Friday, April 11, 2014

How To Pack a Carry-On Bag for 26 Hours of Traveling

how to pack a carry on for long haul flights

Hello! Currently, I am sitting on either in an airport, or on a plane on my way to Thailand for our honeymoon! Our flight schedule looks like this:

Minneapolis (MSP)-----Tokyo (NRT)   13 Hours
Tokyo (NRT)-----Bangkok (BKK)   7 Hours
Bangkok (BKK)-----Koh Samui (USM)   1 Hour

Which means a total of 21 hours on the plane, not including time spent in airports! With that being said,  what I pack in my carry on is going to be especially important for this flight. Flying comfortably can be difficult, and flying comfortably for this long just may be next to impossible! However, here are just a few of the essential items that I pack every time I fly to make sure my trip is as smooth and enjoyable as possible. In order to do this, you'll want to make sure you are dressed appropriately, have things to do on the plane, and finally be comfortable upon landing at your destination.
how to pack a carry on for a long flight
Just some of the necessities for my carry on bag!
Hello! Currently, I am sitting on either in an airport, or on a plane on my way to Thailand for our honeymoon! Our flight schedule looks like this:

Minneapolis (MSP)-----Tokyo (NRT)   13 Hours
Tokyo (NRT)-----Bangkok (BKK)   7 Hours
Bangkok (BKK)-----Koh Samui (USM)   1 Hour

Which means a total of 21 hours on the plane, not including time spent in airports! With that being said,  what I pack in my carry on is going to be especially important for this flight. Flying comfortably can be difficult, and flying comfortably for this long just may be next to impossible! However, here are just a few of the essential items that I pack every time I fly to make sure my trip is as smooth and enjoyable as possible. In order to do this, you'll want to make sure you are dressed appropriately, have things to do on the plane, and finally be comfortable upon landing at your destination.

carry on necessities for long flights
Important documents, all printed out and ready to go!
One of the first things I do when starting to travel is pick out my actual traveling outfit. For me, that usually means I wear the bulkiest (and most comfortable) items I am bringing with. Today, this means I am wearing a pair of jeans, t-shirt, scarf, a sweater, and my tennis shoes. Each of these items are ones I may want while in Thailand (especially the tennis shoes, for running or heavy walking days!) or serves another purpose. For example, the scarf I am bringing with is a large one- so it serves great as an extra blanket, pillow, or to cover my eyes while sleeping. Along with dressing yourself, you will want to make sure to have these items with you in order to remain prepared throughout your flight:

  • passport
  • printed travel information (including flight schedules, itineraries, and hotel information)
  • pen (for those custom forms!
  • Cash & credit card-- have some cash in the local currency, for those emergency purposes.

how to pack a carry on bag
the carry-on activities I packed for Nick and I
After you have dressed yourself for the flight, you will want to make sure you have various things to do while you are on the flight while awake. These are my go-to's, for any flight of any length!

  • Magazines (usually mostly trashy) these are great for quick reading, and while you are not supposed to use electronic devices. Plus, their battery never dies!
  • Books
  • iPad
  • cell phone charger
  • headphones
  • dual headphone jack- this is great if you have a companion with!
  • Compression socks- these will help with your circulation, and make sure you feel fresh throughout
  • Extra sweater- great if you are like me and always cold. Use it for warmth, or an extra pillow!
  • lotion
  • chapstick
  • ponytail holder to tie your hair back
  • Phone charger
  • Sleep aid- Make sure you are knocked out. As well, it can help you get on the right sleep schedule. Thailand is 12 hours ahead of the US, so this is especially important for us now!
  • Various snacks. Protein (such as peanuts and beef jerky) is good to keep you full for an extended period of time. 
  • Empty water bottle- this way, you can bring it in past the TSA, and fill it in the airport instead of paying tons for a water at a store inside.
  • Altoids/gum- just to help combat any bad breath that might occur (or, to offer to your surrounding travelers)
what to pack in your carry on bag
If you looked closely above, you might have noticed these items. Never hurts to start planning your next vacation!
what to pack in a carry on to freshen up
Some of my "freshen up" necessities after a long flight

There are items I bring with to make sure that once I land (or in the middle of the night) I am still comfortable and set to go as soon as the plane lands. After long flights, taking just five minutes to freshen up can leave you fresh and ready to go for the day.

  • dry shampoo
  • brush
  • makeup
  • toothbrush & toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • pair of shorts (for warm places, this way you can change in the airport and stay comfortable)
  • flipflops
  • sunglasses
  • camera -- this one so you can truly enjoy every moment of your adventure!

And of course, after landing, its time to take off on the adventure! Of course, all of these items are in my carry-on purse for Nick and I throughout the flight (I don't need that much of any of this!) Both Nick and I are only bringing carry-on suitcases, plus this bag, for our entire trip to Thailand. That's right, I have ONE carry-on-sized suitcase for everything I will need in the next few weeks. Meaning packing right is all the much more important for this trip! What are your carry-on essentials when traveling, and how do they vary based off the length of your flights?

