Southwest plane winglet

Travel Essentials for Long Flights

Southwest plane winglet

I’ve done my fair share of flights and road trips. Because of this I thought nothing of China would be a breeze when Angela and I went. I have to be honest it threw me for a loop. Turns out that a 12 hour road trip is drastically different from a 12 hour flight.

After getting back, I wanted to share all my tips and essentials with you for surviving long flights.

First things first, beauty essentials

When it comes to toiletries for long flights, only bring the essentials. You don’t want to weigh your bag down with unnecessary toiletries, but you want to make sure you have a few key items to make your flight enjoyable.

Dry Shampoo

AKA God’s gift to man. This can be a real lifesaver in airports, especially if you have a long layover. You can get travel sized dry shampoo from Target or Walmart for less than five bucks. Keep it in your carry-on and use it halfway through your flight, or right before you get to your destination.


Definitely make sure you bring a toothbrush, especially on flights that are over 8 hours. It is easy to go to the restroom and brush your teeth just before you land. This is especially handy if you have a flight that lands during the day and you want to hit the ground running as soon as you arrive.


An absolute travel necessity no matter the length of your flight, and your seatmate would agree. Keep a stick in your backpack for your flight (and your entire trip!).


Typically on long flights they will provide a meal, but you don’t want to be without a backup option if the offered meal isn’t appealing. Also snacking on food helps pass the time! Win win.

Healthy Snack Ideas

I always try to bring healthy or light snacks with me, so I don’t feel crappy. Some of my favorite foods to bring on flights are nuts, dried fruits, or a bag of granola.

Water Bottle

Make sure you bring a refillable water bottle on your flight. Fill it after you get through security, before you board the plane. Sometimes you can get lucky and the flight attendants will fill it for you mid flight! Y’all already know how much I love my 40oz Hydroflask.


For the same reason you should always keep deodorant with you, keep a pack of gum in your backpack while you travel. It also helps with popping your ears during takeoff and landing.


While I personally recommend sleeping as much as you can on a long flight, it isn’t always feasible to sleep for eight straight hours. Most long haul flights with have seatback screens with movies and music and games. I like to bring a few extra things with me in the event that the in flight entertainment gets old.

Laptop or Tablet

I bring my laptop so I can get some work done. It’s also nice to have so I can edit photos and videos on the way home.

Wifi isn’t free on long flights but Netflix does offer the ability to download certain shows and movies, so make sure to do that before you leave.

laptop and beats headphones


Trust me, after 12 hours, screens can get really old and start to hurt your eyes. I am always looking for an opportunity to sit down and read a good book and there is no better time than a long flight.

Good Headphones

My strategy is to bring one pair of over the ear headphones and one pair of earbuds. Wearing one pair of headphones for a long time can get uncomfortable, plus it’s nice to have a backup. My current fave brands are Sennheiser, Audiotechnica, Bose, and Sony.

Tips for Surviving a Long Flight

Along with essentials, I’ve also learned a few things from my fair share of long flights.

Charge Your Devices

This one sees obvious but just make sure that all of your devices are fully charged before you take off. If you have a layover you can also charge your devices in the terminal.

Wear Comfy Clothes + Layers

The goal on any flight is to be as comfortable as possible while also looking socially acceptable. My go-to outfit is leggings with a cute t-shirt and a flannel around my waist or a t-shirt dress. I also usually try to wear closed-toed shoes with cozy socks. If you are someone who gets cold easily you may want to throw on a quarter zip before you board or grab a blanket.

Okay y’all. That wraps up everything I have for you on long flights. Are there any long flight essentials that you never leave without? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Pin it for Later

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *