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  • A Cruising Couple | May 7, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    10 Carry-On Essentials For Long-Haul Flights

    10 Carry-On Essentials For Long-Haul Flights

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

    Everyone is always surprised to hear that I absolutely hate flying. Sure, I love the thrill of heading to a new place. I love people-watching at the airport. But that’s really about it. And the more we fly, the less I enjoy it.

    Though I might not enjoy traveling by air, I have found that being prepared for the journey makes the entire process slightly more tolerable. It’s taken me a while, but I have finally figured out my long-haul flight essentials. In honor of all of the flights we have coming up, here is a glimpse in my carry-on:

    1. Crysalis Cardi

    This is one of my favorite pieces of clothing I own, largely because of its versatility. The Chrysalis Cardi is a piece of fabric that can be worn more than eight ways, including as a shirt, a scarf, a dress, a cardigan and a poncho. I love the versatility, and I’ve worn it everywhere from Lapland to Costa Rica. Even better, it’s made form eco-fabric sewn in Canada! For a flight, it’s absolutely perfect to go from a trendy scarf to practical blanket in no time.

    2. Noise-Canceling Headphones


    Photo by artvlive via Flickr

    I don’t know how it happens, but we almost always find ourselves in the back of the plane, right next to all of the crying children and babies. Noise-canceling headphones are my best friend on all of my travels, allowing me to tune out distractions whenever I need to. They are a bit of an investment, but they will pay for themselves time and time again.

    3. Moisturizer

    If you only carry on one cosmetic, make it a great moisturizer—it is the best way to relieve dry skin on the face, hands and feet while traveling. I like a classic Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, but whatever moisturizer you typically use will do.

    4. Water Bottle

    It’s one thing to pay for overpriced airport food and beverages, but I simply cannot justify spending $8 on a bottle of water. Since drinking water is the number one thing you can do to beat jet lag and arrive refreshed, it’s kind of an important ally. After forgetting far too many times, I now always travel with a water bottle. To save space, try one of these collapsible bottles.

    5. An Actual Book

    I love reading on my tablet, but when it comes to flying, I prefer to lose myself in a physical book. This is a personal preference, but I have found it much easier to forget I’m on a plane when I have an enthralling book in my hands to distract me.

    6. Mini Essential Oils

    Muji Essential Oil

    Photo by qiaomeng via Flickr

    Essential oils are quite the craze right now. But if you detest flying as much as I do, then you don’t want to leave these babies behind. My favorite mixture is frankincense, marjoram and lavender on the wrists to help me relax. This great guide has a variety of ways you can use essential oils to make flying more comfortable.

    7. Eye Drops and Eye Mask

    Nothing dries out my eyes like the low humidity of an aircraft. I always carry along some drops to keep my eyes refreshed. An eye mask is also handy if you’re trying to catch a bit of shuteye and arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to go.

    8. Pens

    Pens and their marks

    Photo by pigpogm via Flickr

    For filling out all of those immigration and custom forms, of course. I don’t know how many times I’ve been on a flight where everyone around me seems to have forgotten to bring along any sort of writing devices. Sometimes, it really is the simple things.

    9. Battery Pack


    Photo by schneidermac via Flickr

    Many flights now have USB ports where you can charge your device while you travel. However, we still always carry along an extra battery pack just to make sure we can keep our electronics charged for the whole flight. This is especially important if you plan on watching your own movies!

    10. A Great Bag

    Finally, you need the perfect, heavy-duty bag to lug all of your travel must-haves on board! I still haven’t found the perfect carry-on bag, but I typically don’t go for anything too expensive. It will inevitably accumulate some wear and tear from your travel memories, so don’t use anything you don’t mind getting dirty.

    These are my carry-on essentials—what are yours?


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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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