5 things to keep handy during a long flight

When you know you’ll be on a single flight for 14 hours it can be tempting to pack everything under the sun. But I comfort bag fullmight need that seat cushion! And what about that deluxe seatback organizer? It will fit perfectly, right?? (Both of these are actual items that I brought with me on my first trans-Pacific flight. Not my best packing effort!) There are a million products on Amazon that are touted as “travel necessities” and it’s so easy to go overboard when packing for a long flight.

But here’s the thing. You may be able to squeeze your bulging carry-on under the seat in front of you, but if you’re sitting in coach there is absolutely no way you will be able to get to it. The seats are so close together that you have to practically be a contortionist to get anything out. So here are the five things I recommend keeping handy in your seat back pocket.

Sleep gear. I like to keep all of my sleep aids together in a Ziploc bag for easy access. This list includes my eye mask, Tylenol PM, inflatable pillow, and travel blanket. It’s kind of amazing how small they compress—it just takes one quart-size bag.

Comfort bag. (Pictured) This is another quart-size Ziploc bag filled with items that keep my feeling comfortable and refreshed: face wipes, moisturizer (in a contact lens case), lotion, lip balm, disposable toothbrushes, ibuprofen, Pepto-Bismol, deodorant, hand sanitizer, and Emergen-C.

Ebook. Yes, almost all planes have IFEs now, but what if nothing appealing is available to watch? Kindle to the rescue! If books aren’t your thing, substitute a magazine, knitting, or game on your phone. Anything to kill the time!

Phone and noise-canceling earbuds. If you’re not watching a movie, it’s likely you want to block out random plane noises. This goes double when you’re sleeping! Full-sized noise-canceling headphones are ideal, but when you’re trying to conserve space earbuds are a good option. I listen to a white noise app on my phone and feel like I’m in my own world.

Water. Hydration is important during any flight, but long flights are particularly crucial. All that time in the air just sucks the moisture out of your body, so keep your water handy!

Note: Some people like to keep their laptop handy so they can work during the flight. I totally understand this, but in my experience there is just not enough room for that to be feasible. Of course, do what’s comfortable for you!

Readers, what do you keep in your seat-back pocket during a long flight?

Be sure to check out my page with products I recommend for travel!

Shop icon

Have a travel question or suggestion? Send it to RW @RoadWarriorette.com.

Follow Road Warriorette on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest!

This post may include affiliate links. Thanks for your support!


  1. Well, for a long flight I would add a protein bar or other snack, and maybe a charge cord for my electronic device (or a “brick”-type battery pack).

    Thank you for the reminder. I like your suggestion to use the quart bags.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.