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Essential Travel Items I Always Bring on a Long Haul Flight

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downtown Chicago at night viewed from an airplane window

Ah long-haul flights. We love them and we hate them. They bring us to beautiful far-flung destinations but woof are they cramped and long and annoying.

There are always steps you can take to make that long haul and/or red eye a little bit better. Here’s the essential travel items that I never get on a long flight without!

a redhead holding a trtl travel pillow

TRTL Travel Pillow

Friends, I’ve tried a lot of different travel pillows. This one is in a league of its own. I actually got a decent amount of sleep on a red eye from Chicago to Copenhagen with this baby. There’s a light, soft plastic frame on one side that you tuck under your chin, and the soft fleece wraps around your neck to hold everything in place. The result is a sturdy headrest that’s perched right on your shoulder like a helpful parrot, and the fabric keeps your neck warm on the chilly airplane. Plus, when you’re ready to deplane, it folds up nearly flat for an easy return to your luggage.

I seriously cannot recommend this travel pillow enough. The price point is a little higher than some other travel pillows, but it’s worth every extra penny.

But if the Trtl pillow is a little outside your budget, this one is a good alternative. It’s poseable so you can shape it into whatever configuration will help you get the best sleep.

a redhead holding a carry-on travel backpack

Perfect Carry-on Backpack

Long flight or short flight, success lives and dies by the perfect carry on. And my friends, this is The One.

It has pockets for days. It holds a truly astounding amount of items. It has a sleeve for your laptop and a security pocket for your valuables. It has a pouch where you can connect a power bank and charge your devices on the go (for those dreaded instances of no outlet at your seat.) I’ve traveled with only a carry-on for many years, and this backpack is an absolute game changer. I’ll never travel with anything else. I love my travel backpack. She’s the one.

a redhead holding a purple packing cube

Packing Cubes

To make the best use of your amazing travel backpack, packing cubes are such a great investment. They make the most of your space, and on a long haul flight, you know you’re going somewhere cool and are going to need all the space you can get! These babies are cheap, practical, and astonishingly helpful.

Ear Plugs

Why are airplanes so cold and noisy?? Oh. Right. Because we’re tearing through the upper atmosphere at insane speeds. Carry on.

Anything that helps you sleep on a plane is well worth it in my book, and some comfy earplugs make all the difference.

These earplugs are the only kind I’ll wear anymore. I have very small ears and standard earplugs tend not to stay put. These are made of squishy silicone, so they can take on the exact shape of your ear. Take it from a light sleeper with weird ears, these work!

Arch Compression

Do your feet hurt just thinking about being in a pressurized airplane overnight? Lol same babe. Get yourself a good pair of compression socks. Or if you’re like me and don’t love super high socks, these cute little guys that hug your arches also help a lot!

a redhead with a round pill case

Sleek Pill Case

Never (say it with me: never ever!) put your meds in your checked luggage. (Why are you even checking luggage? Let me help you pack with just a carry-on!)

I purchased one of these and it fits the bill perfectly. It’s compact, it’s cute, it has several compartments, and I can fit a whole week’s supply in there if I need. Hits all the boxes.

Travel Adaptor

This one is only essential if you’re leaving the states, but if you’re leaving the States it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. This one is cheap, sturdy, and effective. I bought mine six years ago and it has yet to break or let me down.

a redhead with a box of no-jet-lag tablets

Anti-Jet Leg Tablets

This stuff has a bit of a cult following, so on my last trip to Europe I gave it a try! You take one tablet when you take off, one when you land, and one every two hours in between, and it’s supposed to cure your jet lag. I’m not sure if my jet lag was “cured,” but I definitely noticed a difference in my energy levels on my first day in Paris. And the price point is low enough that I’ll definitely continue to use them!

Get these essential travel items before your next long haul flight!

A little goes a long way with these travel items. Treat yourself! You totally deserve it.

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Love and Shenanigans,


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