How to pack for the long haul: carry on luggage

Long haul flights are bastard things, of this I can assure you. Having lived in Australia, I’ve become adept at such flights. And not the kind of long haul that sees one fly from London to New York, but rather the ‘across the world’ kind, Melbourne to London, 24 hours sat in the same seat. 24 hours where you run the risk of being the poor bastard across the isle from a screaming toddler. 24 hours that can go well, 24 hours where you mightn’t ever have chance for some shut eye.

Getting through such flights, or flights of more than 5 or 6 hours, is part preparation, part cash and part luck. The luck will see you nowhere near the toddler and the cash will have you in a comfy seat on a nice airline. As for the preparation, that all comes down to how you pack your carry on luggage.

Here’s my personal preference of the essentials to pack in your carry-on luggage for a long haul flight, based upon what I packed for a flight I took from London to Beijing recently.

what to pack carry on luggage
Photo: @fashionising on Instagram.

Arriving fresh – it’s always nice to freshen up before your flight lands. An hour or so before the flight lands I tend to head to the restroom, wash my face (Kiehl’s men’s range gets my person nod), freshen up my mouth (few toothpastes come close to Marvis), change my shirt (for warm destinations I pack a white, short sleeved shirt), and dab on a scent from Tom Ford’s Private Blend line.

Personal entertainment – by the time the airline companies have a film on their entertainment systems, I’ve usually seen it. So I load my iPad with films and eBooks in order to provide myself with the perfect inflight entertainment system. When I took this flight my headphones were Bowers & Wilkins, though I’ve recently upgraded to Bose’s noise cancelling QC15 headphones. I also won’t travel without a notebook and pen, here from Paul Smith.

Camera – there’s generally little to photograph within the cabin on your flight, but long haul flights generally afford spectacular views well worth photographing. I carry a Sony Nex 6.

Eye mask & ear plugs – manage your sleep right on a long haul flight and you’ll find the secret to avoiding jet lag. The secret to managing your sleep? The right eye mask and ear plugs (I’d also add a glass or red wine to that list; always guaranteed to help me fall asleep midair). My preference is always towards a padded eye mask that makes room for your eye lashes – the padding creates comfort while the space around your eyes allows for REM sleep.

For immigration and beyond – these essentials are somewhat obvious, but I know people who have turned up at the airport without them before now. I fly with both my passports, a Stella and Lori wallet as it’s grain and colour match with most every look I pack, cash, and a pair of Persol aviators.

For more photos of our travel adventures follow us on Instagram.

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He was 5 when his teacher wrote on his report card “Daniel can’t sit still.” Taking it as a compliment, he’s been on the go ever since. Having flown over 590,000 kilometres in a single year (2012), he’s done much to push the boundaries of a fashioniser, always looking to fold one extra Tom Ford suit into his set of Samsonite cases and for one extra occasion to tie a tie for. As much an editor-at-large as he is Fashionising.com’s Editor-in-chief, when he's not travelling to all the fashion weeks his passports will allow him to, Daniel works on guiding this publication’s editorial and trend views. He is one of Fashionising.com’s co-founders.

He can be followed on Facebook and on Instagram.