What To Pack For A Long-haul Flight

Don’t worry guys, I know I’m totally milking the ol’ travel content cow but I’m quite enjoying writing it and who knows…it might be useful to someone, somewhere?

Flying to Calgary for our Banff trip was the longest long-haul flight I’ve ever been on at around 9 hours…the next longest I’ve been on was years ago when I went to Egypt which was about 6 hours. Trust me, those extra 3 hours really make a difference. But there are ways to make sure you’re preoccupied and comfortable on a long-haul flight. It’s all about packing right!

Here’s some inspo on what you should pack, based on what I did pack for Canada and what I really wish I had packed…oh, and FYI, this post will include Amazon affiliate links, but only to items I own and genuinely recommend!

Easy reads

Most of these “what to travel” posts will simply say take books. But I’d definitely recommend only taking books that are an easy read and not too heavy going.

This is partly because it can be difficult to concentrate on a plane (especially if the a-hole in front of you has their seat all the way back and your book is practically attached to your face), but also because you’ll find the time goes quicker reading something a bit lighter than a serial killers autobiography or A Child Called It  – a book that I do highly recommend, just not when up in the air and unable to sob uncontrollably in private!

If reading novels isn’t your bag, consider taking travel-size magazines or some comics.

Of course, you can take as many books, magazines or comics as you like on a long-haul flight with an eReader / iPad, but don’t forget to charge them beforehand and bring a USB with you, as most long-haul flights have USB ports available.


You may be jetting off to the hottest country you’ve ever been to, but the temperature of the plane is so unreliable. You can always stash layers away in the overhead storage or use them as makeshift pillows when you don’t need them, but trust me when I say you’ll feel v v silly if you don’t have them to hand.

Try and avoid big chunky layers – and instead pack a few thinner layers to build up if needed. Slouchy is better than fitted, as restrictive clothing can get uncomfortable really quickly…take it from someone who was dumb enough to wear skinny jeans on the flight to and from Canada.

Noise cancelling headphones

I think I would have possibly punched some of the people sat near us had I not had noise cancelling headphones.

From noisy chatters to screaming babies and obnoxiously loud snoring, a long-haul flight is a breeding ground for all the things that make you want to kick the eff off. That is until you plug in, pop on your headphones and get sucked into the glorious world of in-flight entertainment.

I was luckily gifted these great 7dayshop noise cancelling headphones from Liam’s mum – at time of writing they are only £24.99 which is a bargain for the chance to block out all annoyances around you tbh.


Oh man, how I wish I had packed some slippers for the flight. We wore our heaviest shoes on the plane to avoid having to pack them in our cases, and as soon as I sat down I took them off. This did mean every time I needed the toilet I had to pop them back on again, and by “pop” them back on, I mean force my foot into them and have a fight with the laces to get them done up.

Anyway, slippers would’ve been great to keep my feet cosy when sat down and let’s be honest, I probably would’ve kept them on to go to the loo as well.

Travel Pillow

For when bunching up your hoodie won’t do, a travel pillow will.

I’m so gutted I didn’t think to take one (honestly, I can usually sleep anywhere in any position so figured I didn’t need it), because on the flight back I was unable to get into a comfy position to sleep and I had never felt more tired in my life by the time we landed in Heathrow.

Notepad and pen

So I didn’t end up using the notepad and pen I packed, but it’s handy to have in case any inspiration strikes you or you just want to do some doodling.

I originally packed mine for if I had any blog post ideas, which turns out I had absolutely zero but you never know, eh?


So where are you going to put all this stuff, huh? Well, I was introduced to the Cabin Max backpack this holiday and hot damn, I love it. It’s perfectly sized for the absolute max you’re allowed on the flight which means you can bring whatever you can cram into it, and it fits neatly in the overhead storage too. I went for the blue polka dot design, but there are loads of options available.

If you don’t travel abroad much, this backpack is still well worth investing in for trips to visit family and friends because I’m around 99.99% sure I could fit anything I would need for about a week in it.

What do you pack when you travel on a long-haul flight? Am I the only one stupid enough to wear skintight jeans on a 9+ hour flight? Let me know in the comments!


  1. North

    This is a fairly comprehensive list! I didn’t take slippers when I flew to New Zealand, but I did take warm, fluffy socks and I could’ve high-fived myself for my foresight to do so. So, I concur with the slipper suggestion.
    I love using a flight as a chance to chill out and read for a few hours, and I’m all for real books over e-readers!


    1. Post

      Yes to warm, fluffy socks…take those EVERYWHERE! Yeah I quite like that a flight basically forces you to chill (well, if you aren’t scared of flying anyway!)

    1. Post

      The headphones are a godsend, because even if you don’t want to listen to anything you can put them on and trap the noise out…amazing! I bet Mexico was amazing though…I would eat SO much!

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