How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight (or any flight, for that matter)

what to pack in a carry on

One of the most common questions I get on Instagram is about my in-flight routine: what products I bring, how to get over flying anxiety, and tips for long-haul flights.  As many of you know, I travel a LOT (65 countries and counting) and I now have everything down to a science. Below, check out a list of the things I have with me on every flight, and my tips for feeling great after you land.


1. Compression Socks:

There’s nothing I hate more than being a swollen blob after a long flight. Before I started wearing compression socks, my feet and ankles would get puffy, adding to the overall grossness that you feel when you land. Now I throw on these babies and when I take them off my legs look like f-ing Bambi. My favorite brand is Sockwell. I’ve been wearing them for years. TIP: In order for them to be effective, make sure the ones you get are TIGHT—almost like Spanx for your legs.

2. Noise Cancelling Headphones:

bose quiet comfort

For the life of me, I can not understand people who travel a lot but don’t invest in good noise-cancelling headphones. I’ve tried several brands, but always go back to Bose Quiet Comforts. They are the only way I can 100% guarantee that I’ll have a calm, relaxing flying experience—I could literally have a screaming baby in front of me, a chatty seatmate next to me, and a chronic sniffler behind me—and I wouldn’t even care. Because as soon as I switch on the little noise cancelling button, I’m in my own world and totally unbothered by anything happening around me.

3. Sleep Mask:

If I’m on a red-eye, long-haul, or early morning flight, I swear by my eye mask. Trust me: wearing one will significantly increase your chances of actually getting decent sleep on a flight.

PRO TIP: If you’re on a red-eye or long-haul flight and want to focus on getting shut-eye, order a “special meal” in advance. Most airlines offer special requests in the form of vegetarian meals, gluten free meals, kosher meals, low salt meals, and more. You’ll get yours first—before everyone else—so you can sleep while the rest of the plane is being served.

4. Sheet Mask:

I truly don’t care how crazy I look—I will always do a sheet mask on a long flight. It makes SUCH. A. DIFFERENCE. You end up looking radiant, glowy, and healthy rather than haggard when you land. This Joanna Vargas one is my absolute favorite. The box comes with five, and I keep them in the side pocket of my duffel bag so I don’t have to worry about remembering to pack them.

5. Facial Spray:
CAUDALIE ELIXIRcaudalie elixir

You guys know I post about this Caudalie Beauty Elixir constantly. It’s a super light, refreshing facial mist that I have with me on every single flight—and the scent is SO CALMING. Aromatherapy vibes. A few mists, a few deep breaths, and you’ve got hydrated skin + relaxation in one.

6. Travel Pillow:
best travel pillow

I’ve cycled through dozens of neck pillows at this point, and here’s what I’ve found: inflatable ones suck. They make weird squishy noises when you move, they’re not comfortable, and you’ll look like a freak blowing it up. Always go with microbeads or memory foam. Choose one that has a strap or snap so that you’re able to tether it to your bag—otherwise you’ll leave it behind or on the security belt. Trust me. Finally, opt for a convertible travel pillow that can be turned into different shapes: this one gives you the option of a horseshoe shape, a roll, or a square.

7. Sleep Supplement:
CBD Sleep Gummies for Women (60 count) | Equilibria

I don’t know about you, but deep breathing and a glass of wine just doesn’t do it for me when I’m trying to sleep on a plane. Depending on the situation, I’ll either taken an Ambien (which I would only recommend if you have serious insomnia and see a doctor about it like me) or a CBD gummy—it’s natural and doesn’t give you that groggy hangover feeling like other sleep aids do.

There are plenty of options, but I LOVE the ones from Equilibria. [Code LINDSAYSILBERMAN will get you 15% off your order.) As an added bonus, they help to ease travel stress/flying anxiety too. I know they probably sound like a gimmick, but I’ve taken them many times and I swear they work.

(I have a full post all about my experience with CBD here if you’re interested.)


I load my phone with them before I fly, and always give myself a ton of options so that I’m able to choose based on my mood. Here’s why they’re great: if you’re trying to get sleep, you won’t waste time searching through a million movies or TV shows on the entertainment system. Plus, you can throw on your eye mask and not worry about the visual distraction/stimulation that comes from a screen.

If I want something funny, light and gossipy, I go for The Morning Toast (from @GirlWithNoJob and her sister @JackieOProblems) or Bitch Bible. If I’m in the mood to learn or want to be inspired, I’ll listen to Second Life or The Skinny Confidential’s Him & Her Podcast. And finally, if I’m craving some beauty tips or product recommendations, I love Glowing Up

BTW, if you’re heading on a beach vacation and not sure what to bring, check out my Beach Vacation Packing List here.

Same goes for safaris! This post tells you everything you’ll need to look chic on safari.



  • Charliese
    January 14, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Very useful and interesting information.

  • May
    February 21, 2019 at 1:43 am

    Such fun topics Linds! Looking for your packing tips for a chic ski trip. ❄️

  • Meredith, Boston
    March 11, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    LOVE that Away hard case kit! I looked for it but does not seem to be on the market anymore. Can you please link alternatives? My travel has been upgraded solely on your recommendations! Thank you! xo

    • Lindsay Silberman
      March 12, 2019 at 4:06 am

      Ugh I think it was a limited edition! Let me browse around and see what I can find!

  • creeping
    April 9, 2021 at 2:00 am

    A word about melatonin: Don’t take it until it is bedtime in your destination. If you have a 16 hour flight to Sydney from Dallas, and it is 10:00 pm at home, it may only be about 2:oo pm in Sydney. Taking the melatonin at the wrong time will make the next day BAD. When you board the plane, set your watch to your destination time, and behave accordingly.

  • Jayne C Gossett
    July 21, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    TSA let’s you take gummies on the plane?


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