Long Distance Flight Necessities

By Kate Riley February 14, 2019

Last week I spent a eight days on a whirlwind trip to Australia and the flight is a long one, it’s just under 15 hours from LA to Sydney! For international or long distance flights I have my routine down to maximize rest and comfort. For my fellow travelers, today I’m sharing the kit of supplies I carry with me whenever I’m off to see the world and visit a new country.


watercolor world map by art prints vicky

I often take red eye flights and the plane flies through the night arriving in the morning in my new destination, so it’s key that I get as much rest and hydration as possible so I can acclimate quickly to the new time zone and hit the ground running.

I recently bought this washable neck support pillow to test on my flight back and forth to Australia and I love it so much more than the standard moon shaped neck pillow I used to fly with. It provides much better neck support and it’s more compact. I wrap it around my neck and it also covers my chin and lower part of my face with the soft fleece so I can mummify myself together with silk eye mask and hoodie. Do not disturb! :)

I always wear leggings and a cozy hoodie on a flight, I need my legs and arms to be totally covered and snuggly and I like to cover my head and ears with a hood to shield myself from air vents, lights, etc. This pink cardigan hoodie is my latest favorite for long journeys. I also take off my travel sneakers and swap them for foldable ballet flats for the duration of the flight.


These 7 ½” zip up travel bags are perfect for storing makeup, skin care, makeup brushes, vitamins, medications, etc. I keep them in my favorite carry on and then slip them into a travel backpack when I’m out exploring.

I’ve noticed that my lower back hurts after a few hours on a flight so I love to have a lumbar pillow for my back and an extra one for leaning against if I have a window seat. These smaller size toddler pillowcases work well for travel if you borrow an airline pillow.


I love love love this travel sized hydramist it smells amazing and makes your skin feel so good after a long flight. I spray it all over when the plane is descending and it totally refreshes me! I also love these facial sprays, they are nice too.

Coughing neighbors? Crying babies? I don’t worry about them because I pack foam earplugs and tune it all out! I know some people like noise canceling headphones but I don’t like wearing headphones while I sleep so I travel with just ear buds for music or podcasts and use foam ear plugs to eliminate noises when I’m catching zzzzs.

Guys, this tea tree salve is the bomb! This balm feels great on your skin and smells soooo good, kind of like Vicks Vaporub but better. It lasts longer than a moisturizer and it’s not as greasy as oils. On the last day of my trip I picked up a cold, and this salve was so nice to have so I could rub all over my nose and face and hands for the journey home. Highly recommended!



In addition to all these things, I also pack antibacterial wipes for wiping down my tray table, armrests, and entertainment screen. I bring soothing cough drops for the dry air and a travel toothbrush to use in the bathroom when I land. And I always bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated on my flight and for taking with me in my travel backpack when I’m out and about.

I know a few people who love compression socks for long flights but I haven’t tried them yet, have you? Another one of my petite friends swears by this foot sling for long flights, but I just prop my feet up on my carry on that I store under the seat. What’s in your kit for long distance flights? What tricks do you use to stay as comfortable as possible?



  1. I’m planning an overseas flight and loved most of your tips. I would strongly object to the use of any scented product, spray or otherwise, in the confines of an airplane. Those of us who suffer serious reactions may arrive at our destinations with full blown asthmatic or anaphylactic responses. I carry emergency meds but close quarters and crowds of people would give me nowhere to escape. Many public places restrict the use of perfumed products. Please be aware limit your use and especially applications of such products to a private space that is not shared with the general public.

    • Good point Merrill! I spray in the bathroom where it is confined. :) It’s a very mild pleasant formula, not perfumed.

  2. Great tips!!! I work with a small boutique travel company and will suggest they put a link to your post in their next newsletter. They travel to Europe several times a year.

  3. I’ll give your neck pillow a try because I’m not a fan of the moon shaped neck rests either. On long flights I’m like you, I travel wearing the most comfortable clothes (closest thing to PJs) as I can. I never travel without my favourite lightweight pashmina. It gets used as a shawl around my shoulders, a rolled up head pillow, a blanket for my legs or a rolled up lumbar support. When it’s no not longer in use, it rolls up tightly and fits quite nicely into my carry on.
    PS: I have to agree regarding scented products in a closed in area.

  4. And one thing to remember is never to wash your hands on the flight! Studies of airplane bathrooms show the water is contaminated with tons of bacteria. Instead, sanitize when you get out!

  5. Yes to the compression socks. I’m a 12 hour RN, and they save my legs and feet every shift, so I tried them when flying to London. They worked very well.

  6. Great recommendations!! I love your travel blogs the most :)
    I have the foot sling and must say it is wonderful for getting that pressure off the back of
    your legs when flying!

  7. I like full compression hose for long flights. Get soft ones and wear them with a comfy dress. Makes a big difference and helps me feel less fidgety–that along with lunges and squats wherever there’s space to move.

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