There’s no denying that travel is fun, amazing, even life-changing. But it can also be tiring, stressful, and downright hard. Missed connections, delayed flights, screaming babies, and sockless passengers looking to “share” your armrest—it’s enough to drive a grown man mad. And long flights can be especially difficult without the right tools to keep you sane.
But packing the right gear can make all the difference. It can turn a torturous 10-hour red-eye into a relatively calm, relaxing travel experience complete with good cocktails, a toddler-sized nap, and hours of enjoying all your favorite books, movies, and music in noise-canceled bliss.
So what to pack is the question? Our travel-obsessed editors and writers regularly test luggage, wellness products, and travel gadgets. We ditch what doesn’t work and share the rest with you. If you’re getting ready to head off on a long-haul international flight, first off: Congrats! But, also, you might want to pack some or all of these recommendations below. These are the best long-flight essentials to keep you cool, calm, and collected on your next getaway.
Bags & Luggage
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He’s kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South Africa, and survived a near-miss great white shark attack in Mexico. His travel advice has appeared on the websites for Forbes, Travel + Leisure, CNET, and National Geographic. He loves the great outdoors and good bourbon, and (usually) calls Tulsa, Oklahoma home. Mike also enjoys speaking in the third person.
Deputy Editor, Commerce
Christian Gollayan oversees e-commerce content for Men’s Health and Women’s Health. Previously, he was the Associate Managing Editor at TheManual.com. Christian’s work has also been featured in Food & Wine, InStyle, the New York Post, and Tatler Asia.