My Hand Luggage Essentials For Long-Haul Flights

My Hand Luggage Essentials For Long-Haul Flights

If there is one thing I have learned during my years of non-stop travel it’s not to pack too many things in my hand luggage. There have been far too many times when I’ve struggled through the airport with a sore shoulder due to the incredible weight of 6 magazines, 4 books and countless other things I don’t need pressing on my shoulder.

I’ve also learned from frequently flying between Australia and the UK that the products you pack in your hand luggage can have a huge effect on your overall comfort and wellbeing during the flight.

So on that note, I thought I would share with you the essential items I always pack in my hand luggage, plus suggest some stylish yet practical cabin baggage to carry them in.

(This post contains some affiliate links to Amazon products. Read disclaimer for details.)

Top 5 Hand Luggage Essentials For A Long-Haul Flight

If I’m flying long-haul I won’t leave home without:

  • The Trtl travel pillow – regularly voted the best travel pillow on the market, the Trtl provides optimum support for your neck and – as it looks just like a scarf – is not half as cumbersome or silly looking as some others I’ve tested.
  • This Works Sleep Balm – a soothing lavender scented balm that’s great for rubbing on pulse points when you need helping relaxing or want to drift off.
  • Noise-cancelling headphones – like these ones from Bose which provide superb sound quality and block out cabin noises. Don’t forget to grab a headphone adaptor jack so you can plug into the airplane’s entertainment system.
  • Giant scarf or shawl – I always pack a travel shawl when I’m flying so I can wrap myself in it on a flight – I prefer my own blanket to the airline ones!
  • A pen – don’t forget to pack a pen for all those pesky immigrations forms or you’ll be begging your neighbour for theirs.

How to sleep on a plane

Hand Luggage Essentials For Long-Haul Flights - Girl Tweets World

Some Handy Hand Luggage Items For A More Comfortable Flight

If you’ve got room to spare, these are the items that I recommend you pack for a more comfortable flight.

  • Berocca, multi-vitamins and headache pills – to fight jet lag before it even begins. I swear by Berocca Boost, which comes with an extra energy kick, when I know I’m going to have to hit the ground running.
  • Lucas Papaw Ointment – the best thing for chapped lips. You can pick one up in duty-free in most Australian airports or buy it online.
  • Slipper 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 slipper socks with a tread on the bottom as you can walk around in them on the flight.
  • A hair tie – because one is never on your wrist when you really need it.

Lust-worthy luggage

Hand Luggage Items Loved By Frequent Flyers

Feel like a travel pro with these frequent flyer favourites.

  • Kate Spade Passport Holder – although you have to remove passport covers when you go through immigration I personally keep my passport in one as it protects the pages and makes it easier to spot your passport amongst all the other items in your bag. I’ve had this Kate Spade Passport Holder for years and it looks smart and has lasted well.
  • Clear cosmetic case for toiletries – I have a TSA approved clear toiletry bag that I pop all my items in at home so I don’t have to mess about arranging my liquids at security.
  • 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. This silk sleep mask is super soft and cosy.
  • Back up battery – I pack a portable power bank in case there is nowhere to charge your phone on the plane. A lot of aircraft have USB ports 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 or shower room. 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 come with the entry fee. Don’t forget a hairbrush though, especially if you plan on washing your barnet!
  • Laptop and camera – I keep these items in my hand luggage not necessarily to use them on the flight but because it would be a travesty if my luggage was lost and I didn’t have these with me 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 wear on a plane: Stylish outfits for flying

Best Carry-On Bag For Long-Haul Flights

The OG by Lo & Sons best carry-on luggage

 

I’m a huge fan of 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 mentioned above 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 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 while 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 a sleeve hidden on the back that lets you attach The OG onto your suitcase handles.

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, gold and lavender combination.

The OG retails at $275. Find out more here.

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

You may also like:

The 10 items of clothing I pack for every trip

How to pack like a pro 

How to sleep on a plane: 8 top tips for getting more kip

Disclaimer: The OG was supplied to me complimentary. All opinions are my own. This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on the link, I may receive a small commission. Read disclaimer for details.

Post updated March 2018

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14 Comments

  1. Erin
    July 4, 2016 / 6:46 am

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

    • Jayne Gorman
      Author
      July 8, 2016 / 3:29 am

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

  2. July 4, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    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

    xoxo

    • Jayne Gorman
      Author
      July 4, 2016 / 11:10 pm

      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.

  3. July 5, 2016 / 6:40 am

    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!

    • Jayne Gorman
      Author
      July 5, 2016 / 8:08 am

      Good point re waste. Maybe I’ll start packing my own again!

  4. July 9, 2016 / 7:03 pm

    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
      Author
      July 12, 2016 / 7:34 am

      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 🙂

  5. July 11, 2016 / 2:38 pm

    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!

    • Jayne Gorman
      Author
      July 12, 2016 / 7:32 am

      I’ve just looked up the Pearl and want one now. Their whole range is divine!

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