead, high-nutrition snacks like nuts and dried fruits will tide you over until you can get a full meal.
Knowing how to pack your carry-on for any length of trip is the first step, then be sure to have a change of clothes handy for arrival. If you are meeting people on the other side or heading anywhere but your overseas accommodations, you will want to duck into the first bathroom to brush your teeth, reapply deodorant, and freshen up your clothing.
Long flights can be draining. But with proper prior planning, you can stave off the boredom and ensure everything in your control goes smoothly.