My Hand Luggage Essentials For Long-Haul Travel

If there is one thing I have learned during my years of non-stop travel it’s to not pack too many things in my hand luggage. There have been too many times when I’ve struggled through a transit with a sore shoulder due to the incredible weight of 6 magazines and 4 books on my shoulder. Or I’ve been left red-faced when I held up the whole plane because I was rummaging around a seemingly bottomless bag (probably to find my sweets) before I could sit in my assigned window seat. Eventually I’ve come to learn that less is far more practical when it comes to packing hand luggage.

So on that note I thought I would share with you today the items I always travel long-haul with, plus the stylish yet practical hand luggage by Lo & Sons that I pack them these items in.

My Hand Luggage Essentials

Hand luggage essentials for long haul travel

  • Kate Spade Passport Holder – protects my passport in something bright and easy to spot. Find a similar one here.
  • A pen – to fill out all those pesky immigration forms!
  • Clear cosmetic case for toiletries – I’ve had this zip pouch from Muji for years. It keeps everything neat and tidy and can pass through security.
  • Berocca, multi-vitamins and headache pills – to fight jet lag before it even begins.
  • A hair tie – because one is never on your wrist when you really need it.
  • Lucas Papaw Ointment – the best thing for chapped lips. You can pick one up in duty-free in most Australian airports or online here.
  • Fluffy socks – as soon as I get on a long haul flight I slip out of my shoes and into a pair of fluffy socks. I love Totes with a tread on the bottom as you can walk around in them on the flight.
  • Eye mask – just in case you end up in a seat near the toilet or next to a passenger who reads for the whole flight. (Anyone who has experienced either of these things will know what I mean!). My grey marl one in a neat little bag is also from Muji.
  • Back up battery – in case there is nowhere to charge your phone on the plane. A lot of aircraft do have USB ports now so I also bring my iPhone cable in case I can charge my phone at my seat.
  • Outfit change – if I’m flying all the way to London from Sydney I tend to book a flight connection with a long enough layover to allow me time to shower and change in the lounge. I’ll pack a spare top and undies and have a mini pack of face wipes, deodorant and face powder to help me feel more human. Shower gel and towels etc are always provided in the lounge. Don’t forget a hairbrush though, especially if you plan on washing your barnet!
  • Giant scarf or shawl-like garment – I’ll always wear a big scarf when I’m flying so I can wrap myself in it on a flight. (One particularly cold and uncomfortable flight I actually wore a shawl over my head but that’s another story!) I’ll always wear comfy leggings and ballet pumps that I can easily slip off on the plane. Then I smarten up my outfit with a neat jacket, scarf and matching accessories in case of last-minute upgrades. (We can only wish!)
  • Laptop and camera – I keep these items in my hand luggage not necessarily to use them on the flight (that tends to be my time for books and movies) but because it would be a travesty if my luggage was lost and I didn’t have these with my upon arrival. If you are changing planes it’s a good idea to have a spare pair of clothes and essential toiletries in your hand luggage for this same reason.

What To Pack Them In

The OG overnight bag by Lo & Sons

I recently discovered New York based brand Lo & Sons who design incredibly stylish yet practical luggage for the fashion conscious traveller. Pictured is The OG and I can honestly say I’ve been through many items of luggage in my travelling career but never have I come across an overnight bag as smart as this.

The OG fits everything I’ve shown above (and a lot more) yet is lightweight and super chic. It comes with a padded 13 inch laptop compartment, secret pockets for everything from your money to your pens, a chain to attach your keys and a side pocket for to slip your shoes in once removed on the plane. There’s also pockets for work documents (or magazines!) and with everything so organised it means no last minute rummaging on the plane whilst other passengers try to get to their seats!

As it’s made from high-quality materials you don’t have to worry about overloading The OG but if it does start to get a little heavy there is even a sleeve hidden on the back that lets you attach The OG onto your suitcase handles. They really have thought of everything! Watch this clip to see what I mean.

What Fits Inside – The OG Overnight Bag from Lo & Sons on Vimeo.

I also love that The OG comes in 6 colour-ways so you can choose the exact shades to match your taste – I was instantly sold on the black exterior, light gold hardware and lavender interior combination.

The OG retails at $295 and is currently reduced in the sale. Find out more here.

Warning: You’ll probably fall for the whole range by Lo & Sons. The Claremont camera bag is next on my list!

What To Leave Behind

The OG overnight bag by Lo & Sons

Finally, here are my thoughts on a couple of things you should leave at home!

  • Ear plugs – personally these have never worked well for me – I find them uncomfortable and ineffective. I prefer to use noise cancelling headphones instead. These are often provided in premium cabins but if you’re travelling economy you can buy your own like these ones by Bose.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste – I’ve had too many toothpaste explosions or dripping toothbrush incidents in my hand luggage so now I just ask for some on the plane if they are not already provided in the inflight amenity kit or bathroom.
  • Anything you don’t 100% need – because if you’re anything like me you will stock up on snacks, water, reading material, duty-free make up and more at the airport and will need room in your hand luggage to squeeze them all in!

 Do you have any hand luggage essentials that are not on my list?

Disclaimer: The OG was supplied to me complimentary. All opinions are my own.


  • Erin says:

    This bag looks sensational, too bad they only ship within the United States! Will definitely look into mail forwarding for this one…

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      They are looking into offering international shipping so maybe join the mailing list so you know when it’s available!

  • I love that bag! I’m in the habit of only taking hand luggage on any trip now but try to bring a second smaller bag to keep all my flight entertainment in. Definitely agree with the ear plugs! They have never worked for me, I’d rather fall asleep listening to music!

    Adventures with Steph


    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Same! If I’m taking a wheeled carry on I use a small cross body bag to keep my phone in passport to hand. Some low-cost airlines used to be funny about this but even that seems to have relaxed now.

  • Annika says:

    I love spying in other people’s bags! Funny enough, I recently discovered earplugs and love them now for flights! I also always take my own toothbrush – I don’ t like the shape they have on planes and also try to minimize waste. And the bag is beautiful, I want to check out their camera bag!

  • Jessica says:

    This was so helpful seeing how I am one of those who packs WAY too much in their carry-on. Every time I tell myself “only the essentials, okay?” and then for some reason I find everything to be essential. I am also still in search of that perfect bag and this might just be the one!

    Fluffy socks are also a must have for me on long trips!

    Jessica | Nearby Wanderer

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      This is a great bag as everything’s organised but overall it’s not so big you stuff too much in it! I have a terrible habit of buying too much at the airport so always have to underpack unless I want to end up lugging the world with me 🙂

  • Ooh I’ve had my eye on this bag for a while! I have their Pearl bag which I love for walking around a city – it carries everything I need (and more). This is definitely next on my wishlist though!

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