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These flight crew-approved travel essentials are must-haves for your next trip and right now, all are on sale

These flight crew-approved travel essentials are must-haves for your next trip and right now, all are on sale

The countdown is on for that highly anticipated summer vacation! Before you start thinking about cocktails in your hand and sand between your toes, let's go through your travel checklist to ensure you're not forgetting anything. Got your passport and wallet? Your toiletries? Are you checking a bag or will you be a carry-on traveler? Now that we've covered the basics, there may be a few travel essentials that you haven't thought of grabbing. We're talking items that seasoned travelers like flight crew members use on the regular. From this No. 1 travel pillow to a pilot-approved carry-on, a $14 cup holder that attaches to your bag and airport-friendly Allbirds flats, these expert picks have us saying, "Why didn't I think of that?"

Quick Overview
  • Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Carry-On

    Save $34
  • Bcozzy Neck Pillow for Travel

    Save $12
  • Bubm Double-Layer Electronic Accessories Organizer

    Save $4
  • Miikare Airplane Travel Essentials Phone Holder

    Save $9
  • Bagsmart Hanging Toiletry Bag

    Save $8
  • Bagail 8-Piece Packing Cube Set

    Save $10 with coupon
  • Tessan European Travel Plug Adapter

    Save $1
  • Lillusory 2-Piece Knit Lounge Set

    Save $8
  • Dagne Dover Ace Air Mesh Fanny Pack

    Save $16
  • Allbirds Women's Tree Breezers

    Save $10
  • Charmking Compression Socks, 8 pairs

    Save $15 with coupon
  • Riemot Luggage Travel Cup Holder and Drink Carrier

    Save $4 with Prime
See 7 more

Ready for takeoff? Taxi down the list for the best flight crew-approved travel essentials.

Travelpro is among flight crew members' favorite luggage brands. From its lightweight build to its durable construction, this carry-on is one that pilots in particular use and praise.

"I like the two-wheel pull version that I have used for years as an airline pilot," one five-star reviewer on Amazon said. "My wife wanted this version with the four wheels. It worked very well over various surfaces."

$136 at Amazon

If you've ever tried to settle in for an in-flight snooze, you know that it's a challenge. Flight crew members, who are experts at catch-as-catch-can cat naps (say that 10 times fast!), treasure a travel pillow that makes falling and staying asleep a bit easier. 

One flight attendant said he uses this No. 1 bestselling pillow when heading home after exhausting international red-eyes. "This allows me to sleep and not wake up with a total neck ache," the crew member gushed.

$48 at Amazon

Portable tech is a modern-day miracle — from your laptop and phone to your portable charger and tablet — but it means bringing along an array of cables. Flight attendants and frequent flyers say this double-layer electronic accessories organizer has room for everything, including a designated slot for an iPad.

"I am a flight attendant and I love this organizer!" one professional wrote. "I keep my iPad, passport, cords, paperwork and hand sanitizer in here. It keeps me organized!"

$20 at Amazon

Having to endure a long flight with no in-flight entertainment is a bummer. (Of course, sometimes the entertainment that is available is also a bummer). Here's your plan B: This phone holder lets you prop up your device to watch your favorite shows or movies, hands-free and at eye level. It easily attaches to your tray table or luggage handle, so it's a no-brainer, space-saving add-on. Flight crew members like it so much, they use it for travel and keep using it once they're back home.

"As a commuting flight attendant, [this] comes in very handy!" one reviewer said. "At home, I like it propped up on the counter."

$9 at Amazon

This hanging toiletry bag strikes a balance of being roomy yet compact, and it has loads of convenience features that seasoned travelers love. In addition to the six built-in pockets and multiple slots, it comes with a detachable, transparent cosmetic bag that's TSA-approved, making a trip through security much speedier. 

Several flight attendants praise this well-designed bag for simplifying traveling with toiletries. "I am a flight attendant, and it holds everything!" the five-star reviewer wrote. "I absolutely love it! The zippers zip with ease and it is well thought out to meet all of your needs. I can't say enough about it."

$20 at Amazon

Travel experts and frequent flyers say packing cubes are one of the easiest ways to stay organized. If you tend to overpack or always seem to forget something, they can keep everything tidy and easy to find. In addition to an array of bags in various sizes, this eight-piece set includes a toiletry bag, a shoe bag and a sock bag.

"I'm getting ready for flight attendant training and wanted to buy these to help me organize the many things I need to bring," wrote one reviewer. "What surprised me is that both pairs of high heels fit in the shoe bag."

Save $10 with coupon
$15 at Amazon

Unless you plan to fully unplug for your overseas trip (this also includes your flat iron), you're going to need an outlet adapter. This one's super compact and easily converts those Euro plugs to allow you to use and charge your devices. It even has two USB ports to keep your gadgets and gizmos juiced up, giving you more bang for your buck.

One flight attendant who travels to Brazil shared that, since buying this outlet adapter, she hasn't had "any problems with [using her] flat iron, blow dryer or charger."

$14 at Amazon

The perfect wear anywhere, do anything two-piece set and one of our top picks for travel outfits for women. Available in 11 stylish colors in sizes S to XL. Made with a comfortable breathable knit fabric, and designed with an easy-to-wear stretch waist with a flattering pleated design. It's perfect for all types of travel and many sizes and colors are on sale. 

$48 at Amazon

Dagne Dover is a sleeper travel accessory brand that those in the know swear by. This air mesh fanny pack is durable and intelligently designed with stealth travel-friendly pockets — plus, it fits an astonishing amount of stuff. When worn cross-body or around the waist, it gives convenient, hands-free access to your passport, wallet, keys and any essentials you want at your fingertips. Choose from 18 colors.

One airline professional even said she's "obsessed" with this well-designed travel essential. "I wanted a fanny pack that I could wear as a crossbody and I love it," gushed a five-star fan. "I'm also a flight attendant, and it's great for going out and exploring or getting coffee in the gate area."

$79 at Dagne Dover

Flight attendants' feet take a beating, so when it comes to comfortable shoes, we trust their opinion. Allbirds is already known for its comfy, foot-molding styles, so it's no surprise that the brand's Tree Breezers flats are popular among flight crew members.

"I'm a flight attendant and love to have a non-heel option for when I'm working long flights," one five-star reviewer wrote. "It is great to slip on real quick to give my feet a break. They are breathable and so lightweight. It's like wearing slipper socks."

$90 at Allbirds

Cabin pressure causes lots of travelers' feet to swell. It's smart to invest in compression socks to enhance blood circulation, and these No. 1 bestselling socks come with over 57,000 five-star reviews.

"Fight attendant-approved!" said a five-star reviewer. "I ... suffer from swollen everything when I fly two, three or sometimes four flights per day. These socks are comparable to the ones that I've previously paid $30 a pair for! They wash well! Comfortable, and really keep my feet from getting tired and swollen throughout the day."

Another flight attendant started wearing these at a coworker's recommendation. "[A] senior crewmember suggested I start wearing socks for longer flights/duty days and I'm glad I listened! My feet feel better and I recover faster! The nice designs are an added bonus that get compliments regularly."

Save $15 with coupon
$17 at Amazon

There's nothing worse than buying an overpriced drink at the airport and not having anywhere to set it. This removable caddy attaches to your carry-on luggage handle and has slots for two cups — natch, the flight attendants of the world use it religiously.

"I'm a flight attendant and I love this one!" one wrote on Amazon. "I love the velcro 'quick detachment.' It's the best! I had one before without the Velcro opening that just stretched over the handle and it was a pain! This one is great!"

Save $4 with Prime
$10 at Amazon

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.