Must Have Long-Haul Flight Essentials

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Let’s face it; long-haul flights are rough. It is safe to say the easiest way to stay comfortable on international flights without worrying about long haul flight essentials is by buying a first-class or business class ticket. If you are a comfort budget traveler like me (budget being the keyword), you probably won’t want to (or be able to) spend 3x as much on a premier airline seat. The thought of buying just one business class ticket that can roughly translate into 3 round trip economy tickets is enough for me to park it in the economy cabin. However, I still want to be comfortable!

After numerous 8+ hour international flights in economy, I have narrowed down my long haul flight essentials into this easy-to-shop blog post. Along with my favorite carry-on travel essentials, these are the items I recommend for every traveler embarking on a long-haul flight.

Entertainment Travel Essentials

Favorites: Bose Noise Canceling Headphones, Kindle Paperwhite -reader, portable battery charger, Sony A6100 small mirrorless camera

  • iPad – I always bring my iPad to watch movies. More and more planes are eliminating seatback screens in favor of streaming services only viewed on personal devices. With 8+ hours in the air, watching an enjoyable movie (or two) is a fantastic way to pass the time.
  • Power adapter kit– A must for long-haul flights when traveling with electronics- and who doesn’t fly with electronics these days? I’m a fan of this Ceptics one because of the dual USB ports and multiple plug adapters all in one.
  • Electronic Charging cords – Make sure you don’t forget these, or it will be a REALLY long flight!
  • Memory card reader – If you are photo obsessed like me, a card adapter is the perfect long haul flight essential. It is the easiest way to transfer multiple images to a computer for editing, which is another excellent way to kill some time on long haul flights.
  • GoPro– I’ve had the HERO5 BLACK for almost five years and never go near water without it. I usually bring this one or the Osmo pocket in addition to my Sony A6100 on longer trips. I’ll spend hours editing and organizing photos and wonder where the time has gone.
  • DJI Osmo Pocket– A new favorite recording gadget great for creating smooth video and fits in the palm of your hand.
  • Travel games or CardsTravel Farkle is such fun but best played with a travel buddy and with a felt-lined dice cup for quiet playing. When flying solo, Sudoku and crossword puzzle books still make the best long flight travel essentials.

Stay Cozy Travel Essentials

  • Mer|Sea loves a good wrap and simple essentials that make life cozier. Their classic travel wrap doubles as a pillow. It is a great way to stay comfortable on long haul flights and for a chilly night out on the town.
  • Compression socks are a must when sitting in the economy for long hours. I always get up and move about the cabin, but if you are stuck at a window seat, use these to keep blood flowing without disturbing your neighbors.
  • Travel pillow– I only bring mine along when I know I am going to try and sleep on a flight. I love the compact size of this blow-up one. It is quick and easy to use and easily clips to any bag.
  • Sleeping eye mask– Most airlines will gift you one on overnight flights, but I always bring my favorite lightweight, terrycloth one just in case; it’s similar to this adjustable eye mask.
  • Laundry detergent sheets are a long haul flight essential you didn’t know you needed! These thin sheets are lifesavers when doing laundry abroad. They eliminate the chance of liquid or powder leaking and give clothing a fresh scent if left in your carry on.

Stay Healthy Travel Essentials

In addition to these items, don’t forget your passport, ATM card, money belt, and copies of essential travel papers and documents. Add a change of clothes just in case your checked luggage is delayed or worse-lost!

Downloaded playlists and podcasts are a must too. Along with some upbeat sing-along tunes, I always have a calming, meditative playlist to help me stay relaxed during long haul flights.

Some podcasts I’m loving are Overheard at National Geographic, Oprah’s Master Class, and Meditation Minis with Chel Hamilton.


I hope these flight essentials help you stay comfortable on your next long haul flight! Don’t forget to check out the rest of my carry on packing list here, and download your FREE printable PDF packing list with a click below.

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