Ladies: Long Haul Flights Carry-On List

Ladies, this post is totally for you and the items to pack in your carry-on for those long haul flights; including things to keep you entertained, fed, and feeling as fresh as possible.

This article focuses on traveling light with items that are travel friendly.

Below is a photo of what I typically carry in my carry on backpack for international flights. For your reference, I can fit all of this into my Ogio Soho Women’s Backpack and fit it under the seat in front of me on the plane. As a vegetarian I’m always wary that the airline will mess up my meals, so I prepare by packing extra snacks/food or I buy something at the airport before boarding.


I find this backpack to be sturdy, feminine, with the right amount of pockets and compartments, and with a large capacity without overtaking my small frame. I have owned this backpack for 8 years and have taken it to Australia, days out in Toronto several times, London, Paris, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, throughout the USA, Hawaii several times, Uganda, Uruguay, Banff and Jasper National Park, and it’s still in great shape! Though after  8 years, on my trip to Banff and Jasper, I noticed a small hole. The backpack is still totally usable for several more trips, but I think all the travel is finally starting to take its toll. I’m very pleased. I think I’ll get at least another year out of it. I’m planning to take it to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador this December.

The two bags I’m taking to Uganda. Left: Osprey Ariel Women’s 75L extra small pack for check in. Right: Ogio Soho Women’s Backpack.


  • passport, ID
  • money/wallet/money belt
  • phone
  • travel pillow – I REALLY like the Trtl pillow. It props up your neck comfortably, it’s super light and compact, and if you’re one of those people who’s always cold on planes, this keeps your neck nice and warm.
  • pens: I don’t travel with a notebook. I take notes onto my phone. The pens are to fill out any immigration or customs documents when you land/depart.

I use my jogging belt as a money belt when I travel. It fits a couple of passports, money, and credit cards. This is the one I bought on Amazon for less than $11 and was highly rated.

Jogging/money belt


  • your sweet fix: Bark Thins or I really tried KIND bars and LOVE those! I like them better as snack than Clif bars for non-active days.
  • your health fix: Clif bars – only when you’re about to or are being active and burning calories. I’ve never tried hemp seed bars (see below from Trader Joe’s), but my traveler friends recommend them.
  • your warm fix: instant chai packets (they come with stirrers!) Just add hot water, which you can get on the plane. I also like thin ginger snap cookies. They have about 130 calories for 6 cookies, they’re yummy and you get that comfy feeling when you dip them into your chai, coffee, hot cocoa.
Hemp seeds are healthy. You can find these bars at Trader Joe’s.

{Health and Beauty}

For long haul flights I like to pack some hygiene products so that I can freshen up wherever my layover is or if I have to, in the plane’s bathroom.

  • medication
  • warm compress and/or eye mask (see details below)
  • almond oil + cotton balls (see info below)
  • travel hair brush
  • hair ties
  • tissue
  • face wash (pictured at top, Vanicream face wash sample).
  • face blotting sheets (for oily skin)
  • small deodorant
  • hand sanitizer
  • small toothbrush + toothpaste
  • wet wipes
  • coin towels (see details below)
  • eyedrops
  • makeup
  • buff (see below)
  • jewelry (little red/gold pouch with earrings and a couple of small necklaces. Always carry your jewelry in your hand luggage whether it’s real or fashion jewelry. Otherwise it’s likely to break).

ProTip Hand sanitizer: For people who are frequent travelers or just use hand sanitizer often, it’s more economical to buy a big hand sanitizer bottle from Costco (as opposed to little individual bottles) and your own TSA approved bottles, like the blue one in the top photo of this article.

The same goes for shampoo and conditioner. If you have long hair, you might need more and the hotels/hostels you’re staying at might not even offer them or if they do, they might be too small.

These warm compresses are great for travel. No dealing with plugging anything in, nor hot water and towels. Just wear this like an eye mask and it automatically heats up. You can get them on Amazon.


