17 Airplane Essentials That Will Change The Way You Fly (Free PDF Checklist)

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Survive your next long-haul flight using these airplane essentials to help you stay hydrated, comfortable, and relaxed, no matter how long your flight is.

Airplane Essentials

Airplane Essentials

1. Water Bottle & Purifier

This is really the #1 tip for traveling – bring a reusable water bottle with you! This way you can refill your bottle at the airport, and avoid extortionate charges for water both at the airport and on the plane (if you’re flying a budget airline).

The bonus of bringing a refillable water bottle with you on the plane is that you can, of course, use it at your destination as well. Ideally, pick one that already has a built-in water filter or water purifier like this one. It will make questionable water clean and safe to drink.

If you’re not worried about the quality of water at your destination or at the airports or if you don’t want to carry a bulky water bottle with a built-in water filter, you can bring a collapsible water bottle with you instead.

2. Hand Sanitizer

Do you have any idea how dirty airplanes are? If you want to find out and be terrified, read this article from Forbes. You’ll be surprised by the places on the plane that are dirtier than the toilet flush button. Are you ready?

The two dirtiest places on a plane are the seatback tray (8x dirtier than the flush button) and the overhead air vents (slightly dirtier than the flush button).

Also dirty (but less than the toilet flush button) are the seat belt buckles, aisle seat headrests, and airplane blankets.

So, make sure to bring some hand sanitizer to clean your hands and keep the germs away!

Given the carry-on liquid restrictions, just make sure you pack a travel-sized hand sanitizer (3.4 ounces / 100ml or less)! Or, you can bring anti-bacterial wipes with you.

3. Noise-Canceling Headphones

From a snoring traveler to a crying baby, we’ve all experienced the pain of being stuck on a long-haul flight in a noisy environment.

Noise-canceling headphones work miracles and will make your flight a lot more quiet and enjoyable, regardless of where you happen to sit on the plane.

4. Kindle Paperwhite

I personally love my Kindle Paperwhite and rarely travel anywhere without it. I just make sure to download the books I want to read ahead of time. If you read quite a bit, you might also want to consider getting Kindle Unlimited.

5. Portable Battery Charger

I don’t travel anywhere these days without a portable battery charger. Given how glued to our phones and electronic devices we are — whether it’s taking pictures or communicating with our friends and family back home — a portable charger is a very useful device to have when traveling.

Although some of the newer planes have built-in seat USB ports for charging your devices, that’s not the case most of the time. You want to make sure you reach your destination with 100% charge on your phone so you can use Google Maps or order an Uber or make calls.

As such, it’s great to have a portable charger with you and charge your phone while on the plane, before you land at your destination. And the charger will come in handy all during your travels, not just on the plane.

6. Multi-Charging Cable

I got a multi-charging cable similar to this one about 4 years ago, and it’s become one of my favorite things to travel with very quickly.

You can charge your phone, your portable battery charger, your friend’s electronic devices both from a wall charger and from your laptop — all without having to carry multiple cables.

7. Sleep Mask

Block out the light with a sleep mask, and get some much-needed sleep on your long-haul flight. You could even get a travel pillow that can also act as a sleep mask at the same time.

8. Ear Plugs

Another thing to include in your bag of airplane essentials would be ear plugs.

9. Compression Socks

Compression socks are great for traveling. They put light pressure on your legs, helping blood flow and preventing your feet and ankles from swelling.

10. Travel Pillow

A comfortable travel pillow like this one can do wonders for you, helping you get some sleep and arrive at your destination refreshed.

11. Hydrating Spray

Flying causes our skin to become dry. In addition to staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, you should also consider using a hydrating spray like this one or a moisturizer for your face.

12. Lip Balm

Not only your skin gets dry when flying, but also your lips. Make sure to treat them kindly with a moisturizing natural lip balm.

13. Toothbrush & Toothpaste

Make sure you don’t have bad breath on the plane and after your flight by traveling with your toothbrush and travel-size toothpaste in your travel makeup bag or carry-on toiletries bag. For an eco-friendly option, you can pick a biodegradable, bamboo toothbrush.

14. TSA-Friendly Toiletries Bag

Pick a TSA-friendly toiletry bag to store all the toiletry and makeup essentials for your trip.

15. Pen

You’ll need a pen to fill out immigration & import forms at your destination if you’re flying internationally. You can save time by filling them out on the plane.

If you want a pen that’s also great for travel, you could get one like Rite in the Rain All-Weather Durable Clicker Pen that can write through water, underwater, and in temperatures from -30F to 250F.

16. Packable Snacks

Get some packable snacks for your long-haul flight such as:

  • Granola Bars
  • Dried fruit
  • Almonds
  • Crackers
  • Fruit & Veggie Slices

17. Mini First Aid Kit

DIY your own mini first aid kit with some bandaids, ibuprofen, and any medications you might need. Or, you can buy one online — just make sure to remove the scissors and any other items not allowed in the carry-on.

Pack it all in an awesome carry on bag and you’re ready for your next flight with these airplane essentials!

Don’t struggle in silence on long-haul flights. A little investment and forward planning can really help make those grueling flights far more relaxed, comfortable, and enjoyable.

And while you’re here, feel free to download our free airplane essentials checklist, so that you can make sure everything you need to get you through the flight as smoothly as possible.

Get Your Free Airplane Essentials PDF Checklist (preview below)

Airplane Essentials Checklist