I'm Gabriella Wisdom, welcome to the Postcards from Hawaii travel blog, an online vacay for the well-organised traveller

10 hand luggage items for staying fresh on a flight

10 hand luggage items for staying fresh on a flight

Due to recirculated air and low oxygen levels in the cabin, flights, no matter the length, are dehydrating and can leave you feeling pretty grotty afterwards. To help battle this, here are the most important items that I always pack in my carry on and tuck inside the seat pocket for the duration of my flight, all of which fit into a standard toiletry bag: 

1. Makeup removal wipes

Travel-size makeup wipes are the best way to quickly remove your makeup onboard. It is very important to remove your makeup on a long haul flight even if it is daytime. Your skin will dry out and your makeup will clog your pores, plus we’ve all made that mistake of sleeping with our makeup on and had a moment of silence for the fallen eyelashes who made a sacrifice for our laziness. 

2. Flight or night cream


Soap and Glory have a great Night and Flight Cream. It’s under the liquid restrictions and the container is sturdy which will prevent leakage in your plastic zip lock. The consistency is thick which means your skin will slowly absorb it throughout your flight, and it smells like peaches which isn’t overpowering for your fellow passengers. If you prefer a lighter texture I highly recommend Clinique's Moisture Surge, it's a deeply hydrating moisturiser which I frequently use as a mask and allow it to sink into my skin over time. This will instantly perk up your skin after any flight.

3. Toothbrush and toothpaste

Most long haul flights will either hand you a wash bag or you can go to the galley to ask an attendant for a toothbrush set. However, I always carry mine on me when I travel just in case I need to brush my teeth anywhere on the go. Aside from cleaning bacteria, brushing your teeth whilst travelling does three crucial things for you:

1. Helps your body get into that sleep mode - you wouldn’t go to bed without brushing your teeth would you?
2. Gets rid of any funky morning breath you may be imparting on your fellow passengers. 
3. Makes you feel fresh and ready to start whatever lies ahead.

PFH Top Tip: Buy some toothbrush head covers to protect it from picking up any nasties in your bag. I get mine from Tiger, you can get a pack of four for just £1! Make sure you rinse them out after every use.

4. Sleep mask


I find these work in two ways. One is that it blocks the light and prevents me from getting disturbed by the glare of the night owls’ TV monitors. The second is that I feel like if I can’t see them then they can’t see me and it’s the closest you’ll get to feeling like you’re in bed and not sleeping with a bunch of strangers that didn’t buy you dinner first! Sleep is imperative for staying fresh not only when flying but with any form of travel, also it makes the time pass quicker!

5. Tissues

Whether you have a little travel pack or just stashed some toilet roll, it’s always handy to have something to blow your nose. Just like your skin, your nose will also dry out on a flight which will not only block it but in some cases the altitude can cause nosebleeds.

6. Chewing gum or breath mints


For two good reasons, the first is to ease popping ears during flights, my partner is a nervous flyer and something to suck or chew always calms his nerves and distracts him when his ears pop. The second is if you can’t get to the bathroom to brush your teeth, gum/mints will quickly freshen your breath.

7. Deodorant

Travel can be stuffy, stressful and if it’s long haul you can’t wash so pack some deodorant or deodorant wipes to freshen up in the restroom. Avoid aerosol cans so that other travellers don’t get choked by the fumes.

8. Makeup


Your “I can’t be seen without my...” makeup items so you can reapply your face when the captain announces the 30mins from landing cue. Lip balm is a crucial item here for rehydrating those lips.

PFH Top Tip: I find popping on a bright lippy perks up your face reduces the appearance of tired eyes.

9. Compact mirror

So you can see everything you are doing in the above.

10. Water

Ok you can’t pack it due to liquid restrictions and it won’t fit into a toiletry bag, but it is so very important to drink as much water as you can when flying. For the reasons mentioned at the start, you will need to replace the fluids lost, so pick up at least 1L of bottled water at the airport - post security - because complimentary bottles are too small, cups will spill on you whilst you sleep and buying it onboard is costly.


Wishing you healthy and hydrated travels!

Aloha, Gabriella 

Let me know if you found this helpful, also I would love to hear what items keep you fresh in the air.

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