For frequent flyers and world travelers, preparing for the next long-haul flight is very easy. However, for someone who has never had the experience of being in an airplane in a confined space for more than four hours, this can be quiet challenging.
The main question is always: What to pack in your hand luggage to make your long journey as pleasant as possible?
Mostly there are overnight flights, or one or even more stopovers on the way.
Depending on where the journey is going to. The entire travel time from your door step to your final destination can take between 6 and 27 hours, or sometimes even longer.
The longest flights in the world
Currently Singapore Airlines holds first place for the longest flight in the world. The Singapore – New York route covers 16,700 kilometers in 18 hours and 45 minutes.
Qatar Airways is on second place on the Doha – Auckland route. The 14525 km flight takes 16 hours and 35 minutes.
Followed in third place by Qantas, the first airline ever to connect Australia and Europe since February 2018. 14498 kilometers are traveled between Perth and London in 17 hours and 10 minutes.
Even though those long hours on a plane don’t sound very convenient and glamorous, in most cases its not as bad as it seems. The excitement increases, you are full of energy and can´t wait to get on the plane and take off.
And along with a few good preparations, even the longest flight can be a great experience and a good start to the journey. After all, flying means freedom. And what could be nicer than seeing our world from a bird’s eye view?
The right hand luggage
Planning the right hand luggage is incredibly important. After all, these are the only things you have with you during your trip.
The hand luggage for most airlines in economy class must not exceed seven kilos, for some the limit is ten kilos.
Girls, usually you can also take a medium-sized handbag separately, which is very practical if you need to go to the washroom on the plane and don’t want to leave your valuables at your seat. Make sure to get information from the airline.
To make your flight as comfortable as possible, you should definitely pack these items in your hand luggage:
- Disinfection wipes
Not only in times of corona, hygiene and cleanliness was and is always important. No matter where you go. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to prove whether a place is really clean. Unfortunately, this also applies to airplanes. With several thousand passengers a week, they can be a real spinner.
That’s why you should ALWAYS have disinfectant wipes with you on every flight. It is best to disinfect your seat as soon as you have sat down. Wipe over the armrest, the folding table, screen and also the handles of the window blinds. It´s done very quickly and everything is clean 🙂
Always disinfect your hands after you have been in the airplane washroom. Just as a reminder but should be clear. 😉
- Empty water bottle
You should always have an empty drinking bottle (NO EMPTY PLASTIC BOTTLE) with you on every flight in your hand luggage! As you know, the security controls dispose of reusable bottles and liquid containers with more than 100ml, so your drinking bottle must be empty.
You can buy new water bottles after the security check in the Duty Free, but there are many countries at whose airports there is a bag check again before you get on the plane, where these bought bottles are also taken from you (e.g. in Dubai and Abu Dhabi or at the gates with flights to Australia or New Zealand). Sounds unfair, it is, but that’s the way the rules are.
Let the flight attendants fill up your bottle with water on the plane. So you have enough to drink during the flight and do not always have to press the service button. This also makes the flight staff’s job easier.
- Mobile phone charging cable or power bank
Thanks to the modern technical equipment, there are now sockets with adapter function in most aircraft on long-haul flights. So you can easily charge your mobile phone during the flight. I would only take a power bank just in case if you have a long stopover. But there are also many charging stations at most major airports. So you don’t have to worry about an empty battery and can keep your friends and family updated about your trip.
- Comfortable clothes, pants and socks (no shoes that are too tight, feet swell on long flights), cozy sweater or jacket
Make yourself comfortable on the long flight and bring cozy clothes that keep you warm. It can get chilly on the plane.
Earplugs are essential on long flights. The loud noise of the plane is much reduced so that you can sleep better and enjoy the trip. A little tip: watch films on the plane with headphones and earplugs! Your ears will thank you!
- Soft pillow (no U shape neck pillow)
Pillow yes, neck pillow no! I still don’t understand how to sleep on a plane with a u shaped neck pillow. I just can´t recommend it at all. Due to the u-shape, your upper body is bent forward, in a position that is very uncomfortable. It also takes up a lot of space. Better take a normal pillow with you. It is much more comfortable. Most airlines such as Emirates or Etihad have headrests that can be adjusted and folded so that your head cannot fall to the side. A little tip: There is usually a pillow from the airline on your seat. Place this pillow behind your lower back. This is very soft and relaxes the back a lot during the flight.
- Sleeping mask
Some would never travel without, others find it silly. I personally would not get on a plane without a sleeping mask if the flight is over six hours long. The light in the cabin is dimmed for overnight flights, but if you don’t want to wait for it and want to sleep immediately, I definitely recommend that you take a mask with you.
- Facial cleansing wipes
A flight can be very long, and so you arrive fresh at your travel destination, you should have a pack of facial cleansing wipes with you. Be sure to pack a small amount of your cleaning products. If you have a stopover, you can freshen up in the airport bathrooms.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste, Dental hygiene also applies when traveling!
- Lip balm
The air in the plane is very dry. Definitely have a balm in your hand luggage so they don’t dry out.
- Hand cream
Just like the lips, hands can also dry out quickly
- Little deodorant
Who likes to sit next to someone on the plane who smells like they´ve been traveling for weeks without a shower …
- Pain killers
Unfortunately, it can happen that the pressure and the height difference give you a headache or make you feel dizzy. Be sure to take some medication and electrolytes with you on the trip.
- Small packaged snacks (chocolate, nuts, chips)
Even if most airlines provide you with good food on long haul flights, it is always good to have a few snacks in your hand luggage. But please no fruits or something that smells strong.
- For contact lens wearers: contact lens water (100ml), container, eye drops
Most of the countries you travel to require you to fill out an entry document that the flight attendants will hand out. You have to present this document at the immigration control.
As you can see, you can make every long-haul flight as comfortable as possible with these items.
Here is a brief summary of the things that must be in your hand luggage.
- Disinfectant wipes
- EMPTY drinking bottle (no reusable plastic bottle)
- Phone charger and / or power bank
- Comfortable and warm clothes (cuddly sweater, comfortable pants, cozy socks)
- Soft pillow
- Sleep mask
- Facial cleansing wipes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Lip balm
- Hand cream
- Small deodorant (no more than 100ml)
- Pain killer and electrolytes
- Packaged snacks
- For contact lens wearers eye drops, contact lens water (100ml) and containers
The rules for liquids in hand luggage
One rule applies to all flights worldwide. How much liquid a passenger can carry in his hand luggage through the security check on the plane.
The liquid bottles must not contain more than 100ml and must be kept together in a transparent and sealed 1l bag.
All other liquids and bottles that are over 100ml or are not put in the bag will be taken away at the security control.
Don’t forget to pack the most important things in your hand luggage!
Before going to the airport, check your hand luggage again to make sure you have packed the most important things.
- Passport and possibly visa printout
- printed flight ticket
- Wallets and credit cards
- Emergency numbers
- Copy of travel insurance
After you have everything together, your journey is ready to start.
The excitement rises and you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.
I hope this post could help you prepare well for your next long haul flight.
Let me know in the comments what you always have to have in your hand luggage and where your next trip will go.
Safe travels! Love, Alice xo 🙂