Must Have Carry-on Items for Long Haul flights

Must have carry-on items for long haul flight - Carry on items, how to pack a small bag for flight, what I carry in my bag on flights.

I will admit it, I am a serial over-packer. No matter how much I have traveled I always have something in my suitcase that I never used the whole time I was away – a pair of heels I swore I would need for a potential night out, or an epic over-packing of tights and socks (my latest trip to Iceland was no exception). One thing I know I do well though is my carry-on items for long haul flights.

Living in Australia flights to almost anywhere are long, and anyone who has ever traveled knows how useful extra room in your handbag on your return flight home is (souvenirs, new clothes, souvenirs – you get the idea). Even though when I am out and about exploring I do have a smaller over the body handbag, when I am in transit I always have a larger roomier handbag. And this is the reason why – your handbag isn’t included in your carry-on luggage weight so make that baby count (same with men you are allowed a small backpack or laptop bag – please check with your airline for specifics).

Please see below my must-have carry-on items for long haul flights … these carry-on items are much used and loved when I travel. 


My Must Have Carry-on Items for Long Haul flights:

Light cardigan

This is a must to pack as no matter the season airplanes get super cold (some people also opt for a large scarf which is just as effective). I have a black light-weight cotton cardigan which is super comfortable and versatile, it can be either scrunched up into a comfy pillow or laying it over my legs as a blanket.
Check it out here – Kiev Cafe Cardigan


Great for either on the airplane, lounging around at the airport or even on long train and bus trips this little device is your best friend. On my last holiday I had a 46-hour train ride, and even though I devoured two books in this time, when night fell I enjoyed a tv series marathon via my iPad. Make sure everything is up to date with your most favourite tunes and latest episodes of your favourite TV shows (I find TV shows best for travel as they are short for those times when you just need a short burst of entertainment).

Lucas’ PawPaw Ointment

If you haven’t yet caught onto this amazing product you need to get onboard. Not only is it an amazing lip balm (which is what I mostly use it for) but it also has anti-bacterial properties and can be used to relieve minor burns, sunburn, cuts and minor open wounds, chaffing and so much more. I don’t know why anyone would travel without it. 
Check it out here – Lucas Papaw Ointment 25g

Trilogy Moisturising Mist

This is the newest addition to my carry-on and I am already in love. When you are flying the environment inside the aircraft can really dry out your skin and leave your skin a combination of two things – either dry and scaly or oily. The Trilogy Moisturising Mist smells amazing and really just gives you the freshening up that you need before you get off your flight (or even during to keep you feeling and smelling fresh).
Check it out here – Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner for Unisex

Cherry Blossom Gel Perfume from The Face Shop

Let’s face it, flights don’t have showers unless you are flying business class with Emirates. So I do love to take with me a small perfume to freshen up with before or after the flight. This little gem I purchased on my recent trip to Singapore and I must say I am in love, just a small dab on my wrist and I smell beautiful and feel refreshed. 

Anti-Bacterial Wipes/Hand Sanitiser 

This one is pretty obvious I think and perfect for any handbag when traveling. Sometimes you might sit next to someone with a cold, need a freshen up before eating your meal, or just plain being hygienic.

Penguin Book

There is a lot of waiting around at airport and if you are like me and can flick through the meaningless content of a trash magazine in 5 minutes, you will understand the need for a book. Penguin Book are perfect, not only are they compact in size and but they are super lightweight making them so easy to carry and of course they offer a great selection of classics to keep you entertained.
Check it out here – Pride and Prejudice

Empty Water Bottle

As I have already mentioned already flying can really dehydrate you, and it is important to make sure you are getting enough water during your flight (not just liquids). I find the little cups they give you really do have enough in them and no one wants their dinner tray down the whole flight while you attempt to horde water. Thankfully most airlines have filtered water dispensers near the lavatories to refill your water bottles during the flight. 
Check out the one I use here – Tupperware Water Bottle 500ml

Plastic Zip-lock Bag

No more digging through your bag looking for everything or having them loose in the big plastic security tubs. These are so handy for clearing security, I put all of my liquids into the one clear resealable bag and it makes for an easy transition.


What do you have in your long haul carry-on bag?
Would love to hear your tips and advice.



Must have carry-on items for long haul flights - Carry on items, how to pack a small bag for flight, what I carry in my bag on flights.
Please pin for later use – Carry-on Items for Long Haul flights

Founder of the Vintage at Heart blog – Kacey loves to share with you her journey through the ever-changing adventures of life as she explores motherhood, repurpose thrift store finds, and discover how to have a more sustainable home.


  1. Marleen
    October 19, 2015

    Such a good wee kit. I always travel with hand sanitizer of some type. I love to take a refreshing mist, day cream, and lip balm as well! Plus a few other essentials.

    1. Kacey
      October 20, 2015

      Thanks Marleen!! The refreshing mists is my new favourite, such a great idea!!

  2. Pernnille Oberg
    October 26, 2015

    Such important items!
    I always tend to keep a light snack with me as well. Just in case:)

    1. Kacey
      October 26, 2015

      Thanks Pernnille and totally agree, a snack is a definite! I have a sweet tooth so it is normally mints or jelly beans 🙂

  3. Lindi Mogale
    January 17, 2016

    Great travel article

  4. Amanda Fagan
    March 21, 2016

    Great post, thank you for this! I’m planning a long trip soon and the longest I’ve ever been on a plane is 4 hours. I definitely wouldn’t have thought to bring moisturizing mist, that’s a great tip!

    1. Kacey
      March 29, 2016

      Moisturizing mist is AMAZING!! The plane really dries your skin out, and I always feel yuck when I get off. Its a great way to freshen up, and the Trilogy one smells like roses, which is super pretty. Have an WONDERFUL trip – Travel is the greatest experience we can have in life. <3

  5. Bryanna
    March 25, 2016

    I always carry Lucas Paw Paw lip balm! I’m not much of a reader (I prefer listening to audio books), but I always carry a small note book and pen with me on flights 🙂

    1. Kacey
      March 29, 2016

      Notebook and pen is a great idea Bry! So many times I get lost in thought when travelling and that would be a great way to keep my inspirations in check. Thanks for the tip!!!

  6. Kimberly
    August 6, 2016

    A few additions that I have found essential:
    (1) Earplugs in case someone is snoring, or there’s a fussy baby, or, as happened on a train trip, 4 Germans who did not once stop talking, drinking and laughing all the way from London to Holyhead.
    (2) Saline nasal mist. Your sinuses get dry too. It’s a wee bit gross for your neighbors to hear, so go into the loo.
    (3) A journal and pen. I find flights are good for story ideas or just thoughts I want to capture.

  7. Kate McDonnell
    March 27, 2017

    Most people take their shoes off for long flights. If you are wearing sneakers or boots on the plane, take a pair of flip flops or ballet flats also so you can slip them on when you want to go to the loo, instead of fussing with laces and buckles.
    If you are already wearing flip flops, ballet flats or sandles, take a pair of warmish socks for while your in your seat otherwise your feet will freeze.
    ( Always make sure shoes are on during take off and landing, in case of emergency)


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