Travel + Leisure / Tyler Roeland
Not only are flight attendants experts in safety and service, but they’re also a great resource for travel gear recommendations. And like us plebeians who enjoy saving money on products (so we can have more money to spend on plane tickets), they’re always on the lookout for great deals. While shopping in the airport might be the most convenient option since they’re always on the go, they also have Amazon wish lists. These lists don’t often feature luggage — most airlines provide it for them — but they do include travel essentials like portable chargers, packing cubes, reusable water bottles, and travel yoga mats.
And because Amazon is gearing up for its biggest sale of the year so far — Amazon Prime Day this July 11 and 12 — many of these flight attendant-approved products are already marked way, way down. Travel + Leisure recently spoke with four flight attendants from different airlines to see what specific Early Prime Day sales they’re currently eyeing or would be eyeing if they weren’t busy catering to planes full of passengers.
Starting with a rechargeable fan that will come in handy for the dog days of summer travel, the following are 12 deals these flight attendants are hoping to snap up for Prime Day. And remember, Prime members reap the most benefits from these major discounts, but there’s still plenty of time to sign up. For the biggest savings, scroll down to the Ocoopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer, which is 45 percent off after a special double discount. After all, regardless of the season, plane cabins are notoriously cold (and there’s nothing flight attendants can do about it, so don’t even ask).
Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner
Tanna Paradis, a Denver-based flight attendant, graciously shared her Amazon Prime Day wish list with Travel + Leisure. One of the first things on it? The Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner, which is currently 30 percent off and available in three colors. While it can pack two days’ worth of clothes and toiletries, it’s still small enough to be considered a personal item. It also has a built-in USB port for charging devices, and the four multi-directional spinner wheels make it easy to maneuver around the airport. It also has a handy front exterior pocket with built-in organization, so you can easily store your credit cards, keys, and cords. Meanwhile the main compartment has a padded pocket that fits a 13-inch laptop.
It’s no wonder this popular Samsonite luggage has nearly 3,000 five-star ratings at Amazon. One five-star rating titled “Love it!” reads, “Wish I had found sooner — this is amazing! Good quality and it fits under the seat — all airplane seats.”
To buy: amazon.com, $102 (originally $145)
OlarHike 6-set Packing Cubes
Paradis is also pining for the OlarHike 6-set Packing Cubes — the ultimate travel hack for fitting even more clothing into a carry-on and keeping it all organized. With nearly 2,000 five-star ratings, they’re ranked on Amazon’s List of Best Sellers in Travel Packing Organizers. They’re available in seven colors and each set includes four different sizes: one large, two mediums, two smalls, and one slim. Although they feature mesh netting (which makes it easy to see each bag’s contents) they’re designed not to rip and feature double-seams, high-density stitching, and double zippers.
Another flight attendant who left a review wrote “they’re the last packing cubes I’ll need to buy,” and another shopper who looked at many different brands of packing cubes at Amazon wrote, “These packing cubes did not disappoint…Skip the rest of the packing cube options — purchase OlarHike, you won’t be disappointed.” Want to fit even more clothing into your carry-on? Check out the Bagail compression packing cubes too, on sale for $20.
To buy: amazon.com, $19 (originally $25)
Gaiam Folding Travel Yoga Mat
Ranking high on Paradis’ Amazon Prime Day wish list is this Gaiam Folding Travel Yoga Mat. Perfect for those early morning yoga sessions on the beach, it has nearly 2,700 five-star ratings and is ranked on Amazon’s list of Best Sellers in Yoga Mats. Unlike most yoga mats, which need to be rolled up, this lightweight non-slip mat (it weighs just one pound) folds into a square that’s as easy to pack as a laptop.
“I love this mat. It fits great in my carry-on,” wrote another flight attendant who left a five-star review and says it’s easy to clean with a wet wipe. In fact, this mat has multiple five-star reviews from flight attendants who love to use it in their hotel rooms and even on layovers at the airport.
To buy: amazon.com, $22 (originally $25)
FashionBoutique Waterproof Nylon Shoe Bags
For packing her shoes, and keeping them separate from her clean clothes, Paradis would love to have these FashionBoutique Waterproof Nylon Shoe Bags. They may be inexpensive, but they’re made of a durable water-repellent nylon that promises not to tear, even if you swear by stilettos. When you’re not traveling, use them to keep the shoes in your closet from collecting dust. They have nearly 800 five-star ratings, and come in four colors. You can even use them to pack and organize clothes in your suitcase, like makeshift packing cubes.
One five-star reviewer who calls them handy wrote, “They worked well in separating my dirty shoes from my clean clothes. Looks like they are sturdy and the blue color makes them easy to spot in my bag,” continuing to say that “They are a practical purchase that will be put to good use.”
To buy: amazon.com, $7 (originally $9)
Jisulife Portable USB Rechargeable Fan
“Most overseas hotels have very ineffective air conditioning compared to the AC Americans are used to,” says Max Richards, a New Jersey-based flight attendant of 19 years. That’s why he’s a big fan of portable fans like the Jisulife Portable USB Rechargeable Fan. Fully charged, it offers up to 21 hours of cooling. You can also use it as a flashlight or to charge your mobile devices. It has more than 32,000 five-star ratings and is ranked on Amazon’s list of Best Sellers in Personal Fans.
One shopper who bought theirs for a trip to Mexico and who uses it at weddings wrote, “Any time I felt overheated, it provided a cool breeze. The flashlight is surprisingly bright, so it works great if you’re caught in a dark area.”
