Planning for your next big trip? Then you’ll want to stock up on the best travel accessories before takeoff. And if there’s anyone who knows what products will actually make a travel experience better, it’s the people whose job it is to spend hours on end in the air: flight attendants and pilots.

After all, they do spend most of their time on a plane and in hotels, so who better to take packing recommendations from than the flight operators that we trust to make our vacation daydreams realities? To help you prepare for your travels ahead, we asked seasoned flight attendants and pilots to share the one thing that they never travel without. From hydrating beauty must-haves to practical gadgets (which can all be found at Amazon), here’s what the pros always have packed in their suitcases. 

Insulated Travel Mug 


From hot coffee to chilled juice, an insulated travel mug will keep your favorite beverages fresh. Flight attendant K.J. Watts told Travel + Leisure that she brings her Purist Maker bottle on every flight because it’s “spill-proof and keeps liquids both hot and cold.” We also love the 12-ounce W&P Porter Insulated Bottle, which features a leak-proof lid, long-lasting insulation, and a sleek ceramic finish — for only $22. Watts also emphasized that bringing your own mug means “less paper waste than using takeaway cups.” 

Universal Charger


Avid travelers can often find themselves in unexpected places, whether you booked a spontaneous trip or you’re stuck somewhere due to a canceled flight. In other words, it’s important to come prepared. According to private jet flight attendant Lauren Baum, a universal charger is one of the best ways to do just that. This all-in-one Epicka Universal Travel Adapter includes four different plugs that cover over 150 countries, and Baum loves it because “it’s compact enough to throw into your bag without occupying much space.” 

Magnesium-Infused Body Butter


We’ve all experienced the wrath of jetlag, but corporate flight attendant Cassidy Miler swears by her Béla Nektar Therapeutic Magnesium Rich Body Butter for a good night’s sleep, no matter the time zone. After a long day of travel and a good shower, she puts this on the bottoms of her feet, under her knees, in the crook of her arms, and onto her chest. She loves its hydrating formula and notes that the magnesium works into her system and calms her down, allowing her to “get to sleep naturally and get on local time quicker.” We also love this under-$20 version that offers similar soothing and skin-loving ingredients.

Polarized Sunglasses


Everyone needs a good pair of sunglasses for any trip, but Boeing 737 captain Ben Watts recommends investing in a pair of polarized lenses. His go-to shades are the Oakley Whisker sunglasses, which are currently 50 percent off, for their high-definition optics and lightweight yet durable fit. Whether you’re 41,000 feet in the bright, high-altitude air or vacationing in the tropics, Watts noted that “wearing sunglasses not only stops you from squinting and getting a headache on long flights, but also protects your eyes from the harmful effects of solar radiation.” 

Jogger Sweatpants


The airport is the one place where it’s acceptable to wear loungewear at any time of the day. And if you’ve got a long flight ahead of you, comfortable clothing is essential for improving your flight experience. Jamie Gibson, a private jet chef and flight attendant, brings these under-$30 joggers from Amazon on every trip. “I own them in every color,” she shared, also mentioning how comfortable they are. She recommends only wearing joggers in-flight to keep the hem of your pants from ever touching the lavatory floor.

Multi-Port Wall Charger


There’s nothing worse than a dead phone or laptop, especially when you’re on a flight or exploring an unfamiliar city. The solution? According to Boeing 777 Pilot Uchi, it’s this Anker Prime 3-Port Compact Charger. In addition to saving space and weight, it’s a fast charger “that can power even a MacBook Pro on the road.” What Uchi appreciates most about this small yet powerful gizmo is that it can charge multiple devices at once, which is especially useful with a single international travel adapter: “I typically have my Apple Watch, iPhone, and my external battery connected to it after a day of sightseeing to be ready for the next day of adventure.” 

Hair and Body Balm


Sometimes it’s nice to feel like you’re lounging at a luxury resort, even if you’re actually in a hostel or in the back of coach on a plane. Pilot Victoria Ross gets that dose of indulgence through The Black Travel Box. Whether it’s a quick flight or an extended trip, Ross won’t leave the house without the brand’s hair and body products. “It makes me feel so luxurious and it smells like heaven,” she told T+L. “Being made with all natural ingredients, and being woman- and black-owned, makes it a plus in my book.”

Silk Pillowcase


Between red-eye flights and over-washed hotel sheets, the harsher sleeping conditions of travel can combat the work you put into your everyday beauty routine at home. That’s why commercial flight attendant Hailee Avery won’t go anywhere without her silk pillowcase. “I spend half of my life in dusty hotel rooms and the pillows aren’t always comfortable,” she shared. “Silk pillowcases are better for your skin and hair, and they make you feel more at home.” This Blissy Silk Pillowcase, in particular, is made with 100 percent pure mulberry silk, which offers 43 percent less friction for smoother skin and hair. 

Hand and Nail Cream


Recycled airplane oxygen and a change of climate can often cause skin dryness and irritation, which is why airline pilot Raja Katz isn’t flying anywhere in 2024 without her L‘Occitane Almond Hand Cream. “It’s so nourishing and rich yet quickly absorbs,” she explained, pointing out that it leaves her hands incredibly soft. Not to mention, according to Katz, it smells amazing. This makes sense considering its hydrating formula is infused with sweet almond oil, almond milk, and almond protein (hence, the name) to soften and moisturize the skin. 

Snail Mucin Sheet Masks


Snail mucin is the beauty ingredient taking TikTok by storm, and for good reason. It’s ultra-hydrating for the skin, which is essential for soothing post-flight dryness. Corporate jet chef Lauren Smith recommends bringing a stack of Cosrx Snail Mucin Sheet Masks on all of your 2024 travels. “After a long flight, my skin is screaming for some deep moisture. Like, buckets worth,” she explained. “This mask deeply hydrates and repairs damaged skin within minutes.” Smith also loves that the brand is “clean conscious,” so you can feel confident about the formula you’re putting on your skin. 

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