Everything Jess Packs for a Red-Eye Flight

Arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to hit the ground.
Author:
Publish date:
IMG_9104

This may be controversial, but when I travel, I prefer for my flights to feel as efficient as possible–which means if the option is available, I'm taking a red-eye.

Personally, I'd rather sacrifice one good night of sleep to get the most out of a trip, so I've always gravitated towards overnight flights. I recently traveled to Cape Cod for my best friend's wedding and managed to get in a full day of work before heading to the airport for a red-eye to Boston. Just before heading out the door, I decided to share what I carry with me in my backpack (which I bought from Uniqlo years ago but found a similar version here), to prepare for sleeping on a plane, on @shopcupcakesandcashmere Stories. I was overwhelmed by the number of responses, thoughtful suggestions, and product recommendations you sent when I asked what I was missing. Below, I (hopefully!) got through any unanswered questions, and am sharing all the tips you sent my way:

Eye mask: I'm one of those lucky people who can sleep anywhere, anytime. But I know that luck is going to run out soon, so I pack a silk eye mask in case my cabin mate wants to keep his or her light on or open the window at the end of the flight before I'm ready to wake up.

Three (yes, three) different types of headphones: I'm paranoid about being without the right kind of headphones (I blame Apple), so I bring one that goes over my ears (I brought these on this trip because I forgot my noise-canceling headphones at the office!) and two pairs of generic Apple headphones, one with a jack for an iPhone and the other with a jack for the seat.

iPad: I'm never going to gamble when it comes to in-flight entertainment (what if they only have the Sorcerer's Stone when I'm really craving The Half-Blood Prince?!), so I take my trusty iPad that's filled with (all the Harry Potter) ebooks and (all the Harry Potter) movies I know can help lull me to sleep.

My jewelry: My mom has made it very clear that any and all personal or meaningful belongings should never be packed in a checked bag, so I ensure they're with me in my backpack. I've been using this Connoisseurs Carry-All for my jewelry for years (it's compact and holds everything I could need), but I love this one if you're looking for something a bit larger.

Reusable water bottle: We all know hydration is key on flights, so I fill up my reusable water bottle after security and am sure to drink it in its entirety (plus a bit more!) before I land.

Glasses: I throw on my Warby Parker glasses before leaving my house so I don't have to remove my contacts after settling into my seat. 

Face masks: There are always two with me—one for the flight there, and one for the flight back. I apply this mask as the captain announces our descent to give my skin a little extra TLC. I love all the variations from Dr. JART+ (and also bought the Sephora Collection Pearl Eye Mask for the morning of the wedding and loved them!).

Toothbrush and toothpaste: Self-explanatory.

Eye cream: At home, I stick to my Tata Harper eye cream, but it was such an investment that I prefer to never let it leave my bathroom. My friend gave me Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye and I love how compact the packaging is, and that it's essentially spill-proof.

Hand cream: I personally find the smell of lavender soothing, so I stocked up on this Kiehl's hand cream and always put it on as I'm getting comfortable before takeoff.

Aesop Facial Hydrating Cream: I love this product specifically for flights. Once I apply it, my face feels moisturized for hours (the shiny kind you need to survive a long, dry flight). Plus, this stuff smells like a spa, which is a pretty pleasant aroma before drifting off to sleep.

Facial oil: I bring a smaller version of the Earth Tu Face Facial Serum I use every day to lock in the hydrating cream.

Lip balm: I never leave the house without my Skin Stick. It's great on chapped lips, flaky skin patches, or dry cuticles.

Advil and Tylenol: I keep these around for myself and anyone around me who might need one, whether it be for a headache, lingering pain, or cramps.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment: Since there will likely be little to no pigment in my face upon arrival, I keep this on hand (in Cherry, but I also love Coral, Honey, and Berry) to apply to my lips and cheeks so I don't look too pale. Bonus? It has SPF.

Sunglasses: These are a must to throw on after I land to hide any dark circles under my eyes from an imperfect night of sleep. 

Nail File: Just in case there's a nail emergency.

Face Wipes: I keep these around for the flights where you want to feel refreshed without having to wash your face in an airport bathroom.

Pens: Every time I need to fill out a form upon landing somewhere, I seem to be without a pen. So I throw in some of my favorites from Muji just in case.

Tampons: ...because you never know when you might need them.

Sunscreen: I apply this Supergoop! SPF 30 to my face and neck before takeoff, then touch it up again when we land to protect my skin until I arrive at my final destination.

Eyedrops: Dry air = dry eyes. A follower, who happened to be an eye doctor, DM'd me to say I should avoid Clear Eyes (what I packed on this trip), so I headed to a CVS and grabbed Lumify (she recommended it!) instead.

I saved my favorite recommendations from you guys and added the screenshot below. Let me know what I should bring on my next flight in the comments!

FAB1EF61-0BA7-4449-9ACF-CD8313FC640A

If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.