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We look to flight attendants when there’s turbulence. After all, they spend more time flying in one week than most of us spend in one year, and know how to react during a bout of rough air. Similarly, if you’re able to spot a flight attendant in the wild, it makes sense to note what they pack. If anyone knows which products make traveling less stressful, it’s these seasoned professionals.
And since investing in travel essentials can add up, just like you and me, they love to save money by finding the best deals online. They have Amazon Wish Lists, and they talk shop(ping) with their colleagues. If you don’t have one in your friend group to consult, fear not — Travel & Leisure recently spoke to several gracious flight attendants willing to reveal the Amazon deals they’re currently eyeing.
Keep scrolling for big savings during Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days on everything from an award-winning travel pillow to a bestselling handheld steamer with 65,000 five-star ratings.
Cabeau Evolution S3 Pillow
Katie Storck, a flight attendant with 10 years of flying for Southwest, told Travel & Leisure she’s pining for the Cabeau Evolution S3 Pillow and Heating Pad combo. She’d love to use the pad on the plane when it’s cold (or in the hotel room when she’s sore from being on her feet all day), and the pillow?! She’s heard many passengers rave about it. In fact, the Evolution S3 Pillow has nearly 4,200 five-star ratings and is Travel & Leisure’s top pick for the best travel pillows of 2023. It’s made of a dual-density memory foam and features a chinstrap so it won’t slide to either side. Meanwhile, the Incredi-heat Heating Pad charges via USB and is extremely lightweight (at just five ounces) and compact, too.
One shopper calls the heating pad a “lifesaver” on long car rides and flights, and another shopper wrote that the pillow, which was recommended to them by their flight attendant friend, is the best they’ve ever tried.
Frank Mully Ballet Flats
In her job working as a flight attendant for Planet 9, a private jet charter company, Natalie Picchi often finds herself working 14-plus hour days. That’s why she appreciates a comfy pair of slip-on flats with padding. Personally, she’s a big fan of Dansko’s Larisa Flat but, while she waits for those to go on sale, she’s looking at more affordable options like these best-selling Frank Mully Ballet Flats. Not only are they half the price, but they come in 35 different colors.
They also have more than 5,000 five-star ratings and are ranked seventh on Amazon’s list of Best Sellers in Women’s Flats. “They are professional enough to go with very dressy/work attire but I’m able to wear them with very casual clothes too,” wrote one shopper who owns five pairs in different colors and loves that they’re easy to wash and they hold their shape.
Lanul Women’s Belt Bag
If the Lanul Women’s Belt Bag on the Amazon Wish List of flight attendant Haley Phelan looks familiar, it should. It’s an affordable dupe for Lululemon’s Everywhere Belt Bag which is so popular, it’s known for selling out. Like the Travel & Leisure-approved bag, this fanny pack is a best-seller (more than 4,000 were purchased last month), and it can be worn in a variety of ways including as a crossbody bag. Its main compartment is spacious enough to fit your passport and phone, and it has a secure concealed pocket for your credit cards and keys.
One shopper who left a five-star review titled “Bought for vacation, now it’s my everyday bag” appreciates how much it can hold without being bulky. They loved theirs so much they bought one for their daughter.
Cnpop Electronics and Travel Cable Organizer
How does Storck stay sane while working in an industry known for chaos, especially around the holidays? “Being organized,” she told Travel & Leisure. Everything must have a place, and it must be secure. Recently, she’s been noticing that more passengers have organizers for their electronic devices and cables. Her Amazon Wish List includes this Cnpop Electronics and Travel Cable Organizer which is made of a durable, water-resistant nylon that won’t tear or scratch. Unlike other organizers, it comes with color-coded, reusable cable ties, so you don’t need to worry about your cables unraveling or forgetting which one is which.
But is it big enough for all of the devices we travel with these days? Take it from this shopper who wrote: “Had to work while traveling for personal reasons and was able to pack everything I needed including chargers and connecting cables for laptop, 2 portable monitors, iPad, iPhone, Logitech pro headset, and mouse.”
HiLife Handheld Travel Steamer
As a corporate flight attendant, Picchi always has to look polished. That’s why she calls a travel steamer an absolute essential. “They take the stress out of using an iron that spits rust onto your clothes,” she told Travel & Leisure. And she’s far from the only traveler who swears by them for rocking the wrinkle-free look. Amazon’s top-selling product in the category, the HiLife Handheld Travel Steamer has 67,000 five-star ratings. Last month alone, more than 50,000 were purchased.
Picchi also isn’t the only flight attendant who is a fan. Several left five-star reviews including this flight attendant who posted helpful before and after photos showing how dramatic the results can be.
