Singapore and Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand, Kenya and Tanzania….in my opinion, some of the most incredible destinations in the world are, well, far away. From the mainland United States, it can take the better part of an entire day to reach these amazing places. The journey to reach these bucket list destinations is definitely worth it – but you may be wondering: what are the essentials for long haul flights? I’ve listed the 12 carry-on essentials for long haul flights – especially if you’re in economy!
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Essential for Saving Your Sanity on Long Haul Fligthts:
Bose Quiet Comfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
In 2016, I was scheduled to take three roundtrip long haul flights in one year – the most I had ever taken. I decided that between those flights and my loud neighbor, I would invest in some decent headphones. The Bose Quiet Comfort headphones that I bought were one the best purchases of my life, and are still going strong years later. Although I didn’t have the luxury of getting a wireless version (I’m still rocking the wired look because they still sound just as great as they did in 2016), you have the chance to get these babies with Bluetooth instead! If you had to choose just one thing to buy for your long haul trips, this would definitely be my recommendation. And pair them with my next item for a truly elevated experience in economy….
Essential for Watching Movies on Long Haul Flights:
Twelve South AirFly Duo Bluetooth Transmitter
How to truly survive a long haul flight? Watch a whole lot of tv shows and movies. Most long haul carriers will offer a great selection of stuff to watch, but what they won’t offer is a decent set of headphones. Why use the crappy headphones provided by the airline when you could be using your AirPods Pro or those lovely aforementioned Bose wireless noise cancelling earphones? This bluetooth transmitter plugs in to the entertainment system in the seatback and send the audio to your wireless headphones. A game changer for long flights! Guaranteed at least one person will ask you where you got it!
Essential for Napping on Long Haul Flights:
Trtl Travel Pillow
Forget the traditional C-shaped travel pillow; this one allows your head and neck to truly relax, and for you to sleep with your head in a more natural position. Calling it a pillow might be a bit of misnomer – it’s a structured neck support brace that you wrap into place using cozy, soft (and washable) fleece. Even better, the design of it means that it will take up much less room than your old, bulky traditional travel pillow. Sleep in an economy seat may never be truly great, but this neck support pillow makes long haul economy a little more restful!
Essential for Blocking the World Out on Long Haul Flights:
TOPOINT Bluetooth Sleep Eye Mask Wireless Headphones
I’m a sensitive sleeper. The least amount of noise and I can’t drift off. This makes sleeping in what is basically a big, loud tin can in the sky somewhat challenging – which is where this eye mask comes in. Just like the Trtl pillow is something more than a pillow, the TOPOINT Bluetooth Sleep Mask is more than a mask. While it’s blocking out light from keeping you awake, it’s also a set of flat, unobtrusive Bluetooth headphones. I love to pop these on and play white noise, ocean sounds, or even a podcast to help me sleep.
Essential for Short People on Long Haul Flights:
Everlasting Comfort Airplane Footrest
Look, I’m short. I’m real short. I’m so short, sometimes my feet don’t quite touch the floor when I sit down. While the situation on flights is typically not quite that dire, my legs get super uncomfortable and even on relatively short flights I find myself dying for a place to put my feet up. Some airline seats will give you a paltry foot rest, but when has that really ever done the trick? If you’re like me, you’re going to need an Everlasting Comfort Airplane Footrest. Hang this over the tray table and you’ve got a comfy footrest that packs up small enough to fit in your carry-on. Sure, it’s not a first class lay-flat bed, but it’s definitely a step up!
Essential for Staying Powered Up on Long Haul Flights:
Anker Portable Charger
One of the pleasures of flying nowadays is that you’ll often find an outlet or USB charging port at your seat, particularly for international flights. But the relief that comes with having access to charging for your many electronic devices can turn to anxiety real quick when you plug stuff in and realize – the outlet doesn’t work. Has it happened to me often? No. But has it happened to me? Oh yes. And let me tell you from multiple experiences, it’s a terrible feeling to get on an 11 hour flight and realize your phone is going to die about 1/3 of the way to your destination. That’s why I always have my Anker Portable Charger in my carry-on. It can charge my phone nearly 3 entire times, so I’ve never run out of juice when I have it on me. There are other brands that emulate Anker, but none offer the durability and reliability that I’ve come to expect from their products.
Essential for When Your Long Haul Flight Comes with a Longer Delay:
AXA Travel Insurance
No matter how long your flight is, you should make sure that you’re adequately covered in the event that things go wrong during your trip. And things don’t have to go super, catastrophically wrong for you to lose money – maybe you have to see a doctor at your destination, or your bags are delayed and you need to rebuy some clothes and toiletries. These minor mishaps can really add up. Throw COVID and its related airport chaos into the mix, and you could end up on the hook for hundreds of dollars in costs if your flight is delayed or canceled. Pre-empt all that anxiety by making sure you purchase a travel insurance plan as soon as possible after you make the first booking for your trip. I recommend AXA Travel Plans – they offer comprehensive travel insurance at great rates, and are super easy to work with if you have to make a claim.