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17 Best Long Flight Essentials for a Stress-Free Flight (2023)

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Tired of feeling restless, uncomfortable, and exhausted on long-haul flights? Our list of long-flight essentials will help you avoid hours of stress, aches, and pains for good.

Today, even the most uncomfortable flights can be drastically improved with a little know-how and a few smart purchases.

Long Flight Essentials

17 Best Long Flight Essentials for a Stress-Free Flight

1. Foldable Water Bottle

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Many people in their sleep-derived states will go for coffee or sugar to push through the tiredness.

But when the caffeine rush wears off, you’re only going to make yourself feel worse. Staying hydrated is the best thing you can do on a long flight.

We all know the prices on that aisle cart can be eyebrow-raising. A good tip is to travel with a water bottle.

You can fill the bottle before boarding at the free water fountains in most airports, which will keep you hydrated both at the airport and on the flight.

A foldable water bottle will also help save space in your carry-on luggage.

If you want more information about drinking clean water while traveling, we wrote an article on the best water purifiers for travel.

2. Hand Sanitizer

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It’s well known that airplanes are one of the worst places for hygiene and harboring germs.

That clammy, sticky feeling between your palms only gets more irritable with time.

Hand sanitizer not only protects you from bacteria, but it’ll also keep your hands feeling smooth and clean.

Most bottles are pocket-sized. If you do need more space, however, there are travel-sized hand sanitizers you can buy.

3. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

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The sound of the engine is a loud drone that can keep even the deepest of sleepers awake. Despite the price tag, noise-canceling headphones are a worthwhile investment for flights.

You’d be amazed at how well most products can reduce loud noise to mere background noise.

Accompanied by your favorite playlist, headphones can help remove you from a state of irritation and into a place where your mind can relax.

If you need quiet to sleep, noise-canceling headphones are a long-flight must-have item.

4. Kindle Paperwhite

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On long flights, you have to keep yourself distracted. Movies and games are great, but sometimes we need a little peace and quiet.

Even if you’re not a prolific reader, you’d be amazed at how much time you can pass losing yourself in a good story.

A Kindle is a great way to travel with many books. Plus, you won’t lose space in your carry-on to a bulky book.

If you’re unsure of what books to purchase, try Kindle Unlimited. There are many books to choose from for a reasonable monthly subscription price.

Reading about anything you’re interested in can pass hours of time. I always fly with my Kindle. It’s essential for a comfortable flight.

5. Portable Battery Charger

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Despite many newer model Boeings having built-in USB chargers in the seats, there are still many older model planes that do not.

Keeping your devices powered is important not only for in-flight entertainment but also for when you arrive.

Even the strongest phone batteries will struggle beyond 7-8 hours. Therefore, preparation is key.

Portable chargers are a lifesaver in these situations. Unlike several years ago, today they are very lightweight and compact.

Simply charge it the night before you leave. On the plane, you can use your devices safely in the knowledge you can charge them at any point.

Don’t take the risk of assuming there’s a USB charger on the plane. A portable charger will give you peace of mind.

6. Multi-Charging Cable

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These days it’s not uncommon to have a laptop, phone, and tablet all running at the same time during a flight.

However, plane seats generally only have one USB port for charging.

If you’re watching movies on a tablet, the battery is going to drain very quickly.

This is why multi-charging cables can be a total lifesaver. If you have several devices on a long flight, they’re going to be essential.

The cable simply plugs into the USB slot. From there, you can charge more than one device using its several chargers.

Be sure to check your device compatibility. Multi-charging cables come with a range of different connectivity cables.

They are a smart, inexpensive purchase and can keep everything running simultaneously.

7. Sleeping Mask

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Isolate the senses, and you’d be shocked at how well you can relax your mind for sleep.

On a fully lit flight, sleeping masks can help block out the light and help you sleep.

Sleeping masks have come a long way from the uncomfortable free ones they often give out on flights.

Today, you can find them in a range of styles. Plus, they’re designed to fit around your face and be comfortable.

If the light stops you from sleeping, this essential long-flight purchase will go a long way to solving that problem.

8. Compression Socks

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Compression socks are an essential item for long flights if you’re worried about circulation. They help keep the blood moving through your legs and feet with gentle, consistent pressure.

