Long flight essentials for travel in 2023: 13 things I refuse to get on a plane without (with links!)

Dec 28, 2022

Last year, I spent almost as many nights traveling as I did sleeping in my own bed. That’s a lot of flights, friends.

I’ve tested all of these travel products for comfort, value for money, and durability, but also just for general usefulness. There are so many shady travel gadgets out there that are useless, and others that are lifesavers.

At this point, I’ve got flying comfortably down to a science— and I HAVE to share!

So here they are: my tried and tested essentials for a comfortable, restful long-haul flight! 

13 long flight essentials on Amazon

1. Luggage cup holder. If you’re like me, you always find yourself running through the airport with too many things in your hands. This travel gadget has a great zip pocket (I put my passport or ID in it for easy access at security) and cupholders!

2. Collapsible water bottle. I love my Hydroflask, but it’s heavy and bulky. Instead, I use this leakproof collapsible bottle. I love being able to collapse it and put it back into my backpack without taking up any space.

3. Airfly pro. Do you have wireless or bluetooth headphones, like Airpods or Beats? You need this affordable little travel gadget that you plug into the headphone jack on the air plane to be able to use your bluetooth headphones for the seat-back TV! I’ve been annoyed by this for YEARS, carrying both my Airpods and stringy headphones around everywhere. Problem solved!


4.
Tatcha skincare travel-size set. On long flights your skin needs more care, not less. This incredible travel-sized (TSA approved!) skincare set is hydrating, light, and rejuvenating to combat the dry, stale air on air planes. I keep it in the front pocket of my backpack on the plan for easy access, along with these Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches, which are like a deeply hydrating drink for your under eyes, and 2-3 of these dermatologist approved disposable face towels from Clean Skin Club.

5. Sleep aid gummies. I use melatonin gummy vitamins or Tylenol PM. Especially if you’re flying to Europe, this is an absolute must if you can’t easily fall asleep on planes. You’d have to drag me kicking and screaming onto an overnight flight without it.

6. Silk eye mask. If you’ve never thought of yourself as an eye mask person, I feel you. BUT I’ve seen the light (or rather, the dark with this mask on). Lights on planes, trains, in cars, and at hotels are unpredictable and for me, they’re enemy number 1. I’ve tried dozens of masks and this is my absolute favorite. Comfortable, adjustable, and black out.

7. Liquid IV. Add one of these tasty electrolyte packets to your water bottle for the ultimate hydration multiplier! Being well hydrated is so important on flights, but as a human camel I don’t want to go for volume- no one likes being the person that has to continually make their entire row stand up to repeatedly allow you to use the restroom. You don’t have to be “that guy.” Just bring a couple Liquid IVs!

8. Mack’s ear plugs. I used to think the idea of wearing ear plugs on a plane was kind of dopey, but at this point all I really care about is my own comfort. These are the ONLY ear plugs I’ve found that actually work and I swear by them. Snoring person next to you? Crying baby? Captain’s announcements? Not today, satan. 

9. Neck pillow that rolls up. Again, I’m all about space and simplicity. This neck pillow rolls up into a compact ball to be put away in a little bag. I use a carabiner to clip it to my bag when I’m using it and vualá: no more carrying or wearing it around the airport! Remember: not all neck pillows are created equally, and this one actually has enough foamy stuffing to support my head.

10. Portable phone charger. I don’t understand why these battery phone chargers are called “portable” when all phone chargers are technically portable, but that’s beside the point. This is another must-have that I’ve put time into finding the best of the best- a great emergency, cordless charger that lasts. I can’t tell you how many flights I’ve been on and seen people angrily pulling their phone’s USB cord out of the port under the seat and looking around asking people, “is YOURS broken too?”

11. Osprey Daylight backpack. Where will you put all these things? Inside the PERFECT backpack for travel. Finding the exact carry on backpack for me took years, and now I’ll never go back. This Osprey backpack is sleek, comfortable, and fits everything I need. It has tons of organization and pockets, a padded laptop sleeve, water bottle holder pockets, and a small front pocket for the things that I need to be easily accessible.

12. Blanket scarf. I’m always cold AND always short on space. Compact, soft, and multi purpose? Yes please!

13. Noise canceling headphones. This one goes without saying, but one of my tips for long flights is to find a pair that doesn’t get mad when you rest your head on them when you’re sleeping.

Looking for more? Don’t miss:

I know what you’re thinking: “This is great for you, but how can I afford to travel more?” I’ve been there!

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Are you new here? Let’s be friends! I’m Sarah— a solo female traveler (& world’s okayest travel blogger) helping you travel the world, discover surprising destinations, & have a laugh getting off the beaten path. Scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up to stay in touch (I promise not to spam you- just to share the best travel hacks, guides, itineraries, embarrassing stories, and unmissable experiences)!

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