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How to Survive Long-Haul Travel: 7 Must-Have Items for Long Flights

Every year, hundreds of thousands of international students travel to Australia from all around the world. If you’re about to be one of them, you might be wondering what you need to buy for a long flight. After all, travelling on a plane for several hours is rarely super comfortable – and it can be even rougher if you’re not properly prepared! So, to help you get ready, we’ve put together a list of must-have items for long flights. Keep reading to make sure you get your hands on our top international flight essentials. 

Read more: Flying to Australia? Here Are 7 Things to do on a Plane to Pass the Time

Noise-cancelling headphones

Planes are very noisy. From the engine to the screaming toddler a few rows back, it can get overwhelming to sit in such a loud environment for an extended period. So, when it comes to what to take on a long-haul flight, a pair of noise-cancelling headphones is non-negotiable.

If you’re a nervous flyer, you might like to try putting together a calming playlist before you board, or downloading some of your favourite television shows to help keep your mind occupied. Noise-cancelling headphones will whisk you away from all the noise and into your own little bubble of peace. 

A good tip is to bring an auxiliary cord as well (if your headphones are wireless). This will allow you connect to the in-flight entertainment if that’s how you’d like to drown out the background noise.

Eye mask

Hoping to sleep through a portion of your flight? We don’t blame you! Sleeping on the plane can help you combat jet lag and feel more refreshed when you land. However, sleeping on a plane isn’t always the easiest mission. Whether it’s a fellow passenger’s overhead light or their TV screen, there are many visual distractions that can prevent you from falling asleep. That’s where an eye mask comes in! With an eye mask, you’ll be able to block out any light around you and hopefully enjoy a peaceful rest.


There’s nothing worse than getting off a long flight and feeling like a dried-up sultana. Long hours spent on a plane can wreak havoc on your skin, so why not take a few moments to show it some love? Be sure to pack your skincare essentials, such as your favourite serums, some cooling eye patches and a good quality lip balm into your carry-on. Just remember to keep these products under 100ml – otherwise, you won’t be able to take them on board with you!

Hygiene essentials

Being on a plane might mean you’re closer to a larger number of people than you normally would be in your everyday life. The last thing you want when arriving in Australia is to wind up sick a few days in. To prevent that from happening, make sure you have all of your hygiene essentials packed and easy to access in your carry-on luggage. 

We would recommend a couple of face masks (the airline should also carry disposable masks for passengers if you forget yours!). While your airline may not mandate the wearing of face masks anymore, it can still be a great idea to pack one so you have the option to wear it if it makes you feel more comfortable. 

Another must is a mini bottle of your favourite hand sanitiser and a travel packet of sanitary wipes that you can use to sanitise your seat and tray table. 

Snacks and a water bottle

It’s no secret that plane food is often not the most…delicious. Having a selection of your favourite snacks readily available in your carry-on will help keep your hunger at bay if the in-flight meals aren’t quite what you’re craving.

It’s also super important to stay hydrated when you’re flying so make sure you pack your reusable drink bottle. Some airlines won’t allow you to bring a full drink bottle on board, but they’ll usually fill up an empty bottle for you with fresh bottled water. Don’t be afraid to ask for a refill – the flight attendants understand that comfort is key on long flights, so they’re typically very accommodating. Just remember not to drink the water from the bathroom taps; it’s not potable and could make you quite ill.

@insiderguides Got a long-haul flight to Australia coming up? Follow these three easy tips to make your journey as smooth as possible 🛫 #fyp #traveltok #insiderguides #internationalstudents #australia #traveltoaustralia ♬ super rich kids – shaun

Personal electronics

Gone are the days of not being able to use electronics on a flight – some planes even have wifi available for you to use your smartphone! Aside from takeoff and landing, most airlines are more than happy for you to use your laptop or mobile (on flight mode, of course) during the flight. 

Make sure you download your favourite movies, TV shows, e-books, podcasts and games to keep you entertained throughout the journey. Alternatively, you can use your time in the sky to do some work, be it professional or academic. 

It’s also an excellent idea to pack a portable charger. While most aeroplanes will have charging outlets built into the seats, a portable charger can offer some peace of mind just in case your charger doesn’t fit these power points. After all, you want to do everything in your power to ensure that your devices don’t go flat in the first couple of hours!

Extra layers

Depending on the climate of the country you’re leaving and where in Australia you’re going to be touching base, you might need a few different options for onboard clothing. It can get really cold on the plane, especially if you’re travelling at night. Although many airlines will provide you with a blanket to throw over your knees, it’s much nicer to be snuggled up in your own comfy clothes. 

A warm jumper, some long pants and a good pair of fluffy socks are a few long-haul travel essentials. You could even bring a cosy scarf for some extra comfort – small things like this can truly make all the difference in helping you relax during your journey.