This post on carry-on essentials for long-haul flights contains affiliate links to keep my blog up & running! To read my full disclosure policy, click here.
I love the quiet reflection I have on long flights. Think about it–how often are you forced to sit still and have no responsibilities?
You can read, listen to music, or just ponder about everything you haven’t had the time to stop and think about.
Flights were my favorite part of traveling when I was younger. But if I had to be honest with myself, it’s probably because back then, I could roll up into a ball and fall asleep in my cramped airplane seat. I may be short, but not that short anymore.
Although travel brings unique experiences, some are not as fun as we’d like. Flights can drain your energy and suck out moisture from your skin. Don’t you wish you can arrive at your destination looking like you walked out of a spa?
After years of leaving flights with fatigue & dry skin, I finally found 8 carry-on essentials to maximize comfort on long-haul flights. As long as I have these, I can sit back & relax because everything I need is within reach!
Carry-On Essentials to Regain Energy:
If you’re tired of carrying around your bulky travel pillow, look no further! This is the most convenient & comfy travel pillow I’ve found.
I no longer have to worry about dropping my pillow and losing it. Not to mention picking it up from the nasty ground. But if you happen to drop it, it’s machine-washable!
With this pillow, you won’t accidentally fall asleep on the stranger next to you. You can even strap it to the chair for more support, but that’s not necessary. I usually just hug it to sleep, but that’s also not necessary… This is especially perfect for side-sleepers *raises hand slowly*
It’s easy to inflate & deflate, so no need to huff & puff. Right before your plane lands, you just deflate it and roll it up. Then stuff it in your backpack or attach it to your luggage, and it’s ready for the next flight!
Have you ever wanted to bring a Snuggie or fluffy blanket on the plane? I’m one of those people that feel eternally cold, but blankets are just too much to lug around the airport. I initially bought a Sand Cloud Towel since I live near FL beaches, and it’s known to be sand-resistant so you don’t make a mess in your car.
It’s also thin enough to roll up into your beach bag but thick enough to dry yourself off. It doesn’t hurt that they also have a variety of super cute designs, shapes & sizes. And you can wear them over bathing suits when you go into restaurants or shops on the boardwalk.
I started using my Sand Cloud Towel for long car rides. I realized that if you roll it up tight, it’s small enough to fit in a backpack or large purse and still leave room for plenty more.
It’s the best alternative to a blanket on a plane. Even though it’s not fluffy, its 100% Turkish cotton is weaved tightly and keeps cold cabin air out for maximum comfort. It’s also big enough to share with your S.O.
Carry-On Essentials to Combat Dryness:
All skincare products below are free of synthetic fragrances and gentle enough for sensitive & acne-prone skin 🙂
The coconut lemon melt scent is my favorite! It smells delicious but not overpowering.
Don’t expect it to automatically sink into your skin. It’s perfect for flights as the cabin air is constantly drying and there’s no need to keep reapplying.
Since it’s a lotion bar, it won’t take up space in your TSA-approved quart-sized bag for liquids. The more skincare & makeup products I can fit in my bag, the better!
Key ingredients: Coconut water, hibiscus flower, rose, witch hazel, & aloe vera
The coconut water & hibiscus flower allow this face mist to refresh your skin and provide long-lasting hydration. I also use it as a toner after I wash my face in the morning and before I apply moisturizer. It’s the perfect face mist for when you’re not wearing makeup.
Flights not only make you dry but also exhausted af. And it shows in your eyes. The witch hazel helps control puffy eyes & dark circles, so you don’t look like you’ve been on a plane for 6+ hours.
If you’re acne-prone like me, the rose & aloe vera are life-savers for your skin. They give an extra oomph to prevent acne while decreasing redness & inflammation. Believe it or not, dryness triggers your skin to produce more oil, leading to acne. Don’t let your skin fall into this trap and mist, mist, mist!!!
I partnered with Indie Lee to give an EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT to The Petite Introvert readers for 15% off IndieLee.com! USE CODE: PETITEINTROVERT15
I know what you’re thinking–another face mist? Well, this one is best for refreshing skin & reviving makeup. Even with all its green goodness, it smells amazing (with NO synthetic fragrance). I use it to set my makeup in the morning, and it gives me liiiife throughout the day.
Update: Another good alternative over makeup is Biossance Squalane + Micronutrient Fine Mist, Travel Size. This mist has more control, so you won’t be spraying your seatmate!
Ya, I know what you’re thinking. This is girl is extra. But a great water bottle is worth the investment! Mine has never leaked, broke (RIP glass bottles), or let me down. It keeps iced drinks cold for 1-2 days. Seriously, I left it overnight, and there was still ice the next day.
A cold sip of water is just what you need for long flights. Remember to sip often but not overdo it. For obvious reasons. No one likes to hold it until the seatbelt sign turns off. It feels like an eternity. And as an introvert, asking my seatmates to get up every 20 min. so I can use the bathroom is another kind of hell.
This lip balm is thick and provides the deep moisture you need for long flights. And you don’t have to worry about applying it with your fingers (especially after hanging around an airport all day). It has an easy-to-use squeeze tube applicator.
It also has SPF 25 for those that are heading to a tropical destination.
This product is targeted towards men, so do what I did and buy the 3-pack Balm Squad Set and gift your bf some! Or just one…
8. Eye Drops
Many think eye drops are just for those with dry eyes or allergies. I never used to bring eye drops with me on flights because it didn’t seem necessary (especially when you have a whole list of other stuff you can’t forget).
But the lack of moisture in a plane is no joke.
After years of leaving flights with dry, itchy & red eyes, it’s become an essential part of my packing list.
For contact lens wearers:
COMPLETE Blink-N-Clean Lens Drops 0.5 fl. oz. (prevents protein film build up, rewets & cleans contacts)
For those with normal vision:
For those with red eyes after a red-eye:
Thanks for reading! What are your favorite carry-on essentials?! Comment down below!
If you found this post on carry-on essentials for long-haul flights helpful, check out these related posts:
- Travel Bags: Invest in These 2 Quality Brands
- Sensitive Skin: Morning Skincare Routine
- 7 Smart Strategies to Plan A Vacation on A Budget