10 Carry-On Essentials That Make Economy Feel Like First Class

We can't give you more leg space, but we can recommend our favorite products that make even a middle seat seem more luxurious. Shop our favorites before your next long-haul flight.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
March 29, 2019

Photo By: Anthropologie

Photo By: Parachute

Photo By: Fresh

Photo By: Amazon

Photo By: Anthropologie

Photo By: Herban Essentials

Photo By: Amazon

Photo By: Ugg

Toiletries Kit

When you’re in coach, you don’t get fancy amenity kits. So make your own! This dental kit from Marvis comes with a toothbrush, toothpaste and carrying case. Just remember to ask for a cup of water before brushing your teeth because plane bathroom water isn’t potable.

Buy It: Anthropologie, $22.00

Travel Blanket

Flights—especially at night—can get super chilly. And if there are blankets on board, they’re usually laughably thin and ineffective. The linen kings at Parachute have a travel kit that features an extra fine merino wool blanket, sleep mask and carrying case perfect for throwing in your carry-on.

Buy It: Parachute, $169.00

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Whether you’re trying to sleep, watch a movie or just escape the absolute hell that is a crying baby on a plane, noise-canceling headphones are a godsend. The Bose Quiet Comfort headphones aren’t cheap, but the investment is worth it. In addition to silent bliss, over-the-ear headphones are better for your ears than in-ear earbuds and you won’t have to crank the volume up to drown out noise.

Buy It: Amazon, $349

Carry-on Cocktail Kit

It’s hard to see the folks in premium and economy+ get free alcohol (or even a lime wedge with their club soda!) when you’re stuck back in coach. If you are going to splurge on an in-flight drink, elevate it to a tasty cocktail with these mini kits. Food52 carries seven varieties, including classic Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule and Hot Toddy kits.

Buy It: Food52, Set of 2, $48.00

Hydrating Face Mask

Airplane air is super dry and if you have sensitive skin, it can cause breakouts. Combat parched skin with a hydrating face mask. This rose moisture mask from Fresh is carry-on friendly at 1.6 ounces, soothes dry skin and is a great way to pamper yourself on a long-haul overnight flight.

Buy It: Fresh, $42.00

Moisturing Hand Lotion

Hands can get super dry and cracked on airplanes, too. I always travel with Weleda’s SkinFood. This stuff smells great, isn’t super oily like other dry skin lotions and helps my hands stay hydrated on long flights with dry air.

Buy It: Amazon, $10.29

Travel Pillow

If the flight is long enough, most airlines do provide a pillow in economy, but it’s like sleeping on a paper towel wrapped around a handful of cotton balls. Make your cramped seat just a little more luxurious with the Slip travel set. The set comes with a travel pillow and sleep mask featuring Slip’s cooling, buttery soft mulberry silk.

Buy It: Anthropologie, $119.00

Essential Oil Towelettes

Flying is stressful for anyone, but for those with anxiety about flying, it’s the worst. Delays, waiting on the tarmac and unexpected turbulence don’t help. We’re not saying essential oils will take away anxiety about flying, but they can help uplift or relax. These single-use towelettes are a great way to refresh on the go and come in several scents. We love the calming lavender for travel stress and the energizing citrus for jet lag.

Buy It: Amazon, $16.00

Instant Coffee Packets

I hate cruise ship coffee. But you know what’s worse? Airplane coffee. It’s hot, brown water with a hint of something that mildly tastes like coffee. And it in no way gives me the caffeine boost that I crave. I always travel with instant coffee like these Joe coffee packets. No, instant coffee isn’t amazing, but it’s definitely a step up and at least resembles something robust in a cup.

Buy It: Amazon, $18.99

Slipper Socks

Economy seats are the complete opposite of cozy, but you can feel a little bit of coziness with these Ugg slipper socks. The socks are lined with a super soft fleece to keep your toes warm on cold flights.

Buy It: Ugg, $49.50