Long Haul Travel Essentials_ airport

Over the holidays I made the 16-hour journey back to Taiwan form New York. 

To be honest, I’m a big fan of flying. Regardless of the length of the journey, I still find the feeling of taking off and landing completely thrilling.  Call me crazy, but it’s actually something I find myself looking forward to.  I’m not saying that the process being packed into a metal tube 40,000ft in the air for an extended period of time is anything particularly enjoyable for me, but I do have a few essentials that I bring with me that help me arrive ready to take on the adventure on the other side.

I am serial over-packer when it comes to my carry-on luggage. But I think when it comes to a long-haul flight I’d safe than sorry. What can I say-I just like to be prepared. But after spending a good amount of time in the air this year, even I could admit that the amount of extra weight I was lugging around was getting excessive. So, this is now my more practical edited list of essentials. ( AKA  the things that I find myself actually using during my flight-time that I can easily pack into my Herschel Strand Duffle. )


Along with my passport, money, cards and travel documents, I always pack an extra set of clothes to bring on the plane – a new t-shirt, fresh pair of underwear, socks- in case of any clumsy spills or if my luggage doesn’t make it to my final destination at the same time as I do. A toothbrush and mini toothpaste also doesn’t hurt. I also always pack an extra battery pack like this one along the cords for my devices in case anything runs out of juice along the way. (Nothing worse than landing with 10% batter left on your phone)


I always found that the key to a comfortable flight is moisture. The recycled air on the plane doesn't do anything for my already dry skin, and plus, it doesn’t hurt to bring a little home away from home in the form of a tried and true beauty routine.

To quickly refresh my face, I make sure to bring some pre-soaked cotton pads with some Bioderma micellar water in a ziplock bag to keep the bulk of my beauty routine to a minimum. Next I’ll layer on the J.One Black Jelly Pack that I usually will depot into one of these nifty containers, then massage a bit of the Ceramidin Oil Balm into my skin. If my skin is still feeling like it needs a boost of hydration, I’ll lock it all in with a bit of the CeraVe moisturizing cream, or a bit if my face feels SO dry that my it might fall off, I’ll switch the CeraVe out for a dollop of the Weleda Skin Food.  I also always have a bit of lip balm and trusty Crème de Corps to keep the rest of my skin on my limbs intact and flake-less upon arrival of my destination.

PRO-TIP: Throughout the trip I also like to keep a cheeky spray-bottle of aloe water that I’ve added a few drops of chamomile essential oil and glycerine to refresh my skin. I used to bring a bottle of Claudalie’s Beauty Elixer, but found that this works just as good as a dupe. 


A neck-pillow is a must. I’ve recently lost my trusty pillow from Muji, but found this guy on amazon that works just as well. I’m always freezing on the plane so an extra sweater, a lightweight scarf, and a pair of cozy socks are always tucked away in my bag.


If I can, I try to fly overnight so that I don’t waste anytime in bed upon arrival. The only thing really stopping me is jet lag so I always try to stay one-step ahead, starting from my flight. While you can’t bring any drinks through security, I still always like to bring an empty water bottle like my Zojirushi stainless steal bottle with me to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is not only good for your skin apparently helps curb your jet lag. This guy is incredibly compact and the best part is that it keeps cold water incredibly cold and hot water incredible hot for hours. I don’t know how it does it but I chock it up to Japanese ingenuity.

I also always bring some melatonin, eye-mask, and my Sennheiser noise cancelling earbuds with me to help knock me out on my flight.  I love these melatonin gummies from Olly. They taste like blackberry candies and knock me out completely without waking up feeling groggy. It says to take two, but one usually does the trick for me. On my most recent flight I managed to clock a full 8 hours of fairly deep sleep ;).  Not only does this make a longer trip feel just a little more shorter, it left me with plenty of energy to take on my first day in Taipei.


My ears have a tendency to pop so I always make sure I have some gum ready for take-off and landing. More often than not, I pass on the airplane meals as I’m usually sleeping and I like to arrive hungry and ready to eat anyways.  But I do like to bring a few sweet and salty snacks that I can pick at when I start getting a peckish mid-flight. (A few tangerines are always especially delicious after a few hours in the air)