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How to Prep for a Long Haul Flight – with FREE Carry On Luggage Packing List!

I’m lucky enough to be heading off to NYC soon, and that means a hefty 8 hour transatlantic flight from Dublin (and an hour from Manchester first!) Here are my favourite hints and tips on how to prep for a long haul flight. 

Pre prep for a long haul flight!

Leading up to my long haul flight and trip, I like to have a little pamper session! This relaxes me and chills me out, as well as giving me a little ‘me time’ before I start to stress about getting to the airport, flight times, luggage, packing, etc. the list goes on! I’m talking face masks, a long bath, and most importantly – wine (can I get a ‘hell yeah’)! I try to do this as I can often be quite a big stress-head (as my mum calls me!) when it comes to trips, and I know I won’t give myself much chance to relax in the couple of days leading up to it! I’m also a massive believer in self-care, so if you’re like me, this is important either whether you’re going on a trip or not.

Comfy clothing is a must!

I would usually suggest leggings, a baggy t-shirt and a hoodie (it can sometimes get quite cold)! Though if you’re wanting to look a little more ‘chic’ on your journey, or are heading out on your adventures straight away, try a baggy jumpsuit. I’ve just bought this one from New Look as it’s supper comfy and lightweight for when I head straight out in NYC. All I would say is dress how you are comfortable, I usually pack a pair of fluffy socks too, as I always get super cold toes!

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Make up, yay or nay?

Often, for a long haul flight, I’m sure many people suggest not wearing any make-up, however, I am really conscious of my skin at the moment. I tend to make up some tinted moisturiser using my moisturiser and a little bit of my foundation and wear that (I usually pack it too for a top up just before landing). Saying that, I usually pack wipes and if I am going on a night flight, I will usually remove make up before falling asleep.

If you’re happy enough not to wear make-up then don’t, I just like to have a little something on my skin as I’m pretty conscious of it! I usually don’t wear mascara though, as I tend to rub my eyes a lot when I get grumpy from not being able to get into a comfy sleeping position on the plane!

Ear plugs

Now, another tip for prep for a long haul flight, I would suggest ear plugs or decent headphones! You never know if the person next to you is going to be a snorer (I’m sometimes guilty of this – oops!) or if the really cute baby isn’t so cute after it’s been crying for 3 hours on the trot. Having a good pair of noise cancelling headphones, or good ear plugs can help get you that extra kip you need, and help the journey go faster!

However, I also struggle from severe pressure headaches, I’m talking feel-as-if-my-brain-is-going-to-explode-and-uncontrollable-crying type pain. Granted, this isn’t every flight, but I like to take special ear plugs for this – I buy these ones from Boots, they’ve been the best I’ve tried and are cheap enough. So if this is something you struggle with too, give some special flight ear plugs a try!

Carry on Luggage

Here is where you want to be strategic with your prep for a long haul flight, you don’t want to pack a load of liquids/make up ect. that you’ll have to get out through security. If you do need these types of liquids and things, make sure you put them in your bag LAST so they’re on top, or in a easy to reach side pocket! I also try and pre-pack liquids into a transparent bag like the airport ones, they quite often prefer them in their own see-through bag, they aren’t always fussy!

I always get a pretty large bag, like this one from Primark for £14, but mines in pink and cream (there wasn’t mine on the website, but it is currently in stores!), for long haul journeys, that way you can fit more things to entertain you in!

FREE packing list!

I always pack:

  • A pair of fluffy socks, as this makes me feel just that little bit more comfortable!
  • 2 or 3 books as I never know what I’ll be in the mood for.
  • My inhaler (for obvious reasons).
  • Headphones and ear plugs like mentioned earlier.
  • Sweets and water (bought in duty-free as you can’t take food through security usually).
  • Home comforts, something like a small amount of nice smelling hand cream.
  • Sometimes an iPad as you can now download certain things on Netflix (pack near the top as you usually have to get electrics out for security)
  • Go-pro/camera (I’m trying to vlog more!) again, near the top for easy access!
  • My notebook to jot ideas down in – or a laptop, but I find this too much hassle unless specifically needed!
  • Charging cables for all the above.
  • A hoodie/jacket if not wearing one.
  • Deodorant/perfume and wipes for a little freshen up!

Also, if you use Spotify, make sure you have lots of different playlists downloaded, calming, happy, podcasts, you never know what you’ll fancy listening too 5 hours into a 11 hour flight!

How to prep for a long haul flight…

Well, that’s it for now, I hope this has helped, and my the packing list has given you ideas on what to pop in your carry on for you next long-haul flight!

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Elle Louise




  • Ellie Phillips

    I’ve never been on a long haul flight!

  • aimsysantics

    Love this! I’ve never done a long haul flight before, but will deffo use your tips. These are super useful for shorter trips too.
    Hope you have a great time in NYC!

    Aimsy xoxo

  • Linda

    Your list is great! I’ve learned few things from losing luggage a few times on over seas trips. Pack an extra outfit, underwear, if going to a place with beach or pool, a swim suit.

  • Anne

    I’m getting ready for my own long haul flight. It’ll be two in a row 🤦🏼‍♀️ It’ll be the first time I’m going to be travelling long haul. This will definitely help! Thank you ❤️

    • EleanorLGriffiths

      So excited to read all about your adventures though lovely! Glad you enjoyed the post 🥰

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