The Long Haul Essentials

Back in August, I put myself through the pain and sleep deprivation of (what was meant to be) a 28-hour long haul flight.  As my third trip between England and New Zealand, and with flights to America and back, I’ve started to hone in on what my long haul essentials are.

Wherever you look or google, there are long lists of all the essentials you need, but do you really need them all?

Here are my picks-

Sunrise over Australia from a Qantas plane

A full sized pillow

Forget a travel pillow or a neck pillow, if I’m flying between England and New Zealand, you’ll see me rocking up to the airport with a pillow I’ve probably grabbed from my bed. That may sound crazy, but I’m not talking a top quality thick fluffy pillow like I have on my bed here at my parents. I’m meaning a £3 pillow from Argos that was as flat as a pancake. It folded in half, fit into my carry-on suitcase and squished into the smallest of spaces. I struggle so much with sleeping on a plane, that anything to make it a little bit more comfortable is a winner in my books.

Earplugs and an eye mask 

This last trip was the first time I’ve attempted the eye mask and ear plug combination. And for the rest of my life, no matter how long the flight they will always be with me! Having never slept with an eye mask on before, I didn’t know how I’d cope, but it really did make all the difference. I’d only bought a cheap one, and I’m planning on getting a better quality one before I fly again.

As for earplugs, they were a lifesaver. I bought some cheap ones from Boots, but before I go away again I plan on buying some like these from Kathmandu, with string between them – I managed to lose both of mine on the first flight and had nothing for the next two flights – and I really struggled to sleep on those!

Lip balm and a drink bottle

There’s no denying that an aeroplane is one of the most dehydrating places you can be. I always have my Lucas Paw Paw balm one me, whether I’m on a plane or not. For flights, I usually take a thicker balm, like Lush’s Honey Trap. I don’t know why it took me so long to clock on, but now whenever I fly no matter the length, I always have an empty drink bottle with me. Take an empty drink bottle in your hand luggage, and there’s always a cafe or water fountain where you can fill up your bottle after security.

Flying over Salt Lake City, thanks to Southwest airlines.

Fluffy socks

For future flights, I’m going to get some flight socks, after suffering badly with swollen ankles in the Philippines, but I always have a pair of fluffy socks with me. Slippers are too bulky to fit into a backpack, so some thick or fluffy socks are the best alternative. I always pack a fresh clean pair and throw them in the wash as soon as I get home – just because plane floors are so gross! And let’s be real, no matter which pair of shoes you’re wearing, socks will always be comfier!

A change of clothes

My parents taught me this for my first flight and I’ve stuck by it since – and after being stuck in Manila for a few days without access to my suitcase, I was glad for a change of clothes!

Toothpaste and toothbrush

You can’t rely on an Airlines amenities pack for a toothbrush and toothpaste. Over the last year, I’ve started the habit of buying a new toothbrush for every trip.

And that’s it! I’ve found I’ve always packed more, but it remains untouched! My carry on bag always has more – and for a long haul, I’ll have all these essentials in a small bag by my feet. I’ll usually have a larger bag – whether it’s a suitcase, small holdall or just a backpack in the overhead locker, with things like my cameras, laptop (if I’m travelling with it), a notebook, and anything I don’t want in the hold.

Flying into San Francisco, on an early morning South West flight - check out some long haul flight essentials!

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