I feel like all I did last year was travel. Not that I’m complaining at all. It was amazing, but being on the road constantly can take a toll. On your skin, your sleep, your sanity, and your health! I wasn’t home for more than 3 weeks at a time last year, and because of that, I got a pretty good idea of what items worked for me (and what didn’t), when it came to packing my carry-on bag. I just booked a flight out to Orlando for spring training, so today’s post seemed like the perfect time to share all of my favorite carry-on items with you guys and what to pack for a long flight!
I don’t know about you guys, but trying to sleep on a plane is my worst nightmare. It’s soooo hard for me to get comfortable and I have a really hard time falling asleep. But on a long flight or a red-eye, it’s definitely a must to try to get some shut eye. First up, I couldn’t recommend an eye mask more. Nothing is worse than trying to sleep when your seat mate or the person in front of you turns on their reading light. I use this one. It’s silk, comfy, has an adjustable strap that won’t mess up your hair, and it’s under $13!
Because of all of the horror stories I’ve heard, I don’t like to use pillows and blankets on a plane because they’re unsanitary, so I always make sure to pack my own. But lugging around a pillow can be a HUGE pain, not to mention take up a ton of room in your carry on. But on an international or red eye flight, there’s no way a pillow isn’t going to be included on this “what to pack for a long flight” list! I brought this pillow with me on the flight to Thailand, after doing A TON of travel pillow research. I’m a side sleeper, and I like having something to lean against when I sleep. This pillow is easy to pack because you actually blow it up when you’re ready to use it! I was a little worried that it would be super weird to be blowing up an inflatable pillow while sitting in my seat, but it wasn’t noisy or weird at all. Very inconspicuous. It worked better than a lot of other travel pillows that I’ve tried, but still wasn’t 100% what I was looking for. (I’m not sure one even exists, tbh). But it did come pretty close. I might try this pillow down the road to compare.
To aid in my “trying to sleep on a plane” mission, I pack these Restful Sleep vitamins. They are made with melatonin, L-Theanine and botanicals like chamomile and lemon balm, to help boost your natural sleep hormone and keep you calm. I pick up a few of the travel sized pouches at Target to get me through a long trip.
Another thing that can totally throw me off when traveling is jet lag. I like to add these all natural chewables into my carry on bag to help avoid that crash upon arrival. I can’t say if they work or not, but 75% of users say they’re helpful! When I’ve used them, I seem to be able to jump right into my first travel day without missing a beat. They help to alleviate body stress and fatigue due to disruptions in the body’s natural clock rhythm and consist of all natural ingredients. They don’t have any side effects, are compatible with other medications, and don’t make you groggy!
(The packaging has changed since this was written, but they are the same!)
When traveling, I can’t tell you how many times I don’t even think about packing a pen in my purse. You need one for filling out those lovely declarations forms when entering another country and I hate having to ask a fellow seat mate to borrow theirs. Just pack one in your bag and you won’t even have to worry about it. These ones are my fave.
If you’re traveling with another person, I always recommend packing a headphone splitter. A headphone splitter lets you do exactly that…split your headphone jack with another person! You can watch the same movies, or listen to the same podcast, or the same music. It makes it easier traveling with kids too, so you can all watch the same movies together. They are under $10 and so worth the investment.
I’m sure I’m not alone in my cell phone battery paranoia. When my battery hits 20% I panic a bit, but not when I’m carrying around my portable charger, which is kind of a must these days, and especially when you’re traveling on a long flight. Depending on your airline and plane, those handy little USB chargers in the seats aren’t always available, and I don’t like planning on them, because when I do they usually aren’t available. So I pack this handy little portable charger around with me all the time when I travel. Not only is it good for keeping your phone charged on your flight, but when you’re walking around on your vacation taking pics and videos, the last thing you want to do is worry about your battery life. I like this one because it’s slim and can charge your battery from 0-100% twice on a single charge! Plus, it’s under $40! (This is the second one that I’ve bought in the last 10 years, because they are that good and just another reason why it ended up on the “what to pack for a long flight” list!) I also buy these charging cables to use with it. They are super small and great quality, so you don’t have to worry about chords being tangled up in your purse or bag all the time.
On a long flight, it’s also important to make sure you have enough to do, besides sleep. I always pack my kindle, because I love to read. (The paper white is my FAVE!) When I’m home, I do prefer to read actual books in hand, but when traveling it’s a totally different story. I can go through a few books on long flights, so loading up my kindle with books before leaving is a life saver, and weighs almost nothing in my bag. If you’re not a big reader, load up an ipad or even your phone with movies or tv shows, in case the plane doesn’t have entertainment. (Trust me, it happened to me on a 6 hour flight before, which was THE WORST!)
I’ve almost made it through my list of what to pack for a long flight, but no travel list would be complete without skincare! When traveling, it does a NUMBER on my skin, and not in a good way. After spending all of last year on a plane and in airports, I’ve narrowed down the items that have saved my skin while flying and they’ve all earned their spot on the “what to pack for a long flight” list! First up, pack a toothbrush and toothpaste. While it may not be related to skin, it does help me feel my best and clean, which is important when traveling! Back to back flights, long layovers, and no sleep can leave you feeling super gross. Something as simple as brushing your teeth in the airport bathroom or in the bathroom on the plane can make you feel a million times better. I love this battery powered one. It’s easy to pack and a great backup for my electric one at home. Plus, it only takes one battery and it lasts forever. And ringing in at around $5 makes it a no brainer.
