Saturday, June 22, 2024

The best travel tech, according to flight crew members — Apple, Google and more

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Traveling soon? You probably already double-checked that you have your passport, clothes and toiletries. And that’s all you’d need to have a fabulous trip anywhere in the world, right? Wrong. For a truly comfortable and stress-free journey, we highly recommend investing in some top-rated travel tech. Whether you’re taking a flight or going on a road trip, these pieces come highly recommended by seasoned travelers and travel industry insiders.

Be it noise-canceling headphones or a battery pack to juice up your phone, bringing a few problem-solving tech accessories along for the ride is always a good idea. And who better to recommend travel tech than flight crew personnel, who’ve made frequent travel their profession? We talked with a flight attendant and scoured the internet for flight-crew-recommended products, and here are our findings.


Apple AirTags are great not just for keeping track of your keys and wallet but also for making sure your luggage won’t get lost!

Most frequent travelers will tell you that the easiest way to prevent lost luggage is to bring it as a carry-on, but that just isn’t realistic for everyone. To help make sure your luggage doesn’t get lost, try using an Apple AirTag. “I put one in my flight attendant bag whenever I have to check it,” said one five-star reviewer. “These are super easy to use and definitely worth the money.”

$80 at Amazon


This five-inch mini humidifier is small enough to pack in a purse, plus has an LED nightlight!

Simon Wu, a flight attendant for Cathay Pacific for six years, told Yahoo Life that a humidifier is a must after a long flight. “I absolutely need a humidifier for my skin after a long plane ride,” he says. He recommends this particular brand and model due to its size. “This small one makes it very easy to pack.” It operates via USB, comes with two spray modes, plus there is a night-light LED.

$9 at Amazon


An alternative to Apple’s AirPods, these noise-canceling earbuds reach up to 31 hours of battery life with the charging case. 

While Apple AirPods are popular, Wu prefers Google Pixel Buds Pro. “The Pixel Buds are a must-have when I’m taking a nap during my shift break,” he said. They’re compact, they have excellent battery life and they use Active Noise Cancelling to greatly reduce outside sound. Plus, you can ask Google for directions, to answer calls and to control your music, keeping everything hands-free. 

$140 at Amazon


Never worry about your phone’s battery running out again with this handy Anker portable charger. 

You’ll likely be using your phone a lot on your trip, which will certainly drain the battery. A power bank is a must. This particular model from Anker is a favorite with Amazon reviewers, including crew members. “As a flight attendant I always need power on the go,” said one. “I bought this to replace an older Anker power bank I had left on a plane. This battery is perfect for me. … This battery charges my phone incredibly fast and holds around four full charges for my iPhone X. My only complaint is the shape. I wish it were a tad more slender … when held against my phone it sticks out on the sides making it hard to hold. Otherwise a great, fast battery pack and easy to stow for travel!”

$34 at Amazon


Traveling abroad? Keep in mind that outlets vary by country. This universal travel adapter can help you plug in your electronics. 

A universal travel adapter helps continue to charge your electronics like your phone, tablet or laptop. This all-in-one model includes four USB-A connectors and a USB-C. “Bought this for our nephew who is prepping for his first trip to Europe!” said one travel pro. “This travel adapter is all in one piece and very sturdy; I am getting a couple for my husband and I as we are flight attendants! Not having to worry about missing pieces is great!”

$20 at Amazon


Do you have more robust electronic needs? This universal travel adapter comes with a 110 to 220V voltage converter, which is useful for appliances such as curling irons and fans. 

If you plan on bringing appliances such as hair dryers and electric toothbrushes, then you might want to get a universal travel adapter that has a voltage converter. “As a retired international flight attendant, I have had every kind of converter for overseas travel,” said this reviewer. “The Bestek converter was the best I have ever purchased. With phones, iPads, curling irons, computers, etc., the converter makes it so easy to charge it all up at the same time. I had a mini-curling iron that I thought wouldn’t work with the converter, but it heated it up perfectly. Loved it!”

$34.19 for Prime members at Amazon


Not every hotel room has a microwave, which is a pain if you want to heat up leftovers or breakfast. Enter the Hot Logic Mini Portable Oven: an electric food-warming tote that has become something of a cult hit among flight crew.

One five-star reviewer said it’s a must-have for flight crew: “I absolutely love my Hot Logic. I’ve been a flight attendant for a really long time and this is my second one. … I mostly do turns (day trips), but even on those I take this with me just in case we don’t make home and have to stay overnight somewhere. … Outside of North America, microwaves in hotels are almost impossible to find. The Hot Logic works great with converters as well. Just keep an eye on how hot it may get when using a converter.”

$35 at Amazon


Cables and plugs can get chaotic, but an electronics organizer like this makes packing a breeze. And it’s waterproof!

Though not quite a tech gadget, an electronics organizer like this one from Bubm is a travel tech essential because it helps keep all of your cables and plugs in one place. “I love this bag,” wrote one flight crew member in a review. “I am a flight attendant, and I carry three iDevices, two chargers (both cylindrical) and wireless headphones. Obviously, I need lots of cables and plugs, and to charge and recharge, and this carries them all neatly with room for spares.”

$11 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.

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