Also, they’ll help keep your legs and feet warm. With the air conditioning always on, flights can often get very cold.

Be sure to wiggle your legs and get up for breaks, too.

9. Mini First Aid Kit

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It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you have a medical condition, making sure your medicine is with you on a flight should be a top priority. If the plane is delayed, or there are complications with luggage, you may not be able to get to your medicine in time.

First aid kits with scissors and other sharp objects you won’t be able to bring on board. However, band-aids, antibacterial ointment, and any essential medicines for you personally can be, as long as the liquids are under 100ml.

Just be sure to check any restrictions on traveling with medication at your destination if you’re flying internationally.

Be sure to purchase some bottles and prepare a kit for yourself the night before you fly. Even the peace of mind will help you relax.

10. Travel Pillow

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Plane seats are not the most comfortable. And often, the complimentary pillows don’t give you the support you need.

Travel pillows come in a range of different designs. We’ve written an article on the best travel pillows if you’d like to learn more about the different designs.

carry on essentials
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These pillows keep you supported and comfortable. This way, you can relax and fall asleep much easier.

Many travel pillows easily attach to your carry-on or deflate. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about them taking up space in your carry-on.

11. Toiletries Essentials: Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Deodorant

When you’re feeling tired, sweaty, and clammy, it’s amazing how much better cleaning your teeth and spraying yourself can make you feel.

Dirtiness only exacerbates irritation, and clean teeth, brows, palms, and armpits will go a long to keep you relaxed.

12. Toiletry Bag

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The last thing you want is several bottles of 100ml liquids jingling and bouncing around inside your carry-on.

Keeping your long-flight essentials safe and easily accessible should be a priority.

A small, clear bag will not only make your life easier when going through security; it will also help when you need access to those liquids mid-flight.

13. Travel Documents Organizer

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As with the toiletries bag, make your life as easy as possible by putting things you need quick access to in the same place.

As you’re dealing with thin A4 sheets, a simple holder will remove the stress of having folded-up papers in different pockets and parts of your bags.

Your documents are essential items. So it’s vital you keep them in a safe, accessible place.

14. Travel Adapter

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This is a must-have for any world traveler. All-in-one chargers, even if a little bulkier, are a sound investment.

Fully charged devices at departing and arriving airports will allow your travel plans to run smoothly.

You’ll be able to use them at international airports and many smaller airports.

Your devices are essential not only for a long flight but also at the departures and arrivals of airports.

15. Snacks

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As mentioned before, your body will overwhelmingly crave the sugary chocolate bar when the aisle cart comes past.

But science shows that foods rich in protein, such as nuts, will stabilize your mood far better during those times of hunger and tiredness.

Almonds are a personal favorite of ours, and there are several protein bars worth the money on the market.

For more healthy snack ideas, read our article on eating healthy while traveling.

16. Lip Balm & Moisturizer

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With the air so cold and dry, cracked skin and chapped lips are common.

Both lip balm and moisturizer will help keep your skin hydrated, smooth and itch-free.

Sprays are also a great way to keep your skin moist. Remember to check your bottle is under 100ml.

17. Pen

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It’s always handy to have a pen on you, particularly when the aircraft staff come around with declaration forms.

Filling them out before you arrive at the airport will allow you to get through customs ahead of the queue.

Long Flight Essentials Summary

Maybe your next flight is a six or seven-hour hop over the Atlantic Ocean.

Or maybe you’re gearing up to face the gauntlet of Newark to Singapore, the world’s longest flight at 18 hours 45 minutes.

Wherever your long flight is taking you, make sure you’re prepared.

With these long flight essentials, even the longest of flights can be smooth, relaxing journeys through the skies.

And because these items are compact, most will fit snuggly into your pockets or carry-on.

Don’t board a flight unprepared. A little investment now can go a long way to making all your future flights pleasant and comfortable.

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Save and Pin for Later

Are you planning a trip with a mammoth flight soon? Pin this list of long flight essentials to one of your Pinterest boards. You can check your list the day before you fly.

must-have long haul flight essentials

Author: Dale Johnson is a content creator, writer, and full-time digital nomad since 2016. To date, he has visited over 30 different countries, and counting.

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