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Summer is a great time to take a flight to a new location, thanks to the warm weather and time off from work and school. But before you throw on a Hawaiian shirt and head out the door, you need to prepare. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so take your time putting together everything you need to have the best travel experience. No matter what travel chaos you face, certain products can make your day more comfortable, fun and overall better.

►Related: How to Find Cheap Flights: Tips to Cut Travel Costs

Travel is usually busy this time of year, but even more so as many Americans take their first vacation since the start of COVID. To ensure you stay afloat in this travel rush, the experts at Reviewed have compiled a list of 13 products you’ll need during your flight and beyond.

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1. A carry-on travel backpack you can explore with

Whether your flight is two hours or twelve, it’s great to have a travel backpack or similar personal item that can fit all your necessary items. If you can pack all your stuff in a backpack (or carry-on bag), you can often save money by not checking your bags. To see also : Usher at his best and worst music. Plus, you can save time by skipping a bag check-in and avoiding the baggage carousel after your flight.

Depending on your needs, there are many outstanding backpack options. The large Osprey Ozone Duplex 65 backpack and its sister backpack, the Osprey Ozone Duplex 60 – our overall best travel backpack choice – are perfect for the in-flight cabin, but also as all-purpose luggage when exploring your destination. They are durable yet comfortable and offer plenty of storage space for your personal belongings such as B. a few changes of clothing, and space for toiletry bags.

If you’re looking for something a little less rugged, Melissa Cooper, Reviewed’s Senior Director of Marketing, recommends this stylish and professional backpack from Kenneth Cole. It has plenty of room for your travel essentials, including a padded laptop sleeve and a front pocket that keeps chargers, tablets and notebooks in place. It even has an extra strap on the back to conveniently attach it to a rolling suitcase.

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2. A travel pillow to snooze on the plane

Don’t let your neck suffer through a long day of travel without the support it needs. To see also : Delta launches high-tech display on Detroit Metro with personal flight data. To make resting on a long flight (or any other form of travel) more comfortable, a firm neck pillow is non-negotiable.

After testing several types, we recommend the Cabeau Evolution Classic travel pillow. It’s incredibly supportive, durable, and even has an adjustable closure for a custom fit.

The J-Pillow travel pillow might be a better choice for you if you are a side sleeper. As the name suggests, this pillow is shaped like the letter “J” and is extremely comfortable for those who prefer to tilt their head to one side. Bonus: It fits easily into a compression bag (included), making it easier to carry than a typical neck pillow.

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3. High-quality luggage that stands the test of time

After years of restricted travel and being indoors, you deserve to start fresh by upgrading your old suitcase. Read also : Exclusive: Corey Golden’s dreamlike Westhampton wedding. At Reviewed, we’ve tested numerous carry-ons and luggage from different brands to judge durability, ease of use, and overall quality at their price point.

The TravelPro Platinum Elite case impresses with its high-quality workmanship and excellent maneuverability. Packing is a breeze with front access. For carry-on, we ranked the Osprey Transporter Wheeled Carry-On as our top pick. It’s sturdy, rolls around easily, and has a retractable handle that feels built to last. It also offers plenty of room for organization and storage, making it a must-have for any type of trip.

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4. Protective yet comfortable face masks for the plane and beyond

Masks are no longer required on domestic flights or airports since April. However, experts still recommend wearing them as a new, highly transferrable sub-variant of Omicron is on the rise. Experts also state that cloth masks do not protect against the corona virus as effectively. Instead, you should wear a medical mask like an N95 or KN95 that filters up to 95% of the particles in the air.

5. A meditation app to stay relaxed

Traveling can be stressful, especially with all the recent chaos amid delays and lost luggage. It’s understandable that you might be a little nervous about flying.

To keep your nerves in check, we recommend trying Headspace, a meditation and mindfulness app that we’ve rated as the best meditation app out there. It offers a wide range of meditations to help you relax, reduce stress and cope with specific emotions, as well as helpful tips for better sleep and exercise. Even if you’ve never meditated before, Lindsey Vickers, former Reviewed sleep author, found the app to be beginner-friendly and easy to navigate, explore, and experiment with.

Headspace is free if you want access to basic content like a few meditations and a guided night session. In addition, you can access all content for free for a 14-day trial. To get regular access to all of Headspace’s content, annual membership costs $69.99, which boils down to a little less than $6 per month.