Almond oil is a really good natural moisturizer. When I travel, I put it in a vial along with cotton balls. If you’re doing a red eye, apply some on your face and wake up with refreshed, glowing skin.

You can buy almond oil on Amazon or at any Indian grocery store.

I recently came across these little individually packed coin (penny) sized towels. To open, just pour water over it and voila, you have a little 9.5″ towel! These are perfect for washing your face, hands and arms, or even a short, little washcloth shower. They’re cotton, single use, and SO tiny! You can put them anywhere! Update: these came in SO handy in Banff and Jasper National Park. While most of the trailheads have restrooms, they don’t all have sinks and soap to wash your hands. I had soap, these towels, a microfiber towel packed in a small ziploc bag. I even packed tissues in case the restrooms were out. Before heading off for a hike my husband went to the restroom and when he came back and I had all of this ready for him,  he thought I was the travel whisperer.

These coin towels have come in so handy throughout my travels. You can buy 100 for $13 on Amazon.


I like to collect the little hotel toiletry bottles to use on future travels. I picked up a compact hand wash and for those moments when hand sanitizer just won’t cut it, you have everything you need with hand wash and these little towels.

I recently purchased a buff and really like this travel tool/accessory. It’s especially great for petite women for whom wearing a scarf can get a little bulky while traveling. You can wear a buff many ways and they’re not only useful while you’re on the plane or in the airport but throughout your travels too. And they’re very light and compact.

Buffs are a great lightweight travel tool and accessory. Use it as a neck gaiter, neck warmer, headband, wrist band, face cover. There are lots of ways to wear a buff.


  • computer + charger
  • phone + charger
  • Kindle + charger
  • earbuds for petite women or anyone with REALLY small ears try these. Most earbuds don’t fit me around the ear (I’m 4’11”), as well as the ones with the pompom’s, even though they come in different sizes. These aren’t bluetooth though.
  • DSLR + lens in a carrying case.
  • external hard drive

I wrap my DSLR in my travel towel or a scarf and put it in a large ziploc bag, then place it in my carry on.

Whenever I travel with my laptop and my DSLR I take my external hard drive along as well. I like having the peace of mind of backing up my photos immediately. You can buy really compact external hard drives.

I also travel with my electronics stand. This handy stand is 3.5in. x 4in. and weighs practically nothing. On planes I love that I don’t have to hold my device nor crook my neck down to see the screen. I tried the PopSockets collapsible stand but it didn’t work on my iphone 6s Plus. The PopSocket kept retreating back to its flat state whether I placed my phone horizontally or vertically. electronics-stand.jpg


If you’re traveling with your computer but you have your Kindle, phone and need more USB inputs, you can get one of these USB power strips.

USB power strip if you need more USB outlets.

{Items Not Pictured and Other Ideas}

sanitary napkins
wet wipes to clean the meal tray on planes

I prefer to travel with my eyeglasses on and sometimes before landing I switch to my contacts.

If your flights are really long you might even pack a change of clothes.

For my upcoming trip to Uganda, I am arriving there pretty late at night. I have a room at a nearby hotel and early the next morning I have a a short domestic flight to the first destination of my trip. So I packed in such a way that I have everything I need for that night and the next morning at the top of my bag, so I won’t have to unpack and repack my entire bag.


I like shedding weight when I travel. The sample toiletries were perfect for that. Sometimes I take old clothes to wear as pajamas or old slippers to wear in hotel showers or even sneakers that are on their last legs – things I can throw away or donate (as long as they’re still in good condition).

I just got back from Uganda and between the food I packed and consumed, items I utilized and donated, I shed 5kg. by the end of the trip. I had a 15kg. max allowance so that was 1/3 of the total weight – not insignificant. That left me plenty of room to pick up a few last minute souvenirs at the airport.


This article was all about a ladies carry on travel essentials on long haul flights while, still traveling light. The focus was on everything you need to stay entertained, fed and feeling fresh.

I hope you found it useful and helpful. If you did, please let me know by submitting your comments and questions!

Happy and safe travels. Keep adding those stamps to your PassportPages!


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