Essential Items to Pack in your Carry-on for Long-Haul Flights

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1. A good book

Reading is a great way to help pass the time on a long flight and a great indulgence you probably don’t have time for in your busy day to day life. If you don’t have one to take go and check out the shelves at the airport, you are bound to find something to tickle your fancy…even if it is a puzzle book!

2. Socks

Planes are always cooler when cruising at 72,000 feet in the air, just check your in-flight screen for the ridiculously cold temperatures showing outside, so packing a pair of nice woolly socks will help keep your little toes cozy.

3. Pack a change of clothes

We always run the risk of our luggage getting lost or not making a connecting flight which means we can be left without clothes for a couple of days. Packing 1-2 outfits in your carry-on will ensure you have some clean clothes to get you through a few days if you find yourself in this predicament.

4. Toiletries

To help keep yourself feeling refreshed, taking your plane size toiletries such as toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant can make all the difference (and the poor person you have been drooling on next to you will thank you).

5. Wet wipes

In the last few hours of what seems like the longest flight you have ever been on, we are all longing for a long hot shower and can sometimes start to feel a little self conscious. A little hack is taking wet wipes with you. Take them to the bathroom and give yourself a little wipe over to feel a little more human.

6. Hand sanitiser

For those times there is no soap left in the bathrooms or you want to have clean hands before eating your meal and you can't get to the bathroom before the trolley comes around.

7. A pen

Remember all those times you went searching through your bag looking for that pen you swore you had in there from the last trip? Always keep it at the top of your list to pack because you will always need one, from filling out landing cards to writing in your travel diary. TIP: Keep the pen with your passport, you will never lose it!

8. Portable charger

Not all planes have the option for you to be able to plug your phone in for charge and if you like using your phone on the flight for games or listening to music/podcasts you don’t want your battery running out mid-flight. Having your favourite song stopped half way through is not cool!

9. Diary

Keeping track of your travels each day, noting down all the things you have seen, want to see, all the feels, the people you met, is such a great way to look back on how much fun you had or even to pass on tips to your friends that are heading to all the places you have now been.

Having a diary with you on the plane can help you get started on your lists of things you want to do or even to write down some goals you want to accomplish from your travels.

Now where is that pen we packed.... oh yes, with our passport!

10. Gum

Hate it when your ears pop on landing? Throw in a piece of gum when the plane is descending as the chewing keeps your jaw moving and helps to keep your ears unblocked. Lifesaver!

11. Headphones

Taking your own headphones is a must, either for listening to music on your phone or even plugging into your seat to watch movies. Your headphones may not fit into all seats but they do for a few.

12. Chap stick

The cabin pressure along with the cool air blowing either on you or your row buddy can really affect your lips and make them sore and chapped. Carry a chap stick with you to keep your lips hydrated and healthy.

---> Courtesy of Hannah Pigram @thetravellingaus <---

The Ultimate Guide To Packing

Don’t stress too much about packing. You will forget something, but you can always make do and buy things as you go if need be. However, just in case you’re horribly unorganised and/or stressing out, here are some of our tips for what to, and what not to, pack for your overseas adventure.


When you travel, you’re going to have a lot of crap. Accordingly, you will need to decide how you will slug said crap around for weeks/months at a time.

Suitcase or backpack? Well, if it holds your shit, it holds your shit. It more depends on where you’re going and personal preference. Personally, I normally like to chill out and wheel my stuff rather than slogging it around on my back. For most parts of the world a suitcase works fine (I don’t know why these ‘suitcase haters’ worry about cobblestone streets? Yeah, my bag rattles around a bit… What a nightmare!). That being said, if you’re going to be trekking though the African desert, a backpack is probably better suited.

Still can’t make up your mind? Por qué no los dos! Just buy yourself one of the suitcases that turns into a backpack if need be; best of both worlds!

Along with a main bag, you should also bring a smaller daypack, purse, or money belt to carry things around on a day-to-day basis.


You can probably get away with forgetting a lot of the stuff on this list, but try quite hard not to forget these:

  • Passport

  • Debit or credit card

  • Another form of ID (e.g. a driver’s license) so you don’t have to carry your passport around after too many tequilas

  • Student ID or similar if applicable (discounts!)

  • Scanned copies of all important documents


The type and quantity of clothing much depends on a certain number of factors: where you’re travelling, how long for and how dirty you're comfortable looking. If you’re going somewhere more conservative, ladies and gents, go easy on the crop tops and booty shorts. Sure, they take up less space in your bag/pack but it’s probably better to avoid angering the locals.

A rough guide:

  • 1 pair of pants/jeans

  • 2 pair of shorts/shirts

  • 1 pair of nicer paints/dress (if you plan on going out or gettin’ fancy)

  • 3-4 shirts/tops

  • 2 jumpers/jacket (depending on how cold it will be)

  • Comfortable walking shoes/runners

  • Flip-flops or sandals

  • Dressier shoes (again if planning on going out)

  • Swimsuit

  • Underwear/socks - Bring everything you own! Clean socks/jocks are worth their weight in gold.

  • Bras

  • Pyjamas

  • Sunglasses


  • Hat

  • Sun dresses - they’re like tops and bottoms for half the space!

  • Scarf - girls may need one from time to time if checking out temples/churches etc.

  • Gloves - if going somewhere particularly chilly

Bonus tip: if you’re going on a long trip, avoid taking white clothing; that shit ain’t gonna last.


Despite your best efforts, you’re probably going to be in a constant state of dirty during your trip. Accordingly, there are some items you should bring to avoid being outcast by society:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste (if your dentist asks, you definitely flossed, too)

  • Body wash, shampoo and conditioner

  • Razors/shavers/shaving cream

  • Deodorant

  • A towel - even if its only a little one

  • If you're blind - contacts (bring spares), contact lens solution, lens case, glasses

  • Make-up and make-up remover

  • Face wash

  • Moisturiser

  • Tweezers, nail clippers

  • Hair ties, clips, etc.

  • ‘Time of the month’ supplies


Only bring what you really need. While you don’t want to walk around looking like a pickpocket’s wet dream, you can bring the gadgets as long as you stay cautious of where you leave them.

  • Phone (with the TRAFARI app downloaded on it obviously!)

  • Camera

  • Laptop or tablet

  • Headphones

  • Chargers

  • Adapters: Be sure to read up on what kind of travel adapter your country needs. If you’re Eurotripping, note that northern and southern Europe use different adapters.


If you travel long enough you will get sick. So bring medicine. It doesn’t take up much space, and you’re not going to want to go to a pharmacy when you’re curled up in the fetal position in your hostel bathroom. Be sure to take out an advance on any prescription medicine that you need to take and be sure to bring a copy of your prescription as well. For everything else, make sure to pick these up before you go:

  • Pain killers

  • Cold/flu medicine

  • Band Aids

  • Hand sanitiser

  • Allergy medicine

  • Condoms - come prepared (no pun intended) and avoid getting an unexpected travel souvenir nine months later.


Things that are optional, but that you may really want at some point during your trip, include:

  • Sun screen

  • Bug spray

  • Ear plugs

  • Travel pillow

  • A book

  • Bottle opener/corkscrew

  • Pocket knife

  • A pen

  • Clothes washing stuff - if you go to an outdoors store, they sell little paper things that dissolve in water and make your clothes smell nice - get them!


Final bits of advice:

  1. Less is more!!!! Leave room for things; you will no doubt buy things over there.

  2. If your bag it too heavy for you to lift above your waist, take shit out.

Happy travelling!