Hand Luggage Essentials for Long-Haul Flights

Whether you’re preparing for your next vacation or for a long-term backpacking stunt, pay attention to what you pack in your hand luggage. A bad long-haul flight will definitely set the tone for your first day in a new place. A great flight, will boost your confidence about your travels ahead! 

Make sure you’re prepared for anything with these hand luggage essentials, for your next long-haul flight. 

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to purchase anything through these links, at no cost to you, I may receive a tiny commission from Amazon. 

Hand Luggage Essentials For ALL Travels

Forget the hand luggage essentials for long-haul flights for a second, and let’s focus on the essentials for all travel. These items should not just be in your hand-luggage packing list, but also as close to your hand as possible, especially at the airport. 

1. Passport & Card Holder

This multi-purpose passport holder from Zopper will hold all of your essentials in once place. The case is boarding pass- and cash-sized, has several slots for your debit and credit cards, and a space for your passport too. 

2. Phone Battery Case

While generations before mine, everyone traveled with guidebooks and maps in hand to get around, now the smartphone is the travel staple. It’s the camera, the map, the watch, the method of communication, and it contains all the reservation information. Keep your phone in hand and charged longer with this iPhone or Samsung battery case.

3. Portable Power Bank

If your phone is your lifeline when you travel like it is for me, it’s best to keep a portable power bank handy. You can use it to charge a GoPro, Kindle, or other electronics too. 

To have both a portable power bank and phone battery case might be overkill, but it’s better safe than sorry. Most backpackers have at least a portable power bank, which is also part of my long-term travel essentials packing list.

Hand Luggage Essentials for Long Haul Flights You'll Use At The Airport

Some hand luggage items you should pack so you can use them at the airport before your flight. Here are some items that will come in handy to prepare for your long-haul flight at the airport.

Collapsible Water Bottle

Prevent getting dehydrated on the flight by carrying a collapsible water bottle that you can refill at the airport. Bringing your own water on the flight can reduce waste too if you refuse those awful tiny plastic water bottles or cups that comes with in-flight meals.

This collapsible water bottle by BOLD is made from collapsible silicon. 

Adaptor and Phone Charger

Keep all of your electronics charged at the airport by using this all-in-one adaptor. With its many USB outlets, you can share the wealth with other passengers who might need a charge too. You might make a new friend! 

Carry your phone charger and other USB charging cords in your hand luggage to make use of this packing list item.

Belize City Airport, Belize to Mexico itinerary

Hand Luggage Essentials For Sleeping on Long-Haul Flights

Sleep is essential on long-haul flights, especially if you’re flying overnight and need to hit the road running when you land. These hand luggage essentials for long-haul flights will make sure you’re as rested as possible for when you get off the place. 

Inflatable Neck Pillow

To prevent my head from bobbing round during the flight, I always keep my neck pillow with me in my long-haul flight hand luggage. With a neck pillow, I can sleep easy and wake up without pains in my neck. 

This inflatable neck pillow from KMALL inflates just from pushing a button, so save your breath! 


Earplugs are so easy to forget when packing hand luggage for long-haul flights, but boy are they critical. These EarPlanes earplugs help control uncomfortable air pressure on your eardrums, and tune out your neighbors. 

They’re recommended by flight attendants and made from silicone.

Eye Mask

A lightweight blackout eye mask is a hand luggage essential for long-haul flights. I personally like ones that are contoured so they’re not squishing your eyelashes down onto your face while you sleep. Important for if you’re meeting an SO right when you get off the plane. 

If you want cute over practical, there are some adorable eye masks out there for you too. 

Shawl to double as Blanket

Long-haul flights always seem to be freezing cold. I make sure to carry some sort of scarf or sarong with me to keep as an extra blanket, to help stay warm and let me sleep. This HappyLuxe Travel Wrap is a multipurpose wrap, cozy and eco-friendly, that is perfect for long-haul flights. 

You can also go all-out with this travel blanket poncho!


Hand Luggage Essentials For A Comfortable Long-Haul Flight

Once you’ve secured all your sleep-help items in your long-haul flight hand luggage, it’s time to move to what makes you comfortable. If you want to stay in a good mood on a long-haul flight, create your own little hygge space in the aircraft. 

Top Layer Jacket

Layers are important on long-haul flights because of how friggin cold it can get on flights. In addition to a travel shawl, I life to have a jacket to layer that has a comfortable hood on it to keep my head warm. 

Tip: With seat belts, earphones, tray tables, and generally small spaces, hoodies are NOT your friend. Go with a zip-up jacket. 

Compression Socks/Warm Socks

Many frequent flyers swear by compression socks when they spend time in the air. They give you comfort and support throughout your feet and calves, and prevent swelling. 

Low-cut ankle versions exist as well. 

I personally just like to have a pair of fuzzy warm socks with me on my long-haul flight hand luggage. It adds that little bit of hygge. 

Comfy Slippers

Something to wear to the bathroom on flights is useful if you don’t want to bother with tying laces. 

Foldable ballerina flats will do the job just fine, but I hope a good comfy pair with memory foam. These Sunshine Code slippers have just that and are washable! Please pack sustainably and don’t buy the one-time use slippers that are such a waste.  

Throat Lozenges/Candies

Combat the dryness of the inside of the airplane by having a handful of cough drops in your hand luggage. Regular honey and herb flavors will do just fine, but I like to think menthol cough drops will clear your nose and throat out better than the rest. 

Extra Snacks - Salty and Sweet

I always have a back up of snacks on the flight to satisfy any cravings. Somehow the in-flight meals fill me up quickly, but I get hungry quickly afterwards too. 

Pack something sweet and something salty to balance out the flavors, or even better – something sweet AND salty! 

Hand luggage essentials for long haul flights, long haul flight packing list

Hand Luggage Essentials to Entertain You On A Long Haul Flight

Luckily, airplanes have evolved so most long-haul flights have in-flight entertainment. You can watch movies and TV shows on the tiny screen in front of you, hopefully without needing to pay extra. Here are some extras to keep you entertained, for your next long haul flight hand luggage. 

Kindle Paperwhite

My Kindle is a travel necessity for me, both in planes but also busses, and at night in hostels. The Kindle Paperwhite is the perfect Kindle for travel because it’s lightweight, the battery lasts forever, and there is a reading light installed in it. Once the lights are dimmed in the aircraft, switch on your Kindle reading light to continue reading without using the too-bright overhead light. 

RHA Wireless Flight Adaptor

Here’s a brand-new gadget sure to pop up on everyone’s Christmas list this year. RHA’s Wireless Flight Adaptor is a Bluetooth adaptor that connects to the in-flight entertainment (using one or two prongs), then transmits the sound to your personal headphones. 

No more cheap airline headphones or getting tangled in the cords when your in-flight meals come along. Use your personal bluetooth-compatible headphones to watch movies with this RHA Wireless Flight Adaptor!

Nice Over-The-Ear Headphones

Add another layer of noise-cancelling, or just listen to some of your favorite music by packing this long-haul flight necessity. Transport yourself away from the people squished around you by popping on your Bose headphones (or any other cheaper brand of noise-cancelling headphones).

Enjoy Your Next Long-Haul Flight - Happy Travels!

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