What’s In My Carry-On (for an International Flight)

The last time I took an international flight (before this trip), I was 6 and my mom packed my bags for me. This time, now that I’m 29 and can pack my own bags, I was seriously stressing about what I should bring on the plane! What would I need? What should I keep in my checked bag instead? The flight to England is a red-eye, so I needed to make sure I packed things that were good for trying to sleep on a plane. The flight back to the states is during the day, so I needed to pack things that would keep me comfy and occupied. Here’s what I came up with- hopefully I didn’t forget anything important!

Sleeping mask
Ear plugs (a MUST on a red-eye flight)
Hand sanitizer (airplanes = germs = gross)
Blanket scarf (use for warmth AND fashion!)
Under eye moisturizing pads (some people swear by these – use right before landing!)
Water bottle (airplanes always make me thirsty)
Compression socks (again, some people say these make all the difference!)
Neck pillow
A bag to put it all in
Book to read (this one takes place in England, so it’s appropriate to read on my trip!)
Glasses (and the case!)
Portable charger
Airborne (don’t want to get sick on my big trip!)

Obviously there are other things I’m bringing in my carry-on that didn’t get mentioned, like my cell phone, cell phone charger, earbuds, wallet, and passport. I definitely didn’t want to forget those, either!

Have you been on a long international flight? What was the best thing you brought? What did you think you’d need, but actually didn’t?

11 thoughts on “What’s In My Carry-On (for an International Flight)

  1. I’ve flown hundreds of times, between 45 minutes and 10 hours! I find that the more you fly, the more you can cut down your list. I usually just bring a travel sized Clinique moisturiser for my face (and hands in a pinch) and a lip balm. I also found that I never used my notebook on the plane but rather when I had spare moments during the actual trip- there is less time on flights to the UK than you think! Between dinner at the beginning and breakfast at the end, and sleeping, there really isn’t a lot. Way more on your day flight back, though! Looking forward to seeing how your trip goes 🙂

  2. I just flew to and from China last month and honestly, I didn’t need much on my flight! I was most happy to have a pair of noise canceling headphones so I could watch movies on the built-in TV in the seat in front of me. That made a big difference because otherwise airplanes are so loud!

  3. I always have eye drops and spare clothes (my trips to Europe are normally around 36h with transit) I also bring a crochet project (entertainment plus extra warmth!) and a pair of socks (I’m always cold). Have a fun trip!

  4. A good tip I once heard is to pack a change of clothes in your carry on. That way if your luggage is delayed for any reason you have a change of clothes until it arrives!

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