Long-haul flights, red-eyes, and extended travel periods can leave you feeling run down and frustrated. It’s unnatural to sit for such long stretches of time—in a cramped space—without any movement or activity. The bottom line is that long flights usually leave travelers feeling cranky and needing to rejuvenate themselves.
Our Picks for The Best Long-Haul Flight Accessories
There are ways to make long-haul flights more enjoyable without taking up too much space in your carry-on. Here are the top picks for the best long-haul flight accessories.
1. Brooklyn Ankle Pant by Athleta
Women looking for a balance of comfort and style while traveling are in luck with Athleta’s Brooklyn Ankle Pant. The breathable fabric has a bit of stretch, and the wide waistband sits just below the natural waist, which minimizes that digging-in feeling when seated on the plane for a long-haul flight. Travelers love that these pants are wrinkle-resistant, look stylish, and are offered in multiple colors.
2. Madison Tote by MinkeeBlue
This highly organized tote from MinkeeBlue fits under most airplane seats and keeps your red-eye flight essentials neatly stored within its many compartments. You can use the bottom-most section to hold the insulated lunch bag (included with the tote) and keep your favorite snacks cold for your journey. Otherwise, that area can be used for shoes. Easily slide your laptop in and out at security, and the entire tote slides onto most roll bag handles.
3. Trtl Pillow Plus by Trtl Travel
If there’s one must-have for a long-haul flight, it’s a travel pillow that genuinely supports your head and neck. If you’ve seen someone support a baby’s head while holding them, the Turtl Pillow Plus is based on a similar idea. The innovative design has a ribbed foamy support area that gently cups and supports the head and neck. Whichever way you use it, say farewell to the sleep-disrupting “head bob.”
4. JBL Tour Pro 2 Adaptive Noise Canceling Earbuds
Imagine this – you’re on a long-haul flight, and the folks sitting in front are swapping travel tales rather than sleeping. Regardless of the noise source, the JBL Tour Pro 2 earbuds offer adaptive noise cancellation in real-time as the noises fluctuate. They use four noise-sensing mics that automatically adjust and pick up the faintest noises. The smart case will even help manage phone messages.
5. Travel-Sized Games by Ten Thousand Villages
It’s always a good idea to bring additional entertainment on long flights. Ten Thousand Villages has a few travel-sized games that are light and compact enough to stash in a carry-on bag. The Travel Tic Tac Toe Game uses small wood game pieces, and the storage bag doubles as the game board. Similarly, the Triangle Puzzle Game is small enough for traveling, and even as simple as the rules may be, it’ll keep everyone entertained.
6. On-The-Go Toilet Spray by Poo~Pourri
Nobody really enjoys using the restroom on the plane, but sometimes it's necessary. When nature calls when you're soaring through the sky, you can count on Poo~Pourri's On-The-Go Toilet Spray for discretion. Spray on the water's surface before you “go” to keep odors away. The travel size is available at various stores or on the brand's website.
7. Wellness Patches for On-the-Go Wellness
Wellness patches are an excellent solution for challenges that might arise during long travel stretches. For example, The Good Patch offers a Nite Nite patch which allows a tiny bit of hemp extract and melatonin to absorb into the skin for great sleep. On the flip side, if you had a rough red-eye flight, B12 Awake, infused with caffeine, green tea, and vitamin B12 might get the energy flowing. If you want to add a spa vibe, try Patchology’s Eye-tinerary Bundle, which has its top under-eye patches–Restoring, Illuminating, Rejuvenating, and Rosé.
8. Traditional Medicinals Teas
A few packets of tea won’t take up much space but just might save the day, especially those from Traditional Medicinals. Most of the brand’s teas help with specific health and wellness goals. The Ginger Aid® Tea is perfect to keep stashed in your carry-on because it can help with digestion and motion sickness. When the air on that long flight makes your throat dry, just ask the flight attendant for a cup of hot water, and drop in a pouch of Throat Coat® Tea.
9. Bobo Oat Bars and Bites
Seasoned travelers always have a snack tucked away in their carry-on bag, and Bobo Bars are a popular choice. All of the brand’s traditional bars are hearty 3 ounces, and the oats are filling and incredibly satisfying. Over the years, the line has expanded to include stuffed bars and oat bites filled with tasty jams or peanut butter. Those looking to travel on a budget can buy a case of bars to have at the ready for travel.
10. Earth Baby’s On-The-Go Kit
Toiletry kits for babies such as this one are incredibly helpful on long-haul flights. The miniature size of products is TSA-approved. Earth Baby’s On-The-Go Kit is an example of an opportunity to check off some adult needs via a bundle intended for a baby. For example, diaper rash cream can double as a heavy-duty moisturizer. Sunscreen can be used universally.
Melanie is a travel and adventure writer who grew up in the woods of New England. Her passion for riding UTVs on defunct train tracks as a child gave way to a lifelong passion for hiking. Moving to Alaska, on her own at age 19, set the wheels in motion for a life of travel and adventure. Even when she tackled a seven-year passion project as a private chef, she kept traveling, and has now visited over twenty countries. In her '20s, Mel began traveling solo, including diving with tiger sharks in the Bahamas and whale tracking in Baja, Mexico. Along the way, her interest in the National Parks led her to explore them in the less-traveled winter months, yielding lifelong memories of snowmobiling in Yosemite and wintery hikes in Yosemite. Whether it's the challenge of winter or being a January baby, she adores snowy adventures like dogsledding. She even took a day-long survivalist course with Mark D'Ambrosio from the History Channel's survivor-style show, "Alone." If there's an opportunity to explore a winery in Austria, a snorkeling cove in the Galapagos, or a seaside Airstream camp in Cape Cod, you can be sure she'll always be ready—with the only luggage she ever travels with—a single backpack.
In 2017, Mel returned to college with a concentration in food and culture journalism, which included foraging and herbalism courses. During her tenure at UMass Amherst, Mel was a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor's Society. She won the UMass Presidential Jack Wilson Scholarship and the Amherst Alumni Association Senior Leadership Award. She graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA.