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How to Survive Long Flights

There are only a few things I don’t mind doing for 12 hours straight: sleeping, and watching Law and Order SVU marathons. Even though I don’t like being on a plane for 12 hours, I find myself on super long plane rides a few times a year. Whether you’re the kind of traveller who binge watches movies to stay awake, or you sleep through the whole flight, here are 12 essentials to help you survive long flights.

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How to Survive Long Flights, what to pack for long flights, carry on essentials, carry on packing list
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1. Reading Material

Whether you prefer flipping through glossies or scrolling through a Kindle, you’ll want to bring along reading material to keep you busy during the flight. What better time to catch up on your fave celebs or finish that novel than when you’re 30,000 feet up in the air? DO NOT rely on your plane having wifi or movies, because I was once on a flight from New York to Honolulu with zero movies and I almost died. Stay ready, bring something to read.

2. Cleansing Wipes

The very worst part about long flights is how icky you feel afterwards. And if you happen to be on your period, it’s even worse! I’ve started bringing along cleansing wipes so I can wipe down after a long flight and feel a bit more fresh before arriving to my destination. These Lola wipes – from the same tampon brand I used before switching to menstrual cups – are hypoallergenic and ph balanced, making them really good for your lady parts!

3. Eye mask

There’s always that one person who wants to raise the window shades even though everyone else is sleeping (usually an excited child), so do yourself a favor and bring an eye mask so you can get uninterrupted sleep. Bonus points if it has a funny saying like this one, or something cheeky like Do Not Disturb.

How to Survive Long Flights, what to pack for long flights, carry on essentials, carry on packing list

4. Portable Charger

I swear phone batteries die 50% faster while in the atmosphere, because mine drains whenever I travel. The portable charger I have holds enough charge for 3 iPhones, and it can also charge my camera so double win. But the real travel hack is a smart suitcase, like my Away carry on which also has two USB charging ports which is perfect for long layovers when you can’t find a plug!

6. Brow Gel

I’m very much against wearing makeup on a plane (free your pores!), but I do believe in bomb brows once I land. This tiny brow gel from European Wax Center adds color to sparse areas and provides a bit of hold for a natural looking brow.

5. Aromatherapy

If I have trouble falling asleep (whether due to bright lights or chatty neighbors), a quick drop of relaxing essential oils – whether 100% or an aromatherapy blend, can help you relax a bit more to fall asleep. And they’re less invasive than spraying perfume or air freshener when you end up with a seat too close to the bathroom.

7. Passport Holder

It’s cute, and you don’t hold up the customs line searching at the bottom of your backpack for your passport. I just got this YSL wallet from The Real Real (early bday gift to myself!) and used it for my trip, but I need to find out where my girl Dayna got these Wakanda passport holders for next time.

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8. Moisturizer

Airplane air is drizzy dry, and the fastest way for your skin to freak out and ruin your trip is a lack of hydration. I’m still going hard for this moisturizer under 3oz that I picked up in Japan.

9. Gum

To help you pop your ears, but more importantly, for the sake of whomever you’re traveling with, because airplane breath is on ANOTHER LEVEL from morning breath. Is HAHT.

10. Cuticle Oil

You know how your skin gets dry in the air? So do your cuticles. Peeling hangnails is one of my random pet peeves, and I couldn’t figure out for the life of me my fresh manis would look busted after long plane rides. Now I use cuticle oil regularly in flight!

11. Headphones

I almost always forget to bring a wired headphone and end up having to use the airline provided one, but only God knows what kinda earwax folks have so bring some cheap wired headphones too!

12. Pen

You know what holds up the line at customs when you get off a plane? All the people who don’t have pens scrambling to find one to fill out their immigration/customs forms. Don’t be like these people. Bring a pen and skip the line!


This isn’t a thing to bring, but when I take long flights, the biggest thing that throws me off – even more than the super dry air on the plane and holding my pee for as long as possible because I find plane bathrooms disgusting – is jetlag. Whenever I fly, I try to operate on the timezone of my destination as soon as possible. So if I take an afternoon flight from the US and it’s nighttime wherever I’m going, I put on my mask and try to sleep. This helps me feel less groggy once I land, so I can maximize my stay!

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Wearing: LoveEnin blazer, Treasure & Bond jeans, Gucci belt, and GREATS Royale sneakers

What are your carry on essentials to survive long flights?

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  1. Great tips! You made me laugh on No.9 headline. You are funny beautiful, gracious, smart, talented and adventurous rolled up in one. I will definitely keep these ideas on hand.