Try Headspace free for 14 days

6. Disinfecting wipes to clean your seat on the plane

While COVID-19 isn’t primarily spread through contact with surfaces, we’ve paid a little more attention to cleanliness in recent years. The Department of Transportation recommends using disinfectant wipes to disinfect your seat, tray table, armrests, seat belt and restroom surfaces while traveling.

Although it was once hard to come by, you can easily buy Clorox Disinfecting Wipes from Amazon. Just make sure you’re using them properly by following the directions on the label. You need to ensure that a surface stays wet for a certain amount of time in order to disinfect it properly.

7. A supply of hand sanitizer to protect yourself from germs

Travel-size hand sanitizers will forever be a staple in travel bags to keep germs at bay. TSA currently allows one container of liquid hand sanitizer — up to 12 ounces per passenger — in carry-on baggage. If you’re saving space and would rather buy more at your destination, stick with a travel-size sanitizer. Just make sure the formula contains at least 60% alcohol, as recommended by the CDC.

8. A pair of noise-canceling headphones to drown out the noise

Noise-cancelling headphones are a necessity for a quiet day of travel. However, there are a few things to consider with this technology before you buy it. Do you prefer an in-ear, on-ear or over-ear fit? What kind of noise cancellation does this model use: active or passive? Having tested over a dozen noise-cancelling headphones, we recommend a pair like the Sony WH-1000XM5. They offer excellent audio quality, great comfort and, most importantly, top-notch active noise cancellation.

If you’re a die-hard earbud fanatic, we recommend the Sony WF-1000XM4. Not only are they the best noise canceling earbuds, they’re simply the best earbuds overall thanks to their sound quality and great battery life.

9. A reusable water bottle to stay hydrated

Skip the airport lines for an overpriced water bottle and bring a reusable airport to use during your trip (just make sure it’s empty when you get it through TSA).

While any reusable water bottle will do, a good reusable water bottle can help keep your water extra cold throughout the day. Of all the reusable water bottles Reviewed tested, Brita’s stainless steel water filter bottle can keep water cold for hours and features a filter straw to reduce the taste and odor of chlorine in tap water.

Your kids will appreciate a reusable water bottle, too, which is why after lots of water bottle testing, we recommend the Hydroflask wide mouth bottle for kids. It features a convenient straw lid and is conveniently lightweight for packing in a child’s backpack or personal item.

10. A portable charger for charging your electronics on the go

Nothing is worse than opening an electronic device while traveling and realizing that it is indeed dead – especially if it’s your phone, when you need to access important information or keep in touch with friends and family. To prevent this scenario, we recommend having a portable power bank with you – and remember to charge it before heading to the airport or leaving your hotel.

For tablets and laptops, we recommend the Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD – with a 25,000mAh battery, multiple charging ports, a Qi wireless charging pad, and sturdy build quality, you really can’t go wrong with this choice for charging your must-have electronics. To keep your smartphone charged, a portable battery is an absolute must, especially when all airport outlets are being used or no outlets are in sight. Our top pick for a battery is the Mophie Powerstation PD – this powerful little device stays compact without sacrificing performance and charges your smartphone at speed.

11. Compression socks for the long flight

If you’re prone to leg swelling on long-haul flights, don’t forget to pack a pair of compression stockings that apply gentle pressure to improve circulation. Even if your legs don’t swell during flight, you can still find comfort in the stretchy, conformable material.

Of all the compression stockings Reviewed tested, we recommend a pair from Figs, a direct-to-consumer brand for healthcare professionals. Her socks are ultra comfortable and easy to put on.

12. An e-reader to avoid packing heavy books

A good book is a perfect travel companion. Unfortunately, everything else you pack quickly adds up to the weight of a novel or two. This is where an e-reader like the Kobo Libra comes in. With a wide selection of reading material and a crisp display, packing this e-reader is a must.

13. A compact toy to keep kids entertained

If you’re traveling with toddlers or younger children this summer, make sure they’re comfortable and entertained on what could be a long and tiring day of travel. Because of this, be sure to bring some top-notch compact toys to keep morale high.

Type: pop-its. They’re perfect for keeping kids occupied, especially when they’re fidgety or nervous. Reviewed parenting writer Janelle Randazza writes that when it comes to “the sensual satisfaction of popping bubble wrap without the distracting noise factor,” pop-its are a must.

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Prices were correct at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

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