The ULTIMATE guide to carry-on luggage for long haul flights

What you should pack in your carry on luggage

If you struggle with packing carry-on luggage, my list of essentials will have you covered. As an Australian a good many hours away from a large list of popular travel destinations, I’ve gotten used to knowing what to bring and what to leave out when it comes to packing items in my carry-on bag. These are the items I won’t leave home without.

What to pack in your carry-on for a long haul flight


Before you go collecting the perfect items for your long haul flight, you’ll need a carry-on bag that isn’t heavy or too hard to open whilst also complying with airline standards (check with your airline to see their individual carry-on luggage regulations). I personally am enamoured by the Fabulous Fifties range from Suitsuit. Even though flying isn’t always as glamorous as it was in the 1950s, there’s something charming about toting luggage with a touch of class.

Eye mask

You’ll be kicking yourself if you forget an eye mask. It’s one of the easiest ways to escape from the cold, harsh reality that is an aeroplane cabin, if only for an hour or two.


Airlines often provide you with a set of earphones, but if you want a more comfortable experience, I’d recommend investing in a good pair of headphones (these are also great to wear when you’re trying to escape the noise from the aeroplane cabin).

Neck pillow

I won’t travel without a neck pillow. In the absence of proper bedding and pillows, a neck pillow brings a small sense of comfort to your flying experience. Invest in a good one with memory beads to make long haul flights more bearable.


If the incessant glow from screens on planes has you down, don’t forget to take some reading material with you. A book is an absolute essential for long haul flights (and will also come in handy in any downtime you have on your holiday). If fiction is your thing, I personally love Replay by Ken Grimwood to inspire you to live every moment in your life, or Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami for a peaceful, mysterious holiday read.

DSLR camera

If you’re lucky enough to be flying business class or first class on a long haul flight, you don’t want to miss out on what will perhaps be one of the most ‘gram-worthiest experiences of your life. A simple, high quality photo of an aeroplane window is always a classic, too. This is where a camera comes in handy. Create wanderlust-worthy pics with a camera that will do your jetset lifestyle justice and incite envy in all those lucky enough to stumble across your Instagram profile. I’m a Canon girl through and through, and for beginners I recommend the Canon EOS 1300D for relative ease of use and affordability (as well as stunning images).

Hand sanitiser

After hours upon hours spent in an enclosed space with many other humans, you’ll thank me for this. Hand sanitiser offers some peace of mind for travelling germaphobes (myself included). If you’re paranoid, be sure to disinfect the tray table and arm rests as soon as you get settled into your seat.


Don’t forget to bring travel-sized nasal spray, deoderant, toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, eye drops and hand cream (I like Nivea’s Soft Moisturising Creme for face, body and hands) to freshen up on your flight. Again, check your specific airline’s regulations on carry-on liquids, but the general consensus is that each liquid should be under 100mL and carried in a clear zip-lock bag.

Travel diary

If you’re jetting off to a faraway destination, sometimes there’s no idea more romantic than simply setting pen to paper and jotting down your dreams and expectations for the trip. If you can commit to writing in a travel diary every day, you’ll have a fantastic record to look back on in years to come.

What are your ultimate carry-on must-haves? Chat with me in the comments!

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