Eclectically feminine style by Mary Gui

My Travel Essentials: What to Pack for an Overnight Flight

travel essentials what to pack overnight flight

As a classic overpacker, I’m the type of person who needs to take everything with me when I travel. So the idea of “travel essentials” has always been a struggle for me, because everything is essential! But when it comes to my carry-on for an overnight flight, I know that I have to limit myself to only the actual essentials that will get me through 16 hours on a plane. This time traveling from NYC to Hong Kong, I was able to fit all my essentials into one carry-one bag and one huge (oversized) suitcase to be checked. I won’t share with you guys what I packed in my checked suitcase as it is definitely overpacked, but for my carry-on essentials I thought I did a pretty decent job. To help myself get organized in terms of what to pack, I focused on 3 main categories: skincare & beauty, entertainment, and travel-related items.

travel essentials what to pack overnight skincare

What to Pack: Skin Care & Beauty Essentials

An overnight flight requires skin care and beauty items that you can easily fit into your carry-on bag. My biggest tip is to get travel-sized items of all your usual products. Take advantage of the Sephora rewards program to snag up your favorite products in smaller sizes, and keep all those samples you get as they come in handy! Below are my essentials:

To Keep Skin Hydrated (planes are the worst when it comes to drying out your skin):

Essential Items Before (attempting to) Sleep:

Pre-Landing Freshening Up Routine:

travel essentials what to pack beauty products blog

What to Pack: Entertainment Essentials

I take advantage of long flights to catch up on leisurely reading. I like to bring easy reads that don’t require too much brainpower, so I went with a novel The Japanese Lover and Aimee Song’s book Capture Your Style. For music, I like to bring my iPod nano as it fits all my music and takes up almost no space. I also brought my laptop so that I can blog and watch TV shows. How cute is it decorated with little stickers I received from the Amika team? They give my laptop so much more personality.

travel essentials what to pack carry on overnight flight

What to Pack: Travel-Related Essentials

Last but not least, the most important items (and actually the first items I always pack) are the travel related items: passport, wallet, and my glasses. Before leaving for any trip, I always double-check that these items are packed in my carry-on. To fit all these travel essentials, I rely on my Dagne Dover 13 inch tote. It’s seriously the perfect bag for traveling and allows you to be super organized. There is a separate compartment for you laptop and iPad, a water bottle holder, a pen holder, and various pockets for you to keep your essentials intact. The 13 inch is also a great size as you can carry it on your shoulder to help with the weight, and the straps fold down so it can be tucked under your seat on the plane. I initially bought the 15 inch and it was definitely way too big, and I couldn’t carry it on my shoulder which was a big deal breaker for me.

Let me know if you have any questions on any of the products, and as always you can shop this post below!

Shop My Travel Essentials:


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37 comments so far.

37 responses to “My Travel Essentials: What to Pack for an Overnight Flight”

  1. Kaylie says:

    So helpful! I’m totally an over-packer as well so these tips will come in handy. I really like the idea you mentioned of keeping those “main categories”. Definitely using this advice the next time I travel.

  2. You did a great job! I have never had an overnight flight but I would keep on my mind your tips. Thanks.

  3. Cristina says:

    I never had a overnight flight or one longer that 4-5 hours. I usually travel only around Europe, but I hope I’ll be able to fly on the other side of the globe any time soon. Great recommendations!

  4. Marissa says:

    Great list! I’ll have to add that toner to my pack – I’ve never thought of that before.

  5. Shane says:

    I’ve done a 15 hour flight from LA to Sydney and this all would have come in handy! Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Jessica says:

    This is absolutely perfect! And also the dry shampoo is a MUST!! I ue it everyday and on a long flight it would be even more necessary than usual lol.

    xo, jess

  7. This post is awesome because I honestly didn’t even think of needing different things for my upcoming over night flight… I seriously had no idea and would have been so unprepared! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Alix Maza says:

    Ugh.. I hate long flights! These are great essentials though.

    Alix |

  9. Samantha says:

    This is a great list! I always make sure that I have a good book with me and nail polish in case I get bored 🙂

  10. This is a really helpful list! I never tried a Dry Shampoo, but it seems a great idea for looking good after an overnight flight!

  11. I fly on 12-13 hour flights and these are some great products for those trips, or even for shorter 4-6 hour red eye flights. Thanks for sharing!

  12. oh wow you have such good mini samples

  13. vidya says:

    Such a great list. Thanks for sharing it. very useful post.

  14. Christianne says:

    Definitely cool essentials. I also have them if I travel 24 hour flights.
    Xo, Christianne

  15. Logan says:

    For me, lip balm, a moisturizer and book are my absolute must haves! Great list!

  16. Kelsey says:

    I love travel size toiletries! I keep that mini dry shampoo in my purse all the time!

    xo Kelsey |

  17. I’m a class UNDERpacker where I never seem to bring what I need. Referring back to this for my next trip

  18. Kristin says:

    Love this post! I always struggle to keep my bags super organized, especially during long flights. Love how you broke it down by pre-sleep, pre-landing, etc. Cannot go wrong with these products!


  19. Jenna says:

    These are such great tips. I will have to check out some of your travel essentially since they look awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers, J

  20. shannon says:

    girlllll i struggle too with over packing!! these are some great tips for your carry on though!!!

  21. All of these are definitely essential items! Thank you for the tips and the share. I love all the cute stickers you have on your laptop

    -Brandi K

  22. Lee Anne says:

    This is such a handy post! While I consider myself a veteran flyer, I see a lot on here I hadn’t though of before 🙂

    Lee Anne

  23. Love your picks! If I ever travel overnight, I will certainly need this guide.

    xo, Amanda |

  24. Kat says:

    Oh yes, dry shampoo is something I forget. Great products!

  25. Emily Soto says:

    Love your essentials! Rosehip is in my daily beauty routine. I love it!

  26. Jen says:

    Love these packing essentials! I’m making a trip to Bali soon and can’t wait to take your tips & products with me!

  27. i LOVE this list! These are great trips! My next trip, I am bringing all of these! Dry shampoo is something I always forget!

  28. Amber says:

    This is a great list, and i love all of the links. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Cori says:

    I do a lot of traveling so I really appreciate this. I love finding great products in travel sizes- it makes life so much easier.

  30. H Evans says:

    What a great bag.No wonder my wife has a big purse.

  31. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for this blog post. We are in the moddle pf planning our summer vacation! Your tips are wonderful!

  32. neha says:

    I love thisss! amazing post xxx

  33. Lauren says:

    Thanks for sharing your favourite travel essentials! I have the same problem with over packing, so this helps!

    Lauren |

  34. Cydney says:

    I’m such an over packer too! I’d rather have too much and not need it than have not enough! I’m off to jamaica which is an 8 hour flight on Wednesday and still keep repacking my hand luggage! aha

  35. Great list for long flights! I haven’t been on one quite as long yet, but I’m planning a few trips, so this will really come in handy.

  36. Neelofar says:

    Loving this list! I’m heading over seas in a few months so this helped a lot!!

  37. I have the Fresh Soy Face in exactly that size! I am saving it for our next weekend getaway 😉

    Gennifer Rose |