• Menu
  • Menu
Home » Blog Page » Blog » Long Haul Flight Essentials: What To Pack To Survive
Long haul flight essentials

Long Haul Flight Essentials: What To Pack To Survive

I went to Europe last May and for the record it was the longest flight that I have ever taken. It took me about 16 hours to get to Amsterdam from Manila. I usually travel around the countries in Asia and that’s only 3-4 hours away. Typical travel time in Manila to get to the office haha! The thought of flying for more than 8 hours was so crazy to me. Good thing our airline was KLM. They have superb services and on-board facilities. Even on economy class we still got great foods, comfortable seats, and a complimentary blanket for additional comfort. Not to mention that they also have monitor screens attached on each seat where you can watch movies, TV series, play “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and other games several times, and chat with other passengers on the plane. Maybe you’ll find the one up in the air. Oops. Anyway, although I feel like I’ve gained enough experience, I asked some travelers. Here’s the things to be included in a long haul flight essentials list according to them. The next time you won’t forget anything.

Long Haul Flight Essentials


These days, most of us travel with quite a few gadgets. For long haul flight essentials, a few of the favourites include laptops, tablets, noise cancelling headphones, e-readers like a Kindle, and smartphones. Read more about packing list.

All of these things can run out of battery on a long-haul flight, especially if you haven’t fully charged them in advance or if you forget to put your device onto Airplane mode. That’s the last thing you want, especially if you’re on a flight that doesn’t have inflight entertainment or at least something that you might want to watch.

You might get lucky: some airlines have plugs and USB sockets, but not all of them do. That’s why it’s a good idea to bring a powerbank (sometimes called a powerpack) with you when you travel.

A good powerbank will charge a smartphone somewhere between 5 and 10 times, and a tablet once or twice. Some, like the Anker Powercore+ 26,800 mAh or RAVPower 26800mAh can even charge certain a Nintendo Switch or laptops like a Macbook Pro.

—James of Portugalist

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Long haul flight essentials

Creating a bubble of home comforts on a long haul flight, is for me, essential to the experience.  A decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones creates a Zen-like zone where I can listen to music, watch a movie or simply void out all the noise.

Noise, whether it’s loud of just constant, it’s both debilitating or tiring, so regardless of how much sleep you’ve had, a long haul flight is bound to be exhausting.  Noise cancelling headphone really do help get over this part of the flight.

That they’re my own personal headphones means that they fit, they’re comfortable and I know I’ve not shared them with anyone else’s ears.  My favourite brand is Bose – and the over-ear battery operated mean that if the jack plug on the plane isn’t working for the movie, I can retire to my zen-noise-less zone and shut away from the outside world, or at least my neighbours for the duration of the flight.

— Sarah of A Social Nomad


Long haul flight essentials

If there is one thing that we never fly without, it’s the snacks! Our packing cube is always filled to the brim with all the favourites. We always pack the sweets, like chocolates or chewy lollies, as well as a selection of more healthy choices, such as nuts or dried fruits. This is especially important for the long-haul flights. Why do we take it all? Well.

We do not class ourselves as fussy eaters, but I got to say that we are hardly ever satisfied with the food provided by the airlines. By having our snack pack with us, we are not going to starve whilst in the air. Bonus here is, of course, having the food that you actually like to eat, and you get to have your favourite lollies too.

Bringing snacks on the plane also helps to satisfy those night time cravings. When everyone else on the plane is asleep and the food service is long over, you can still reach out for your private stash and indulge to no end.

— Jolene of Mum Knows Best

Extra Clothes

Long haul flight essentials

An extra change of clothes has become part of my long haul flight essentials for a couple reasons. For one, it can be refreshing to change out of clothes you’ve been flying in for a long time, especially if it’s an overnight trip. And with turbulence and tight quarters, the likelihood of spilling food or drink on yourself does increase. No one wants to sit through 10 hours on a plane with damp, messy clothes!

The other reason for a change of clothes is it’s a back up in case your checked luggage gets lost en route. This happened to us on an international trip, and our suitcases weren’t returned to us for a full 10 days. Having an additional set of clothes tied us over until we could purchase replacements.

I always pack a change of underwear and a lightweight shirt, at the very least. Making sure the extra set of clothes you pack are light and compact is important to minimize bulkiness in your carry on.

— Michelle of Intentional Travelers

Bamboo Cutlery Set

Long haul flight essentials

One of the worst things about long-haul flights is often considered the meals, but for some people it’s actually the single-use plastic cutlery that comes with it.

This travel cutlery set includes a reusable knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks, and even a bamboo straw so you can be prepared for any meal on the plane. They are handmade in Bali, and are coated with a food-approved varnish which means they can be reused over and over again. So you can whip them out for all your meals on the plane, and also whenever you’re travelling too!

Plus they pass through the security scanners for your carry-on luggage, so you don’t need to worry about the knife getting confiscated. The ultimate essential for any eco-loving traveller.

— Harriet of Hats Off World

Neck Pillow

Long distance flights are not my favorites – I know, some people enjoy them as they use the time to work, to watch shows or whatsoever, but I try to sleep whenever possible. I could never sleep with a neck pillow on a plane – a good neck or travel pillow is essential whenever I do long-distance flights because they allow me to rest my head and fall asleep. Over the time, I have tried out many different travel pillows (mostly because I regularly lose them) and have noticed a few main differences.

If the weight and space is the main issue, go with an inflatable travel pillow. They are light-weighted, easy to carry around and inflating it is also quick and easy.

But there are greater (and better) types of travel pillows like a memory foam neck pillow. Whichever you opt for, using one for long haul flights is definitely a life changer.

— Arzo of Arzo Travels


Long haul flight essentials

I’m a huge reader in general anyway – so for me long haul flights are a perfect chance to kick back with a juicy read, and have a few hours of undisturbed, guilt free reading time. For me a book is a way of relaxing, getting lost, and switching off from everyday life, so is a great way to start a relaxing trip. (Or if on a business trip it could be a good way to escape work for a while!)

The same goes for eBook devices as well, but personally I’m a real book kind of girl. There’s nothing like the feel of real paper in your hands, and they have the added bonus of not requiring batteries that run out of charge. They are immediate, accessible and also disposable. Many hostels have book exchanges where you can leave a book and take a new one, or leave it laying somewhere for someone else to enjoy!

— Rachel of Rachel On Route

Hand Bag

Long haul flight essentials

Unique bag by Compagnon. Ever since I got one of these, I take this Germany-engineered leather female camera bag with me all the time I am off to somewhere. Whether it is traveling by train, bus or plane, it fits under the seat in front of me perfectly and holds everything I need to rest, work and play during a long-haul flight like my 13″ laptop, camera and two lenses, notebook, pen, cell phone, USB cord to charge the smartphone on the plane, headphones, toiletries, refillable water bottle, a scarf, wallet, and passport. Basically, everything I take onboard. It was never easier to keep everything tidy and ready to be used in the same place. And a camera bag never looked that good! Highly recommended if you travel a lot with your gadgets and like big bags that hold everything. You’ll thank me later!

— Inma of A World to Travel

Imagine being in a long flight and you either forgot something or you left it in the check-in luggage. That sucks right? Always prepare and carry your essentials in a small bag together with your passport and boarding pass. In that way, you’ll have an easy access to it. You do not have to get up and reach for the overhead cabin.

Pin it for later.

Long haul flight essentials

Kevin del Prado

Kevin is currently working as a Business Analyst. Interests also include traveling, watching movies, outdoor activities, and photography. He graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering.

View stories