'I've spent 138 hours on long-haul flights in the past year. This is exactly what I pack in my carry-on.'

Five-step skincare routines siphoned into 100ml bottles and deconstructed Bloody Mary kits, when it comes to flying long-haul, I've seen it all. 

However, there are very few things that will actually pull you back from the brink of madness during a long-haul flight (24 hours +) and believe me, a pre-cut cocktail garnish isn't one of them.

The reality is, what you pack in your carry-on isn't about looking cute, it's a matter of SURVIVAL. 

So if you've got a trip coming up consider this your survival guide, with some bougie touches.

Watch: Horoscopes at the airport. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

Refillable water bottle.

Hydration is the secret to feeling better throughout your flight and when you get to the other side. Instead of relying on tiny little cups from the service cart to keep your hydration levels up, pack your refillable water bottle

My recommendation is to quarter-fill your water bottle before you leave the house so that you have just enough to drink on the way to the airport and at check-in. You can take bottles larger than 100ml on board so long as they are empty at the security screening point. Simply refill just before boarding and top up during the flight. 


For extra-long flights, I even pack a tube of electrolytes in my carry-on and have one on each leg of the journey.

A pair of hotel slippers.

See I told you, we can be bougie in economy too!

Once you've boarded, swap out your shoes for a pair of hotel slippers. Not only will this free up more space at your feet (I always stow my shoes in the overhead compartment), but it's more comfortable moving about the aircraft when your ankles start to swell. 

More importantly, there's nothing worse than going to the loo during a flight and treading on someone else's wee. Protect your socks and your sanity, pack slippers or some sort of slip-on shoe equivalent. 

Paige Carmichael. Image: Supplied.


Peppermint tea bags.

There will come a time on your flight (generally after the first couple of meals) when you feel like you can power the engine of the A380 with just the gas in your stomach.  

I always pack extra peppermint tea to have after every meal — this is not something I do in my everyday life but you'll be amazed at how much relief it provides in the sky.

Not just any old neck pillow… a Cabeau.

Whenever I see someone with a standard horseshoe-shaped neck pillow they picked up from Kmart, I genuinely feel like they are cosplaying as a long-haul traveller

In my experience, they really serve no purpose other than to annoy you throughout the entire flight. The Trtl which claims it's the #1 travel pillow served me well for a couple of trips as it definitely offers more support however, it wasn't until my partner and I both purchased a Cabeau pillow that we actually started getting 4-6 hours sleep on our long haul flights. 

The difference between the Trtl and the Cabeau is that the Cabeau attaches to the headrest giving you the most amount of support so there is no way your head can rock forward. 


Heads up! It's so supportive that when you first put it on it can feel quite restrictive and a little claustrophobic so only put it on when you're ready to go to sleep. 

Amazon Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Pillow, $42.75.

Cabeau Travel Pillow. Image: Amazon.


My iPad soothes me on a long-haul flight the same way I'd imagine it soothes a toddler. The night before I fly, I download all the latest releases from Netflix and Stan (Binge is not available to download offline and I've had issues on past flights with Hayu downloads) and after the first meal service I settle in for my own personal movie marathon.


Noise-cancelling headphones.

Drop an AirPod out of your ear on a long-haul flight and there's a good chance you'll never see it again. I recently got a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and while I travelled long haul for years without them, I'm now a convert.

BOSE QuietComfort Ultra Headphones, $649.95.

BOSE Noise-Canceling Headphones. Image: BOSE/Myer.


These headphones come with an airplane-friendly adaptor so that you can recharge in your seat during your flight.

A little bag of essentials within your larger carry-on.

Sure, in-flight beauty routine videos are fun to watch but the last thing you'll want to do after marinating in seat 55F for 12 hours is apply another layer of skincare. My advice is to keep it simple. 

In my smaller bag of essentials you'll find a good moisturiser, a nourishing lip balm, deodorant and wet wipes (you haven't lived until you've given yourself a wet wipe shower). The airline should provide a mini toothbrush and toothpaste on long-haul flights but you may want to add those too just in case. 


This little bag should also include hand sanitiser, paracetamol and if you're an anxious flyer like me (yes the irony) then I also pack lemon balm drops, Rescue Remedy and Fisherman's Friends. 

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermallergo Light Cream 40ml, $47.95.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermallergo Light Cream. Image: La Roche-Posay/Adore Beauty.


Brillo Beauty The Balm 25g, $19.

Brillo Beauty The Balm. Image: Brillo Beauty.

Flower of Life Vimergy Lemon Balm, $34.13 – $75.26.

Flower of Life Lemon Balm. Image: Flower of Life.


A pen.

When reentering Australia you will need a pen to fill out your Incoming Passenger Card.

And finally... a passport.

I know you know to pack your passport in a secure spot within your carry on but I've popped it here just in case you are using this article as a literal checklist, as I'd never forgive myself if you rocked up to the check-in desk with a pair of hotel slippers and not your ID.

Read more from Paige here and follow her on Instagram for more travel tips. 

Feature image: Supplied.

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