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Fly smart with the best flight crew-approved travel essentials — all on sale

From comfy shoes and travel bags to an outlet adapter and phone mount, professional globe-trotters recommend these 12 must-haves.

What you need when traveling: rest, convenience, organization. What you don't need: discomfort, chaos and aggravation. Let the pros show you how it's done. (Amazon)

The wait is over — summer travel season is finally here! But, before you hop on that flight, let's go through your travel checklist. Got your passport and wallet? What about your full complement of toiletries? Is your checked luggage in good working order? Now that we've covered the basics, there may be a few travel essentials that you could use but just haven't thought of grabbing. We're talking items that seasoned travelers — like flight crew members — actually use on the regular. From this No. 1 sleep-inducing travel pillow to a pilot-approved carry-on suitcase, these are expert picks that have us saying, "Why didn't I think of that?"

Quick overview
  • Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Carry-On

    Save $26
  • Bcozzy Neck Pillow for Travel

    Save $12
  • Bubm Double-Layer Electronic Accessories Organizer

    Save $4
  • Miikare Airplane Travel Essentials Phone Holder

    Save $5
  • Bagsmart Hanging Toiletry Bag with TSA-Approved Transparent Cosmetic Bag

    Save $3 with coupon
  • Bagail 8-Piece Packing Cube Set

    Save $10 with coupon
  • Tessan European Travel Plug Adapter

    Save $2
  • Prettygarden Loose Off-Shoulder Romper Jumpsuit

    Save $17 with coupon
  • Dagne Dover Ace Air Mesh Fanny Pack

    Save $16
  • Allbirds Women's Tree Breezers

    Save $10
  • Riemot Luggage Travel Cup Holder and Drink Carrier

    Save $4
  • Charmking Compression Socks (8 pairs)

    Save $14
See 7 more

After all, who better to take travel product advice from than the professionals of the friendly skies? If you're looking for the best pair of travel flats, flight attendants swear by these Allbirds bestsellers for standing on their feet all day. Need a place to stow your coffee while dashing to your gate? Pros love this cup holder (just 10 bucks!) that attaches to the handle of your bag. And that's just for starters.

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

It's no secret that Travelpro is flight crew members' favorite luggage brand. From its lightweight build to its durable construction, this carry-on is one that pilots, in particular, both 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."

$144 at Amazon
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If you've ever tried to settle in for an in-flight snooze, you know that it's a challenging proposition. 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 travel pillow when heading home after working exhausting international red eyes. He says it makes relaxing in the friendly skies so much easier. "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 a 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 definitely a bummer. (Of course, sometimes the entertainment that is available is also a bummer). Here's your genius plan B: This phone holder lets you prop your device up to watch your favorite shows or movies, hands-free, 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 then 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."

$13 at Amazon

This hanging toiletry bag strikes the 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 also happens to be TSA-approved — making a trip through the security line so 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."

Save $3 with coupon
$25 at Amazon

Travel experts and frequent flyers say that a packing cube set is one of the easiest ways to stay organized. If you tend to overpack or always seem to forget something when enroute, 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 entire 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 tech 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 often 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

When hundreds of flight attendants talk, we listen. That's the case with this viral $34 jumpsuit. Tons of them say this is their go-to travel 'fit since it's stretchy, forgiving and, best of all, comfortable!

"Myself and fellow flight attendants were featured in a travel magazine, all wearing this jumpsuit," one five-star reviewer wrote. "It is a favorite among our flight attendant group when we are traveling. We call ourselves the sisterhood of the traveling jumpsuit!"

The reviewer added that she specifically loves it because "it's comfortable, inexpensive [and an] easy one-piece" that's a breeze to "dress up or dress down."

Save $17 with coupon
$34 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. Available in 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 serious beating, so when it comes to comfortable shoes, we trust their opinions. Allbirds is already known for having comfy and 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

There's nothing worse than buying an overpriced drink at the airport and not having anywhere to set it down. 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!"

$10 at Amazon

When flying the friendly skies, cabin pressure causes lots of travelers' feet to swell. It's smart to invest in compression socks to enhance blood circulation and prevent swelling, and these No. 1 bestselling, flight attendant-approved socks come with over 57,000 five-star reviews — plus they are 50% off.

"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

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