8 Hand Luggage Must-Haves for a Long Haul Flight 

Pack smart with these Must-Haves for a Long Haul Flight 

Long plane flights can be very boring indeed, even if you will be asleep for some of the time, but you can make sure that you stay refreshed and entertained by ensuring that you have these items on you at all times. 

Identification and Travel Papers 

This is more for your ease of passage through the airport and during boarding and disembarking that a true must-have, but it is very important that you have them handy when you are asked for them. Tuck them deep into your bag or backpack, but know where they are so you can easily put a hand to them when you need to. 

Neck Pillow 

Some people are fine with a neck pillow, while others prefer to take a regular pillow. Whichever you choose, do try it out beforehand as there is nothing worse than finding out that your new neck pillow has not worked and that now you have to try and work and navigate the city with a sore and stiff neck. 


They are not an ideal long-term solution but a pack of handy wipes can help you feel and smell better after a night wedged in uncomfortably next to strangers. With care, cunning and a little flexibility, you can even manage a semi-decent ‘wash’ in a plane loo, so you are fresh and clean, ready to meet your American colleagues or business partners. 


Carry a paper diary with you, with all your contacts’ details: names, phone numbers, email addresses etc as well as any appointments and the addresses that you will need to find. If you have a driver picking you up, the driver’s contact information is crucial just in case of missed connections. You can even hire a limo to run you about the city to your appointments, hotel and even back to the airport at the end of your stay. Read about limo service to JFK here. The paper diary is something of a backup, in case your phone has gone flat by the time you land, or you have data issues and can’t connect to Wi-Fi to retrieve the details. 

Power Bank/ Portable Charger 

These compact but heavy devices are a must if you are going to eschew the paper diary – with a portable power bank you can charge your phone without needing to find a public plug socket or having to work out how your UK-US adapter works. 

Ear Plugs 

If you are sensitive to noise, ear plugs will help you to shut out the noise of the plane: the rattle of the attendant’s trolley, the various announcements, and even the chatter of other passengers. A good night’s sleep is crucial if you are to make the best of your time in the US and the right earplugs are a good way to ensure that you get one. 


Take a few small snacks with you. Adjusting to new time zones, dealing with airline food and adjusting to the food in a new country can be a bit overwhelming. Stay on top of it by having some nutritious snacks at hand to stave off hunger pangs while you find your feet. 


If you are on long-term meds, make sure you have them with you in your hand luggage. Nothing will ruin your business meeting more effectively than your falling ill right in the middle of your polished presentation! 

With snacks and medications, do investigate beforehand and make sure that you are allowed to travel with these items. While at best (which is still not great) your items might be disposed of, at worst you could end up in legal trouble, detained or deported – again, not a great way to gain your business partners’ confidence!


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