I also make sure to have my favorite lip balm handy. Flying, not only dries out your skin, but your lips too! This one is one of the cleanest lip balm’s on the market, in regards to ingredients, which I love. (It even rates a zero on the Think Dirty scale!) I usually always have one in my purse, but it’s small and easy to throw into a carry on too!
Another thing that’s easy to take for granted is the ability to wash your face during really long travel days. You spend hours and hours touching your face and laying on pillows (or even the airport floor if you’re desperate) and that dirt and grease just sits on your face. Not to mention, you start feeling really yucky about it too! And that’s where these face wipes come into play! They are individually-wrapped bamboo face wipes that are great for both men and women and are the ultimate in multi-tasking! They clean, exfoliate, soothe and hydrate all in one wipe. Plus they are made with naturally-derived ingredients including aloe, are paraben-free, fragrance-free, cruelty-free and vegan. We’re talking no petrochemicals, sulfates, synthetic fragrance or color, glycols, silicones or PEGs. AKA, the bomb. They smell great and couldn’t be easier to add to your carry on. Even the bf loved them and asked to use them multiple times 😉 There are 20 individual wipes in each bag, so you can pack as many or as little as you think you’ll need.
Flying really dries out my skin, so to combat the damage done on a flight, I pack a little extra goodness to keep my skin firm and hydrated. For some easy added hydration on the go, this hydrating mist is one of my favorites. You simply spray it directly onto your face and you’re done! Couldn’t be easier. It’s packed with hyaluronic acid, green tea, ester-c and aloe, plus it’s all natural and organic to boot! The bottle is super slim and weighs in at 2 oz., which makes it carry-on approved! Because of it’s small size, it’s also great to throw into a beach bag or your purse, for those beach days or dry climates!
The thought of using these next two items during your flight might make you a little uncomfortable, but I promise, the benefits far outweigh the embarrassment and are sooooo worth it. When I stopped giving a shit about what the person next to me thought, my skin thanked me for it! And, to be honest, more and more people are jumping on this train, so you probably won’t be alone! 😉
First up, these organic facial sheet masks have quickly become my new favorite. Yes, I’m telling you to use a sheet mask WHILE on your flight. Yes, you may look like Jason Voorhees while using the mask, but your skin is going to look amazing when you step off that plane. (The things we do for beauty…right?) These Korean masks come as a set of 4 for under $20 and are totally organic and vegan certified. No parabens, toxins, or GMO’s either! They are designed to boost collagen, tighten pores, target dark circles, sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines and provide intensive moisture. Basically everything you want to be doing on a long flight! And what better time to target treating your skin than when you’re sitting on a flight! The directions say to leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes, but with the altitude, I leave mine on for as long as possible to really soak in the benefits. 45 minutes is my happy spot! After using, just throw away the mask and rub any remaining solution right into your skin. No bathroom needed, which makes them perfect for those long travel days.
The one tell tale sign that I’m exhausted or have been traveling all day is how my eye area looks. As I’ve gotten older, it’s the one spot that I can really notice and I’m not trying to make it any worse than it needs to be. Enter these AMAZING under eye masks. I started using them almost 2 years ago and now I won’t use any other under eye mask. The mask is made from “hydrogel”, made from organic aloe water and plant cellulose, which makes it intensely hydrating. It’s also packed with caffeine that brightens and de-puffs while you use it. And again, all natural, organic, and not full of anything that you can’t pronounce. I put these on right after using the sheet mask and leave them on for as long as possible too. Then you simply throw them out and rub any remaining solution right into your skin. They come in a 5 pack for around $40 and are well worth their price tag. These babies allow me to look refreshed and rested after getting off of my flight, which is almost unheard of! You won’t catch me traveling without them!
So now that you know exactly what to pack for a long flight, you need to keep it all organized, right? That’s where these guys come into play! These zippered carryall pouches are my favorite, plus they’re super cute too! They come as a 2 pack and are $10!! The set includes a carabiner, so you can keep the two pouches connected if you want. They are the perfect sizes to use as a pencil case, cosmetic bag, or toiletry bag and they fit most of the items that I included on this list perfectly! (I also love using the smaller pouch as a chord organizer for my electronics!) After getting back from a vacation, they are small enough to throw into your tote or purse for daily use too! The nylon fabric is also super easy to clean, which I love.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, they carryall pouches also have a matching passport case! I use it to store my passport, travel documents, and even my declarations forms until I’m ready to head home. Keeps those important documents handy and helps me to not lose them! Super cute and easy to throw into your purse too!
Ban.do has TONS of other great travel items that are worth checking out too!
After spending the last year traveling, I really figured out what worked for me and what didn’t. And now you know exactly what to pack for a long flight! Space in a carry on is valuable and all of these items are well worth the space! Let me know what you end up packing for your next trip! Happy adventuring!