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Airplane Essentials Recommended by AAA Travel Advisors

when is the best time to book a flight

Have you ever been on a flight and found yourself envious of your seatmate’s carry-on bag or cool travel gadget? I know I have. As a mom to three young kids, I’m always jealous when I see kids cruising around the airport on their ride-on luggage. To make your next trip a bit easier and your travel days more enjoyable, here are a few airplane essentials AAA Northeast travel advisors swear by.

For more pro travel tips and help planning your next vacation, schedule an appointment with a AAA travel advisor today.


Samsonite Solyte DLX Softside Expandable Luggage

Samsonite roller carry-on bags are high-quality and large enough to forego a checked bag if you’re taking a short trip.

“This is the perfect carry-on bag,” said Stacey Crowley, manager of travel sales operations. “It has so much room and is so lightweight!”

The Solyte DLX Softside Expandable Luggage is available in five different colors and has plenty of pockets (including a WetPak pocket) to help you organize your things. It even has a USB port, so you can keep your phone, Kindle, iPad and other travel essentials charged on the go. Buy it here.

Looking for the perfect luggage for your next trip? Shop our favorite luggage sets.

Airplane Essentials Compression Cubes

Compression Packing Cubes

If you’re traveling with just a carry-on, packing cubes can help save you valuable space in your luggage. This set comes with six cubes that help you organize your belongings, and each cube has a compression zipper to help you maximize space. Packing cubes are also an ideal way to separate belongings if you’ll be sharing a suitcase with a family member. Buy them here.

Airplane Essentials AirFly

Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth Wireless Audio Transmitter

Many of us rely on in-flight entertainment to help the time pass when we’re traveling by plane. However, you’ll need to use wired headphones to hear the audio on the screen in most planes. AirFly can help you connect your wireless headphones to devices that require a wire.

The AirFly transmitter “saves you from having to buy an additional pair of wired headphones just for airplanes,” says travel advisor Felicia Troy. “Also, it is much more comfortable to watch movies on a plane when you are not attached to a wire!”

In addition to using this on the plane, you can also use the AirFly for your car, on gym equipment or anywhere else there is a headphone jack. Buy it here.

Airplane Essentials Bose

Bose QuietComfort Bluetooth Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

A good set of noise-canceling headphones can help you have a relaxing flight.

“My ears always hurt on airplanes but long flights make it so much worse. These headphones are a lifesaver! They go over your ears and will block out the cabin noise,” Crowley said.

These Bose headphones even allow you to choose between quiet and aware modes, so you can decide how much surrounding noise you want to hear. Pair with your Bluetooth transmitter so you can take advantage of the in-flight entertainment. Buy them here.

Airplane Essentials Clorox Wipes

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

A travel-sized pack of disinfecting wipes is a must, especially if you don’t want to pick up a cold or stomach bug that could completely derail your trip. Joanne Monahan, director of travel sales, recommends using disinfecting wipes to wipe down tray tables on the plane. They’ll surely come in handy once you get to your destination, too. You never know what types of unquestionable surfaces you might come across on your travels. Buy them here.  

Luggage Cupholder

riemot Luggage Travel Cup Holder

“There is nothing worse than trying to push your suitcase, gather your party and have your arms full of stuff as you are rushing to the gate,” Crowley said. This travel cup holder can hold a drink, a cell phone, sunglasses and other small items. It’s a great way to conveniently keep all of your airport essentials together without having your hands full, and it folds up easily when you’re not using it. Buy it here.

Water Bottles

Simple Modern Water Bottle

To go with your travel cup holder, bring an empty water bottle that you can fill after you pass through security. Almost all airports have water bottle filling stations, so you can save money by bringing your own bottles. Monahan recommends always bringing your own water bottle. Air travel can dehydrate you rather quickly, so staying hydrated is a must. Consider packing one for each member of your party. Available in a variety of designs. Buy it here.

Ride-On Suitcase baby and toddler airplane essentials

Trunki Kids Ride-On Suitcase

If you’ll be traveling with young kids, you won’t regret this ride-on suitcase. Whether their little legs are too tired of walking or you need them to pick up the pace so you don’t miss your flight, you’ll be thankful you have this handy travel companion. It’s available in various colors and styles to appeal to different kids. It can be a lifesaver to entertain them while you’re waiting at your gate, too. Buy it here.

Airplane Essentials Blue Hills Pillow Blanket

BlueHills Premium Soft Travel Blanket Pillow

A good blanket is absolutely an airplane essential for long flights. Ensure you can fall asleep as comfortably as possible with this travel pillow and blanket in one. “I always bring a light blanket because you never know about the temperature on the plane,” Monahan said. This one can even strap onto the outside of your luggage if you don’t have enough room in your bag. Available in a variety of colors. Buy it here.

What’s your air travel must-have? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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