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Last year was a notorious one for travelers. From dreadful summer delays to Southwest’s snowy cancellations, those on short and long flights alike were subject to a host of travel hassles. Well-stocked luggage and toiletry bags, portable chargers and on-the-go entertainment became must-haves for jet-setters stranded at airports.
“The fact that we [needed] to brace ourselves for holiday travel — vacations that should be positively drenched in eager anticipation — tells you just how wrong the industry has it right now, and it’s a sad state of affairs for people craving (and deserving) respite,” Ben Kaufman, marketing and communications director of semi-private air carrier JSX, tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Despite the headlines, more Americans are eyeing international trips in 2023, according to CNBC. The reopening of borders, the dropping of COVID testing requirements and flexible remote work schedules are inspiring travelers to book overseas flights, particularly to Asia-Pacific countries, CNBC reports.
Related: The Best Travel Accessories for Long-Haul Flights
Kaufman top travel tip? “Don’t book a ticket on an airline that leaves you jonesing for more. Book on an air carrier that brings you joy. Why expose yourself to the crowds, lines and hassles of packed airport terminals and cramped planes when you can fly JSX? Private terminals, no dwell time, complimentary cocktails, business class legroom and peace of mind — it’s the perks of flying private at a far more attainable price tag that’s within reach for the public,” he adds.
To cater to ski resort regulars, Kaufman says the company has added routes such as Gunnison/Crested Butte, Rifle/Aspen, and Denver/Boulder (Rocky Mountain Airport). “Since most winter gear flies at no charge, it truly couldn’t be a simpler journey to reach the slopes,” he says.
For those looking for warm-weather getaways in winter, JSX offers flights to Miami and recently launched service to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The hop-on public charter jet service will also offer free high-speed Starlink Wi-Fi on all of its 30-seater Embraer planes by the end of March.
The state of plane travel is also looking up in 2023. Experts predict that plane fares will decrease and seat availability will increase, and fewer flight cancellations are also expected.
Whether you’re thinking of taking a wellness retreat or planning ahead for spring and summer adventures, we’ve rounded up some of the best plane travel accessories for making your trip as smooth as possible. Many of our picks travel pack well on road trips, too — keep reading for our go-to essentials for your next flight.
Sunany Inflatable Foot Rest
Stay comfy with an inflatable foot rest to help boost blood circulation and improve your in-flight posture.
ProCase Hard Travel Tech Organizer
Save yourself the headache of untangling your cords and organize your tech essentials in an organizer like this one by ProCase. It has three storage sections with multiple compartments and zippered pockets, allowing your to separate cables, plugs, earbuds and more of your digital nomad must-haves.
If there’s one thing that many travelers learned in 2022, it’s that lost luggage can put a tailspin in your plans. A smart tracker — like Apple’s AirTag — can help you keep tabs on your belongings if they don’t make it to the final destination on time. Just be sure to download the AirTag app and check that your gear is in working order ahead of time.
Bose QuietComfort II Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Earphones
Designed for seamless listening and personalized noise cancellation, Bose’s new QuietComfort II Bluetooth earbuds fit comfortably and securely no matter your ear size. They adjust to your environment (like noisy plane cabins) and you can pair them to up to seven devices so you can easily switch from your phone or tablet without reconnecting.
Tumi Voyageur Celina Backpack
Tumi’s sleek Celina backpack (available in other colors) is made of water- and stain-resistant, durable nylon and fits a 16-in. laptop, so it’s great for commuters. The exterior and interior feature plenty of zippered compartments, pockets and other design touches (such as a key leash, side pockets for water bottles, card holders and more) so that all of your tech and travel essentials are perfectly organized. The lightweight carryall also includes Tumi’s free Tracer so you can keep keep track of your bag if it gets lost or stolen.
Ceptics World Travel Adapter Kit
This seven-piece travel adapter kit has two outlets and plugs for the U.S., Europe, China, Australia and Japan, plus two USB ports.
One pro tip from Kaufman? “Don’t forget to make sure you have all your charging cables and international adaptors if needed. At JSX, every seat has access to three-prong plugs, but on some carriers, only USB charging is available, if in-seat power is even offered at all. Don’t get caught paying double for a power cord in the airport or firing up an uncharged device — it can make a long flight even longer.”
Royce & Rocket The Castle Carry-On
Nobody wants to pack with flight delays in mind — but in the event you hit a travel snag, we love Royce & Rocket’s Castle carry-on that has a built-in shelving system. In the event you literally need to live out of your suitcase, this rolling luggage also expands two inches so you can bring back more souvenirs (or quickly pack up) from your dreamy destinations. Silent 360-degree spinner wheels, hidden interior pockets and a three-stage trolley handle round out its thoughtful design touches, and the luggage is also backed by a 10-year warranty.
Related: The Best Luggage Brands for Every Type of Adventure
Cabeau Evolution S3 Neck Pillow
If you plan on getting some shut-eye in the air, Cabeau’s Evolution S3 memory foam neck pillow is among the comfiest options. The seat strap and raised sides keep your head from rolling forward (or onto your seat neighbor) and straining your neck, and the design helps to support spine alignment. We like that it folds away into a compact case that can be attached to your backpack to save space.
Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones
“A comfortable pair of headphones can make a huge difference in your travel experience,” says Kaufman. “Whether you’re perusing a new podcast, catching up on Netflix at 35,000 feet, or just zoning out to some tunes, finding the headphones that make you most comfortable — whether in-ear or over the head — are a must.”
We’re fans of Sony’s WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones, which are as comfy as a cloud on the ears and deliver excellent noise cancellation on loud flights. Boasting up to 30 hours of battery life (charge for three minutes for three hours of listening time), they feature an auto noise canceling optimizer that adjusts to noise level of your environment, hands-fee calling with precise voice pickup and instant play/pause. You can also plug into your flight’s onboard entertainment system with the included audio cable.
Quince Mongolian Cashmere Wrap
Whether you’re on a short or long flight, some planes do get chilly. Quince’s Mongolian cashmere wrap measures 86 by 25.5 inches and doubles as a travel blanket.
Monos Metro Sling
Roomy enough for your wallet, smartphone and more essentials, but compact enough to travel light, Mono’s Metro Sling is made with water-repellent nylon and features stylish vegan leather details. Inside, find interior organizer pockets and a built-in keychain carabiner; outside, there’s a full-length hidden back pocket for keeping your phone, passport and money secure.
Comrad Combed Cotton Crew Socks
These cozy and stylish socks are nice on your feet and Mother Earth. Comrad uses recycled cotton for these compression socks, which come in a variety of colors and help to relieve swelling and boost circulation. They’re also great for post-workout recovery and the contoured design and stretch make them easy to put on and take off. (Brie Larson and Karlie Kloss have reportedly worn the brand.)
Dagne Dover Essentials Clutch Wallet
Dagne Dover’s Essentials clutch wallet is three versatile carryalls in one, making it easy to reach for your smartphone or credit card while you’re in the airport or on the plane. It can be used as a wristlet, cross-body bag or oversized wallet, and it’s made with vegan leather and durable coated canvas.
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