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Travel in comfort with these flight-crew-approved trip essentials, all on sale

From comfy shoes and durable bags to a clever cup holder and phone mount, professional globe-trotters recommend these must-haves.

blue travel pillow, black carry-on suitcase, travel neck wallet
What you need when traveling: rest, convenience and organization. What you don't need: discomfort, chaos and aggravation. Let the pros show you how it's done. (Amazon)

We're in peak travel season, folks! And no matter where you're going, there's a list of non-negotiables you must make sure you're throwing in that bag. Before you start daydreaming about sinking your toes into the sand or putting together that travel itinerary, let's go through your travel checklist, shall we? Got your passport and wallet? Got toiletries? Are you checking a bag or will you be a carry-on traveler?

Quick Overview
  • Riemot Luggage Travel Cup Holder and Drink Carrier

    Save $4 with Prime
  • Tessan European Travel Plug Adapter

    Save $2
  • Perilogics Universal In-Flight Phone Holder Mount

    Save $8
  • Bagail 8-Piece Packing Cube Set

    Save $11 with coupon
  • Charmking Compression Socks, 8 Pairs

    Save $14
  • BUBM Double-Layer Electronic Accessories Organizer

    Save $5
  • Hero Neck Passport Wallet and Travel Pouch

    Save $7 with coupon
  • Bagsmart Hanging Toiletry Bag

    Save $3
  • Bcozzy Neck Pillow

    Save $14
  • Allbirds Women's Tree Breezers

    Save $25
  • Dagne Dover Ace Air Mesh Fanny Pack

    Save $24 with code
    See at Dagne Dover
  • Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Carry-On

    Save $42 with coupon
See 7 more

Now that we've covered the basics, there may be a few travel essentials 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 bestselling travel pillow to a pilot-approved carry-on, a $10 cup holder that attaches to your bag and a $14 phone mount that lets you watch shows from your device at eye level, these expert picks have us saying, "Why didn't I think of that?" And they're all on sale! Ready for takeoff? Taxi down our list for the best flight crew-approved travel essentials. (Also, don't miss our tried-and-true picks for anxiety-free travel.)

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. This $10 Prime deal brings it to the lowest price on record. (Prices vary by color.)

"I'm a flight attendant and I love this!" 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

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."

$13 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.

"I'm a flight attendant and I commute by plane from Utah to New York and watch TV on my phone the whole time," one flight crew member wrote. "My hand was always hurting from holding my phone that whole time and now i have this, and it's just the absolute perfect solution. Anyone who travels, especially by plane, should have one."

$10 at Amazon

Travel experts and frequent fliers say that 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 $11 with coupon
$14 at Amazon

Cabin pressure causes lots of travelers' feet to swell. It's smart to invest in compression socks to enhance blood circulation, and these top-selling socks come with over 58,000 five-star reviews. Right now, they're down to nearly 45% off in some colors and sizes.

"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."

$18 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 fliers 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!"

$19 at Amazon

If you prefer traveling hands-free, this is right up your alley. This multi-functional travel pouch is a passport holder and a wallet. It also has room for credit cards, cash, your phone, boarding passes and other valuables. RFID-blocking technology keeps your personal info secure too.

One retired flight attendant who still travels often swears by it. "I am still a traveler looking for products to be lighter for me," the former crew member wrote. "This one does just that. It has room to fit my passport, a credit card or two, and money."

Save $7 with coupon
$23 at Amazon

This hanging toiletry bag strikes just the right balance between roomy and compact, and it has loads of convenient 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 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."

$25 at Amazon

If you've ever tried to settle in for an in-flight snooze, you know 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. This is currently marked down in gray and black.

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.

$49 at Amazon

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."

$75 at Allbirds

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. Many of the 15 colors and styles are on sale.

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 the 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."

Save $24 with code
$71 at Dagne Dover

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."

Save $42 with coupon
$128 at Amazon

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