Kitsch Rice Water Protein Shampoo and Conditioner Set
Storck is also always on the hunt for bargains for body wash and shampoo bars. She stresses less when she doesn’t need to worry about whether or not she’s packing too many liquids in her carry-on. Personally, she’s a fan of Kitsch which often has lightning deals and subscribe-and-save discounts. Right now, the brand’s best-selling Rice Water Protein Shampoo and Conditioner Set is on sale. It’s so popular that more than 10,000 were sold last month alone.
One review, left by a shopper who calls themself “Picky Customer,” reads: “So far I’m loving them and see an improvement in the softness and shine in my hair. Also noticing I can go longer between washings.”
Foval 220V to 110V Travel Voltage Converter
To protect her electronics from getting “fried” in foreign countries, Picchi is planning on getting the Foval 220V to 110V Travel Voltage Converter. She likes that it’s only about as big as her passport and weighs less than a pound. It also stands out among other converters because it can charge so many devices — up to six — at once. For surge protection and to keep it from short circuiting or overheating, it has an auto shutdown feature. It works with the voltages found in more than 160 countries, and it’s compatible with all electronic devices that use 0-200 watts.
Note: it does have a fan, but the noise isn’t too intrusive. One shopper who left a five-star review even described the sound as “soothing.”
Ocoopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer
It doesn’t matter the season outside, Storck says every cabin crew member knows all too well how cold planes can be. That’s why she’s elated at the idea of a rechargeable hand warmer. She really wants to try the Ocoopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer which boasts nearly 5,000 five-star ratings. Not only does it provide instant heat, but it also doubles as a portable charger. She can use it to juice up her phone, earbuds, and tablet when she has a hard time finding a free outlet in the airport.
“You don’t know you really want it until you use it,” wrote one reviewer who got this as a gift and has enjoyed using it over the past two winters.
OxygenCeuticals Cryogel Velvet Mask 6-pack
Emma Thomas, a flight attendant of nearly a decade, can’t travel with OxygenCeuticals Cryogel Velvet Masks. “I swear by these face masks! They are truly a life saver for a tired, dehydrated face.” Thomas, who has worked as a commercial flight attendant and currently works as a corporate flight attendant, told Travel & Leisure she doesn’t just worry about dryness during flights. It often lingers and lasts long after the jet lag is gone. Fortunately, these masks deliver three layers of intense hydration and revitalize dull skin in just 15 minutes.
Flat Plug Power Strip
Storck says it doesn’t matter which airport she’s in, she never finds enough outlets to charge all of her devices. That’s why, when a colleague showed her the extension cord they traveled with, the Flat Plug Power Strip, she immediately added it to her shopping list. This travel gamechanger has an impressive 4.8-star average rating from more than 2,500 ratings, and it has the ability to charge up to seven devices at once. Despite being slightly larger than an iPhone, it instantly turns one outlet into three outlets plus two USB-A ports and two USB-C ports. And, it’s flat (as is the five-foot-long extension cord), so it’s easy to pack.
One traveler who uses it in hotel rooms called it a “great asset.” Another traveler who used it to plug in her husband’s breathing machine in their cruise ship guest cabin wrote that they appreciated the cord being flat: “I didn’t have to worry about tripping in the middle of the night.”
Dabustar iPhone Fast Charger
Phelan’s list also includes the Dabustar iPhone Fast Charger. With more than 21,000 five-star ratings, it’s one of Amazon’s top-selling chargers. It claims to charge devices up to three times faster than normal chargers and, unlike other chargers, it comes with a six-foot-long USB-C lightning cord specifically designed to charge Apple products. In fact, many shoppers left reviews saying this charger works better than what they got from Apple.
“Item arrived as described, and charges my iPhone XR faster than other chargers (especially the one that came with the phone),” wrote one shopper recently.
Chopstick Styler Heroine Professional Curling Wand
Like most flight attendants, Phelan’s hair is always effortlessly styled. That said, looking great during flights takes hard work and the right hair tools. That’s why Phelan is a fan of the Chopstick Styler Heroine Professional Curling Wand. Like the best mini hot tools for travel, it’s lightweight and heats up in less than 30 seconds. It even works on freshly washed hair which is a huge plus when you’re traveling and don’t want to go days between washes.
And when you do want to skip a day (or don’t have access to a shower), don’t worry. “My curls survived a 2-hour car drive to the airport, with the windows down, 6 hours of trying to sleep on a flight, then a night out, and STILL looked amazing the next day,” recalled one satisfied shopper.
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