Carry On For Any International Trip


Long flights are miserable. They leave you wondering why you ever wanted to travel in the first place.  They are uncomfortable, crowded and all around yucky. Here are a few things to pack to make it a little less gross (notice I did not say good. There is no good international flight).

Wear Layers

There is nothing worse than getting hot when you’re cramped like a sardine with no where to go. It makes me nauseous and claustrophobic.

I always wear a tank top under my outfit, no matter where I am going. It saved me on my way to Norway from LAX last year when we sat on the hot plane for over an hour waiting on the engine to be fixed. Broken engine = no AC. (Click here to see the story) And it is saving me as I write this as we sit on the hot plane in Phoenix waiting to depart to London. I know it hit 109 degrees today but do we have to feel it inside of the plane?!

Over that tank top I usually wear a light weight button up or other form of cover up. And always bring a jacket. Or two.


Socks, Scarf, and Beanie

Wearing smart wool socks in a smart hotel in Norway

Despite what I just said, airplanes are cold. And there is nothing worse than not being able to sleep because you are so cold.

Smart wool socks come with me on every trip, even to tropical places.

A scarf is the perfect accessory that turns into a blanket or Pillow. It also protects you from the sun once you’ve arrived at your destination.

You lose most of your body heat through your head, so hats help, but I like beanies because they have the added bonus of being able to pull them down over your eyes. Rachael just wore sunglasses to block out the light.

Neck pillow

My friend got me hooked on the trtl neck pillow on Amazon. It has some kind of plastic support to fit in the crease of your neck and hold up your head. It’s covered in a soft fleece that helps keep you warm on the freezing plane. You might look a little silly but if you don’t look too close it almost looks like you’re wearing a scarf. And its not really any dorkier than a regular neck pillow. Try the link below for more info

Trtl Pillow – Super Soft Neck Support Travel Pillow – Machine Washable


Sure they might supply you with some. But they are cheap and usually rock hard.


Toiletries to freshen up

Usually you don’t get a direct flight to where you want to go. It’s nice to have something to use to make you feel a little less like death. I always carry my contact case and solution. Taking them out helps me sleep and putting them in helps me transition to “being awake” (if that’s what you call that zombie like state between 10 hour flights). Between flights, I wash my face, brush my teeth, comb my hair and put on a little powder to feel like I didn’t just crawl out of a cemetery.

My carry on toiletries:

  • toothbrush and paste
  • brush
  • washcloth and face wash
  • pressed powder
  • contact case and solution                                                                    Compact Lens Kit

Water and snacks

Airplane food is usually pretty terrible. If you cant eat part of the meal, it helps to have a protein bar or something to snack on. Depending on the airline, there rarely seems to be enough water provided. I always bring a bottle or two. Most airports have filtered water near the drinking fountains that is made to fill up reusable bottles.


I flew from Bolivia to Miami once on a ridiculously cheap flight. It was a seven hour flight during the day and there was no lights out or sleeping time. I wasn’t worried when I saw the lack of individual entertainment until I realized there wasn’t even an in flight movie. My last book was left behind at the hostel to save a few inches of space. After seven hours of journeling, candy crush and trying to sleep, I started to wonder if you could truly die of boredom. I learned my lesson and have an assortment of games on my phones with a power bank for those flights without outlets, a book and my iPad. Never again.



Ear plugs

Do I need to explain this one?


Anything else that you pack on long international flights?




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