While we have no real anxiety when we travel (partly because we always make sure we have full travel insurance) there is sometimes some low-level anxiety when it comes to packing. If we have a long flight, we do like to have everything we need with us. It is SO frustrating to realize that something you need for the flight is actually in your checked-in bag and you can’t get at it!
The best way to mitigate this stress is to have a list and ideally, a printed-out checklist and check things off as you are packing. Having a second copy printed out and taking it with you is also good to make sure you have a properly packed carry-on bag when you come home too!
So, let’s share what we think is the ULTIMATE bag for carry-on for a long-haul flight. Make sure you get the PDF printout. Cross out what you don’t need and there are spaces for things that are specific for you.
- Travel insurance documents – Travel insurance is so important and you should have the policy and the emergency contact details with you at all times. Share these with everyone traveling with you and the tour leader if you are on a tour.
- Lounge Cards – If you are lucky enough to have these you will want to make sure you have these. Lounges are so much nicer than the common areas.
- Transportation and hotel confirmations – for your arrival in case your data on your phone doesn’t work
- Driver’s license – If you are hiring a car in the destination or are considering it.
- Emergency contact details – Share this with your travel companions.
- Boarding passes – If you checked in online.
Toiletries and medications
Liquids should be in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces and fit into a clear, quart-size, zip-top plastic bag. To learn more about TSA rules, see Airport Security Frequently Asked Questions
Lip balm – for dry lips in the cabin.
Moisturizer – skin gets so dry in the air of the cabin.
A hairbrush, toothpaste, toothbrush, and deodorant – If you need to hug people who are meeting you at the airport with confidence, you’ll want these items.
Painkillers – In case a headache or toothache hits you onboard you will be so thankful you have some Panadol.
Feminine hygiene products – Just in case.
Herbal Sleeping tablets – If these help you, then pack these.
Dry flannel in a waterproof bag – In case you need a ‘shower’ before touching down and they are more eco-friendly than wet wipes. This will come in handy many times during your trip.
Blackout eye mask – This can make a big difference if you need zero light to sleep.
Earplugs – While noise reduction headphones and white noise can substitute for earplugs, these can be so helpful for the loud hum of the plane.
Spare set of clothes – If you have to get off the plane and it will take a few hours before you can get to a shower, then this will make you feel a lot better. Check the weather at your destination to make a smart choice.
Warm socks – They say cold feet mean warm heart! If that’s you, then you will want socks. It is very hard to sleep when your tootsies are cold.
Electronics and necessary cables and chargers– Whether it is a laptop, tablet, or just a phone, make sure you have lots of TV, music, sleeping meditations, and books downloaded onto your device. You should also have all your valuables with you.
Headphones – Noise reduction ones are best to filter out background noise.
Water bottle – to keep hydrated. Fill it up after you go through security.
Pen – to fill out that arrival form.
Snacks – have some snacks on hand just in case. Here are some recipe ideas for sweet and savory snacks if you want. While I have never needed it, we like to carry a little ‘just-add-hot-water’ packaged foods. We especially like the Dr. McDougall soups. We hope you never need them and that your onboard vegan meal is delicious, balanced, and plentiful, but if you are really worried these are a super standby. Most flight attendants will add some boiling water for you and voila! You have a meal!
Hopefully, this little checklist will be helpful and of course, don’t forget to download and print out this list and keep a stash of them near your luggage so that you always have them and make sure you have everything you need on that plane! Happy travels.