To buy: amazon.com, $15 (originally $25)
Yogasleep Hushh Portable White Noise Sound Machine
Richards also doesn’t believe in traveling without a white-noise sound machine. He never knows which hotels his airline will have him staying at, and sometimes they’re in noisy neighborhoods. The Yogasleep Hushh Portable White Noise Sound Machine comes from a trusted brand that’s been making sound machines for more than 50 years, and more than 80 percent of its 26,300 ratings are perfect five-star ratings. Choose from three settings: bright white noise, deep white noise, or gentle surf, and when you need to recharge it, you can do so via USB. One travel nurse who swears by theirs wrote that they bring it with them everywhere. “This works great for me since I’m always on the move.”
To buy: amazon.com, $27 (originally $30)
Shevalues Womens Open Toe House Slippers
“Most hotel room carpeting is dirty, so you don’t want to walk around barefoot,” Richards told Travel + Leisure. That’s why he’d love a new pair of hotel or spa slippers like these unisex Shevalues Open Toe House Slippers. Currently a steal at 40 percent off ahead of Amazon Prime Day, these foldable anti-slip slippers have more than 7,000 five-star ratings and are ranked on Amazon’s list of Best Sellers in Women’s Slippers. Despite being super slim, they have a high-density memory foam that makes it feel like you’re feet are cushioned by clouds.
One satisfied shopper who says they’re the comfiest slippers they’re ever owned wrote, “They’re great for keeping my feet cool, padded and clean, they’re super easy to slip on/off, and they take up very little room in my travel bag.”
To buy: amazon.com, $15 (originally $24)
S’well Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Like most flight attendants, Richards knows how important it is to stay hydrated while traveling. That’s why he always packs this S’well Stainless Steel Water Bottle. It comes in 36 different colors and styles and has an impressive 4.7-star average rating from more than 7,500 ratings. And thanks to a special 20 percent off coupon you can apply before checkout, it’s a good value, too. What makes this bottle best in class is its vacuum insulation that keeps cold drinks cold for up to 18 hours, and hot drinks hot for up to 36 hours.
One Amazon shopper raved that it’s “great for carrying cold water in my bag while traveling… won’t sweat and get the inside of the bag wet.” Other shoppers mention using it as a traveling wine bottle for picnics and to hold milk for their babies.
To buy: amazon.com, $23 with on-site coupon (originally $29)
Ocoopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer
Candace Kien is just one of many flight attendants with hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram. But that doesn’t keep the 2022 Cabin Crew Beauties Cover Girl from being uncomfortable in-flight. “I get cold easily,” Kien told Travel + Leisure. That’s why she highly recommends investing in a compact portable heater like the Ocoopa Rechargeable Hand Warmer. It has two different settings, single-sided heating and double-sided heating, and can run for up to 10 hours on just one charge.
This hand warmer is already 30 percent off, but thanks to a special coupon, you can score an additional $5 off. That’s a great deal, considering it has nearly 3,000 five-star ratings at Amazon, and one shopper who purchased theirs for a trip to Japan wrote, “It was the best thing ever! It kept my hands warm throughout the day. Since it’s reusable, it’s great for the environment.”
To buy: amazon.com, $21 with on-site coupon (originally $37)
Anker Portable Charger
While Kien admits that it’s unlikely that a plane’s power ports aren’t working, she still likes to be prepared and pack her own source of juice. Since she loves buying sustainable products, she uses this Nimble eco-friendly portable charger which is made of recycled material. It’s unavailable but also highly rated is the Anker Portable Charger, which currently has a coupon for 30 percent off. With 64,000+ five-star ratings, it’s frequently a No. 1 best-seller on Amazon’s list of Best Sellers in Cell Phone Portable Power Banks. In fact, more than 55 million shoppers trust Anker. This particular model is a little heavier than baseball and about as thin as your phone.
“Excellent product,” wrote another fellow flight attendant and Amazon shopper. “This has come in handy on the airplane and in the airport. Perfect size and lightweight.” It’s also a helpful tool in avoiding the juice jacking airport scam, too.
To buy: amazon.com, $16 with on-site coupon (originally $22)
Sunseeke Silicone Reusable Drinking Straw
Kien, who is also very passionate about minimizing her carbon footprint, is also a fan of portable reusable straws. The JoGo Portable Coffee and Tea Brewing Straw she wants isn’t on sale, but you can score a deal right now on the Sunseeke Silicone Reusable Drinking Straw. This BPA-free silicone straw with 5,400 five-star ratings comes in packs of 12 and includes four carrying cases and two cleaning brushes. Unlike other reusable straws, this one doesn’t have a taste, and it can be used with both hot or cold drinks.
One shopper who bought their straws for a trip to Walt Disney World wrote, “We were so glad we brought our own! With the great little travel pouch, I will never leave home without one.” They continued to say, “These will be great on cruises, European trips, and more!”
To buy: amazon.com, $9 (originally $10)
Me.Fan Silicone Collapsible Travel Cup
When it comes to cups, Kien is keen on this best-selling Stojo Collapsible Travel Cup. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it also reminds her of home. “Using a personal cup doesn’t make home seem so far away when traveling,” she told Travel + Leisure. While her ideal cup isn’t on sale at the moment, you can get four ME.FAN Silicone Collapsible Travel Cups for the price of one Stojo. These cups have nearly 3,000 five-star ratings and are made of a food-grade silicone that is dishwasher-safe. When collapsed, they easily fit in most pockets, and when in use, they can hold both hot and cold drinks. They also come with lids. “In the car it’s been used as a ketchup bowl, snack holder, leftovers container, and emergency water cup,” wrote one shopper whose review is titled “Great Travel Buddy.” “My toiletry bag has one as a rinse cup and toothbrush holder. In hotels it’s the official holder of change, key-cards, and jewelry.”
To buy: amazon.com, $15 (originally $26)
Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week.