As the founder of a travel advisory and a long time travel blogger I am on the road a lot each year. I have taken loads of red eye flights to Europe in particular and have a variety of tips and products I always have with me that today I am sharing with you to make the stress of a long flight a little more bearable. Long haul flights of course come with long hours of feeling cramped and sometimes the anxieties of lost luggage, missed layovers or delayed flights so having your essentials on hand will help ease some of those stressors I’ve found.
Prepare to be prepared as you read on.
This post is in partnership with Expedia. Thank you so much for your support of the brands I love working with!
Best Travel Essentials For Long Flights
A long-haul flight is generally any direct or non-stop flight that has a journey time of between 6 to 12 hours but of course there are very, very long haul flights over 12 hours now available globally. You’ll find the long flight a lot more enjoyable if you’re prepared.
As you begin to plan for your trip, did you know that according to Expedia international airfare should be booked around 60 days out (and no more than 4 months out) for optimal availability and savings (around 10% on average). In 2023, the sweet spot was closer to six months out.
Expedia’s Price Tracking in-app feature uses historical data (analyzing the last 30 days) and predicted price trends (analyzing the next 60 days) for select flight routes, to determine the best time to book.
When you’re a One Key member (Expedia Group’s Loyalty Program across Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo), download the Expedia app and Expedia will keep track of flight pricing and prompt you as a member to log back into the app to get the best deal on your chosen route.tick the option that says “Watch prices” to get notifications when the price goes up or down
Expedia also offers Price Drop Protection. Price Drop Protection lets Expedia travelers get an automatic refund if the price of your flight becomes cheaper on Expedia after you book. This feature is available for a nominal fee, or it is free for Gold and Platinum tier One Key members on the Expedia app. One Key is free to join and comes with plenty of perks to make it worthwhile.
22 Long Flight Travel Essentials
These pouches may not look like much but it is not only TSA approved but it is also my go-to to put a few in-flight beauty essentials in one of the flat zip pouches so I have my preferred beauty essentials easily accessible.
Often times when you arrive from a red eye flight you’re too early to check into your hotel so having some makeup to put on (without having to fly in it!) is so helpful. I’ll also throw in a face wipe or two and a tooth brush. It ensures I can feel a bit more human again before setting out for the day while I await my room to be ready.
I also own the Truffle Jetset Cases which I use for all my toiletry products I am checking.
(By the way – these travel cases make for great gift ideas!)
A god-send! This is great for days where you don’t want to deal with the anxiety of finding an outlet to charge your phone. It lasts for several hours and goes to work quickly.
I also always have this one that attaches easily without cords to your phone and charges it quickly.
I haven’t gotten on a plane without my noise cancelling headphones in over a decade. They work to drown out background noise on plans and help me be able to get some sleep and also lower my anxiety on flights that have a lot going on (loud talkers, crying children, etc, etc, etc.)
I’m so glad I have always started carrying a reusable water bottle with me. No more plastic bottle waste and I can ensure I always am hydrated.
If you’re short on space in your personal item, consider a collapsible water bottle.
I always have this pocket sized hair brush on me for travel days. It ensures I can give my hair a bit of a fix once I arrive in my destination after being on a plane for hours.
This is my secret weapon for long trips or for trips I may want to do some shopping on. I bring it on the plane with me as my carry on bag with any valuables I don’t feel comfortable checking but I also leave some room to spare for any items I may pick up on my travels that may not fit on my suitcase.
If you’re like me and like to watch a movie in flight as you enjoy dinner before dozing off, but want to do so wirelessly, you’ll want to have this handy device. It allows you to wirelessly transmit audio from in-flight entertainment USB port to your AirPods or other wireless headphones.
I travel with loads of pouches and use one like this for medicine and another one for cords and chargers!
This sleeve keeps my laptop protected while I travel and even has additional pockets where I can slide in my Kindle.
This is more for looks than practicality but I love having my passport tucked into this personalized holder. It makes it easier for me to keep track of it!
This is my travel adapter for all overseas trips. Love that it has a USB port for easy phone charging. I keep it with me so I can charge my phone on the plane or at the hotel when I arrive and not spend time looking for it in my luggage.
I am generally always cold on airplanes so I got this wrap and now bring it on every flight with me. I own it in two colors – it’s that good. It’s also great to have on days where the weather may change and you want an extra layer to wrap around you. It is so soft and I love that it wraps entirely around your body to make sure you’re warm and cozy on flights.
I prefer to use this as my “pillow” on an overnight flight rather than dealing with a bulky travel pillow or neck pillow personally.
I never leave home without an eye mask. I use it on red eyes religiously and sometimes in hotels too. I think it is key to getting sleep on a long flight so I can arrive more well-rested. This one works well in particular for blocking out light.
Given you never know what sleeping conditions you’ll get when traveling, I always have earplugs with me. This pair is particularly good at noise reduction and I love that they come with a carrying case making them extra travel ready. Usually I don’t have to use them on planes since I have my Bose headphones on, but if a flight is particularly noisy or disruptive, I’ll double up with these and my noise cancelling headphones.
I am someone who gets very thirsty on flights and doesn’t want to arrive to a new destination feeling dehydrated. Carrying low sugar Electrolyte packets like Liquid IV or these from LMNT that taste great is a good solution.
You mix one of the travel friendly packets in a bottle of water and you’ll be treated to sodium, potassium and magnesium and get hydrated without having to drinks even more H2o which could lead to many annoying trips to the bathroom on the airplane which I personally find disruptive to sleep on long flights.
I’ve heard flight attendants swear by these for their regular long haul trips!
A go-to hydrating lip balm to take with me on long flights when my lips get so dry. It makes lips super pillowy soft and feel extra hydrated – particularly in dry airplanes. It feels super restorative and I love having a go-to unscented nourishing balm for my lips. Highly recommend it for your next trip.
Another hand cream I love – especially for how portable it is so I never travel without it. Ensures your hands don’t get dry in-flight.
If you’re a fan of French beauty, don’t miss my 20 Best French Skincare Brands post.
This has cult-status with my French friends (and their mothers!) and the travel size is perfect for in-flight hydration for your skin.
This 100% organic grape water features 100% natural origin ingredients and sustainable packaging while being rich in minerals, potassium and moisturizing polysaccharides to deliver intense, immediate hydration. It is particularly great if you have sensitive skin that needs soothing!
Read my full Caudalie Skincare Review
If you’re someone who gets a lot of travel anxiety or you’ve spent a lot on a special trip, you’re going to want to consider the extra cost of travel insurance in case things go awry.
I never go anywhere without hand sanitizer these days and keep this favorite one on hand
Long Flight Checklist
This handy packing list is ready to be printed, pinned or saved to your phone so you ensure you don’t forget any of the travel essentials!