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How to pack the perfect carry on for long haul flights

Ultimate guide to packing a carry on

How to pack the perfect carry on for long haul flights!

Welcome to my ultimate carry on luggage guide! It's the ultimate guide to packing a useful carry-on to make sure you're comfortable and prepared for long haul flights. 

When I first started travelling to Morocco, I was taking 19 hour flights to Paris then Casablanca from New York, and literally packing as much as possible into my carry on, but nothing that I actually needed for the trip. About halfway through the duration of my flight, I'd find myself miserable and wishing for luxuries that I didn't think to pack. So, I've prepared the ultimate guide to packing a carry on to ensure my readers aren't in the same scenario. Follow the tips here, and you'll enjoy your flight a whole lot more!

When you are on an extended holiday in Morocco, or living in Morocco, or really anywhere else for that matter, you'll want to maximize not only the amount of things you fit into your luggage, but pack all of those things that are difficult to find in your destination country. For example, when I visit the United States, I stock up on the best high end cosmetics, necessary electronics to suit my needs, my favorite books in english, and plenty more. First, evaluate what is most important to you. Can you purchase this in your destination country easily? If so, knock it off the list. 

Choosing the perfect luggage:

 When choosing the Carry on for a long haul flight, I tend to choose something with wheels and a lot of pockets. While you really only need a large tote, when you're travelling far, you'll sometimes want to bring a lot more. Be sure to inspect the zippers and wheels to make sure they're quality. I can't tell you how many times I've thought, "I'll just buy cheap luggage, and how it makes it through this flight" Well, I've had busted zippers, wheels fall off leaving the airport, then having to drag the suitcase the rest of the way in horror with everyone gawking and my bag dragging. That's no way to start a trip!

Under the seat carry ons are my favorite. I hate scrambling for my bag last minute!

Pro Tip: Since you're allowed to take one personal item and one carry on for most flights, I also bring a large tote bag, and place it into the front pocket of my suitcase. Once you're waiting to board, bust out your tote, and fill this with your biggest essentials. For a tote, I usually use a large cloth tote, because fold up really well and are absolutely huge, so they're great for long haul flights!

In your large carry on, you'll want to put your immediate need items, such as any emergency clothing and things you'll need upon landing. In your oversized tote, you're going to want to put your essentials:

Choose a large, easily foldable tote that'll fit into the front of your carry on.

  • Your documents! Passport, any paperwork, identification, bank card, etc.
  • A bit of cash for spending, though please don't travel with a lot!
  • Underwear! never know!
  • Location appropriate clothes
  • A small snack - while most airlines provide these, sometimes they aren't the healthiest, or the greatest.
  • A scarf or sweatshirt - Airplanes get insanely cold. I usually pack both a sweater and a scarf.

 Carry on tote Essentials: 

Bath and body antibacterial hand gels are my favorites, because they smell fantastic, too!
  • Wetwipes, antibacterial gel - These help tremendously with any germs on airplanes, or any sick passengers you may encounter! They say that armrests carry the most germs on the plane, as well as meal trays. be sure to wipe down both!

Your cell phone powered by the plane's wifi calls for hours of endless entertainment, don't forget your headphones!
  • Cell phone - This is an obvious essential. I always purchase Gogo Wifi for my flight as well when available!

No matter how reliable your phone is, it's good to have this just incase.

  • USB charger cord - The majority of planes now have USB ports built in, be sure to charge all of your devices while on the plane!

The hugest lifesaver for airport layovers!

  • External batteries - These can be a lifesaver on long layovers, USB outlets in airports can be scarce, and I use them a lot when on layover in Paris, waiting to fly to Casablanca.

Get your customs paperwork done before the plane lands! 

  • A pen - You'll want to be sure and carry a pen in your carry on luggage to fill out any customs forms you encounter in your travels. So many people forget this!

Tylenol, Benadryl, and Melatonin are all lifesavers for Long haul flights.

  • Advil, Melatonin, Benadryl - Melatonin always saves me on long haul flights, as well as tylenol or similar. The pressure can give me a huge headache.

  • Sleep mask - Without this, I'd never catch any rest on a long haul flight!

  • Evian mineral spray - This helps with the dehydration your skin goes through while flying, and is something I absolutely never travel without anymore.

An absolutely decadent handcream, and amazing multi-tasker!
  • Hand Cream - Use handcream as a multi tasker! For a quick refresher, I like to rub a small amount between my palms, then on the ends of my hair as a quick refresher when travelling.

Amika dry shampoo has a lovely scent, keep your locks clean and fresh when flying with the smaller size!

  • Dry Shampoo - Long haul flights can do a number on your hair. Keep from feeling greasy with just a bit of this! 

  • Toothpaste and Toothbrush - This goes without saying, long haul flights can leave you funky. 

These are also great for Multi Tasking, and an absolute Carry-on lifesaver!

  • Summers eve feminine wipes - To freshen up during flight, I multi purpose these and use them in all delicate areas!

Diva shades - I have this exact pair, which my husband is absolutely embarassed of.

  • Sunglasses - With oversized shades and a glossy lip, you'll never look drab when coming off a long haul flight!

Burt's Bee's lip tint is my favorite, it provides a sheer wash of color that brightens the face!

  • Lip tint -  I use this as a quick landing touch up, along with a great mascara. A good lip tint will brighten your dull complexion when flying!

These small Goody brushes are total lifesavers for those of us with thick hair. The fold up travel hairbrushes always seem to get stuck and break on me!
  • Travel Brush and Hair ties - You'll definitely want to freshen up prior to landing, especially if someone is waiting on you.

  • Entertainment - I always bring a great book, along with a Magazine. For reading, I love bringing a copy of Bust, and downloading some ebooks onto my phone. 

While the likelihood of having your luggage lost is slim, I always like to pack some clothes into my larger carry on, as Royal Air Maroc lost my luggage my first 3 days in Morocco, and it was terrible. It's better to be prepared, so go ahead and pack an extra outfit or two in your larger carry on. If you've followed my ultimate guide to packing a carry on, you should be totally set! 

What are your favorite carry on essentials? Comment below! 


  1. Great tips - thank you! I really want to try that Evian Spray - I had never heard of it before reading this. It looks awesome.

  2. Thanks for the tips . I always have a hard time packing a carry on . Always bring a good book too.


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