40 comments:

  1. Wow, 26 hours? The most I've ever done is a 17-hour flight to Japan. That was also before 9/11, so I was able to stock up on beverages and what not. Looks like you had all your bases covered, though!

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    1. Nikki, it was such a long flight! We stocked up on beverages at the airport :)

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  2. I'm not much of a flier yet still have things at home to take care of but I am preparing for the day that I can take off without the responsibility of home dragging me down. I love this list of very important things. I would have thought about only half of them so I pinned them to go back to when I need them!

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    1. Rena, thats perfect! I've had tons of experience flying, so I usually have a pretty good idea of what I'll need on long haul flights.

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  3. I have never done a flight that long. I love how you have healthy snacks with the jerky and peanuts.

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    1. Michelle, the jerky and peanuts were packed specifically for the protein so I wouldn't be as hungry on the flights!

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  4. Woah, that's a lot of time on a plane, the longest straight flight I had was about 5 hours. I always pack lots of reading material, my iPad and my phone so I can listen to music <3

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    1. Angelic, it was definitely a long flight! Reading, iPad & phone are usually always on my list!

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  5. This reminds me of my flight from NY to Tokyo a few years ago! You look like you were better prepared than I was lol ;-) loving the dots Btw ;-(

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    1. Courtney- so you've experienced a long flight like this as well! And yes, the dots were a necessary treat :)

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  6. Thanks for these tips! I have never been on a flight that long, I do have a flight planned soon so this will help!

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    1. Jen, you'll definitely have to check back to make sure you have everything you need for your flight!

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  7. Wow Samantha, 26 hours of travelling, I can't even imagine that, I think the most I've done on a plane is 4 and half hours. I think you packed some really great things though. I'd need my dry shampoo and deodorant after a long haul flight.

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    1. Fiona, it was definitely a very long flight and travel. It was so nice to have some items to refresh myself!

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  8. 26 hours? Wow. I get antsy during an 8 hour flight to the USA! You've packed so cleverly, I need to learn how to do thus with three boys now!

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    1. Sara- it was such a long flight, that now the 8 hour flight to the US seems like nothing. So there was a perk to it!

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  9. I'm used to long flights! You have packed the right things in your bag :)

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  10. You are amazing. I am terrible about packing in general, I am such an overpacker. I just worry about needing EVERYTHING.

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    1. Krysten, I used to worry about things, but now just keep reminding myself that if I forget something super important, I can probably just buy it once at my destination.

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  11. My ipad mini would be my number one thing packed! I haven't traveled alone since....guess its been maybe a decade I always have four people tagging along. Would love a 26 hour trip to myself!

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    1. Heather, gosh it must be difficult to pack for that many people. I think 26 hours on a plane would get long for you eventually!

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  12. This is an awesome carry-on list. Even on a short flight, like MPLS to Las Vegas, I made sure that I had a couple of snacks in my bag, (jerky was one) gum, my phone and charger, headphones and cash. Not to mention necessities like IDs, tickets and such.

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    1. Oh, MSP to LAS- one of my favorite flights! I like to have snacks, and perhaps a cocktail on that flight to get me in the mood for Vegas!

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  13. Great packing list! It's really well put together, I think I would have forgotten half the things I'd need or pack them somewhere I wouldn't be able to get. Great idea with the snacks too, airport food is always so expensive (and gross!)

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    1. Eileen, thats why I try to bring snacks if I can. Saves you so much money versus purchasing food at the airport!

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  14. These are great tips indeed. I have never had to spend that many hours on a plane before I would have to have a book and my laptop for sure. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Rebecca, it was such a long trip, after arriving it felt like I had been on the plane for years!

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  15. That's A LOT of hours of travel! I never thought of packing magazines...travel would be the perfect time to catch up on a few favorites. Beef jerky is such a satisfying pick-me-up...a much better idea than the candy I usually stash in my bag.

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    1. Yona, it was definitely a lot of travel. That's why I had candy and beef jerky- beef jerky for the protein to keep me full, and candy because it is delicious!

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  16. I really love these tips. 26 hours is really a longest straight flight trip & I have never been in a flight for this long. I think you have planned perfectly in advance. Your list would definitely help people who are planning for a long flight journey.

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    1. Lisa, it was such a long time to be flying and traveling. WAs definitely happy when it was over, and now 8 hours feels like nothing!

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  17. What an adventure! I am scared to death to fly over the ocean. No trips to Asia for me!

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    1. Debra, the flight actually went more quickly than I thought, and was a very easy trip!

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  18. What a great bag to carry with you. When I flew for 5 hours I had about the same amount as you. I love carrying extra food and stuff like that with me!

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    1. Michelle, extra food and things like that are so necessary, especially when you know you won't be able to purchase it otherwise. I'd rather have too much than not enough!

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  19. Quite helpful air travel tips shared and there is no doubt that we miss these little things while travelling which could cause us a great stress, Thank you for sharing them with us. Looking forward for more like this one.
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