My Long-haul Travel Essentials

I have spent many years travelling by plane, sometimes up to 20-30 flights a year, some short haul and some to longer destinations.

In fact my very first time on a plane back in 1999 was a 32 hour charter flight to New Zealand, talk about baptism by fire.

So over the years, I have acquired a list of things that I always prep for my flights, especially for those longer flights. Having just sat down by the pool following a 11 hour flight to Puerto Vallarta, I thought I would share a few of my ‘Must Haves’.


So I’m starting real basic! My ‘Travel Bag’ (A small rucksack that I always use when travelling anywhere) always has 2 black biro’s in the front zip pocket. I find it amusing the number of people that start asking for pens when handed out an immigration form on a plane. Stick one in your hand luggage and you can head straight to immigration with a completed form.


I don’t carry huge amounts of cash abroad with me, I always use my cash card to withdraw it abroad, as I have an account that doesn’t charge for overseas withdrawals. But I always like to have a few small notes in common currencies like Dollars and Euros. These are very helpful when you first arrive overseas and want to tip the bell boy.

Antibacterial Wipes

A small pack of antibacterial wipes are always handy when on a plane, they can be used to wipe your hands, or clean up small spillages on the seat back table. It really is the little things that can make for a more comfortable flight.

Headphone Adapter

Along with a pair of headphones, I have carried one of these for many years. They can be purchased online or come with some headphones sold at airports etc. Simple use it to convert your favourite headphones for use in the entertainment system. The ones you get free onboard are usually of very poor quality, or in some cases you have to buy the headphones to listen to the entertainment.

Earplanes Earbuds

Athough I have flown so much, the one thing that I really hate is the trouble I have with my ears. The dry atmosphere within the cabin always plays havoc with my sinuses, and as anyone who has flown with a cold will tell you, it can be incredibly painful during landing. A few years back another passenger spotted my constant swallowing and drinking water and asked me if I suffered with my ears. She used Earplanes and said she hadn’t looked back. So i gave them a try and now I never fly without them. They are earbuds that contain a ceramic valve, which adapts the pressure much more slowly, doing away with any pain, even when you have a cold and are totally blocked up. They do deteriate with each use, so need to be replaced every now and again.

Boiled Sweets

Again for keeping those airways clear, I like to take along a lozenges such as Jakeman’s or Halls.

Small Wash Bag

I have a clear zipped bag that was originally part of a Nivea Travel Gift Set. It’s the perfect size for airport security and is reusable. I carry a travel toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Having a quick freshen up on the plane really does stop you feeling (and smelling) bad when you disembark.

Having these simple things stored in my travel bag at all times (along with my passport), means that I never get caught out when onboard a plane. Even on a last minute trip, I can be prepared.

What are YOUR travel essentials? I’d love to hear more.


A Blog dedicated to Food and Travel, both in the UK and Overseas

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  1. What travel card do you use? I invested in a Monzo card as they had no oversea charges but apparently haven’t got the best exchange rate.

  2. In the UK – Nationwide flex plus card lets you withdraw for free at the banks exchange rate.

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