10. Foot Hammock – Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like, a hammock for your feet. Today’s planes are tight-fitting with typically very little leg room (unless you want to pay extra). Airlines don’t let you just get up and walk around or stretch anymore either. Sitting in cramped spaces for an extended period of time can cut off the circulation in your legs, so we need to get creative! A foot hammock is just the trick. It is small, lightweight, and rolls up nicely in your carry on backpack or bag. Hook it around the tray table in front of you and adjust the straps to a comfortable length. Now you can raise your legs a little off the seat and swing them side to side to increase circulation and reduce fatigue and lower back pain. By the way, this handy little gadget works at your desk when you get back to the office. Check out the one in the picture here, but if you want to get individual foot range to your hammock, check out this one too. These saved us on our flight to London.
9. Phone Hanger – Want to watch that movie you downloaded for the flight, but don’t want to have to hold onto your phone the entire time? The Sky Clip is a handy little gadget that will help with that issue. It is so simple. Why didn’t I think of this? You can hang the hook from the top of the tray on the back of the seat in front of you and set your phone in the cradle. Now you can watch your downloaded movies on your smartphone hands-free. This is much better than Karen’s old way of doing it, with a sandwich baggie LOL. And this item isn’t just for travel, use it anywhere that you need your phone propped up. Karen uses it in the kitchen when she is cooking from a recipe.
8. Noise Canceling Headphones – Ever board a plane and settle in for the long ride, and you can’t wait to doze off? But the guy next to you has apparently been drinking coffee for the past 3 hours and won’t stop talking. Or the baby behind you (bless his heart) is not happy with his seat selection and is making his disapproval known. Now, reach in your bag and drown out the noise with your Cowin E7 noise-canceling headphones. This is a travel must for me. These not only cancel out noise, but they are Bluetooth and can connect to your phone. And at $60 they boast a great price for a quality product which is great for anyone. Check them out here. Need something you can link to and make and receive phone calls? Then try out the Sony WH-1000XM4. It's a much higher price, but has more features for everyday use. Now, turn on a little light music, close your eyes, and you will be at your destination before you know it.
7. Luggage Scale – First of all, you don’t need to spend money on an expensive luggage scale, just one that works. The smaller the better so you can take it with you. Airlines don’t play when it comes to checked baggage weight. One pound over and you will pay dearly or have to empty something out of it in front of everyone in the airport. Hook this little scale from Etekcity onto your luggage handle, then lift and the weight is displayed. Do this before you leave and don’t worry about the weight of your luggage again. Buy it here.
6. TSA Approved Luggage Lock – I always recommend locking your luggage, but make sure you ONLY use a "TSA Approved" lock. You will know them by the small Travel Sentry logo on the lock. This allows TSA to open the lock and check your contents, but keeps everyone else out. If you use a regular lock, TSA will either break the lock or hold your luggage for inspection. I like the combination locks so you don’t have to worry about losing the key. Just make sure you write the combination in your cellphone or wallet. Click here to learn more.
5. Travel Cups – These little items are very functional. They hold hot or cold beverages and collapse into a small size to fit easily in the outside pocket of your luggage or backpack. This one holds about 4 ounces, which isn't a lot but is way more than some of the cheaper models. The silicone rubber makes them durable and should last for a long time. Buy them here.
4. Device Charger – There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting on the plane and watching your phone battery slowly die. There are literally hundreds of chargers to choose from, but here is my suggestion. Two things you want; fast charging and a large capacity. Some of the cheaper ones will barely charge fast enough to keep up with your texting, and will only charge one phone, one time before you have to recharge the device. This charger can charge 3 devices at once and has the capacity to charge your phone more than once before you have to recharge it. It is also very slim (for a charger this powerful) so it travels easily. Definitely a must! Buy one here.
3. Neck pillow and eye mask – Are you like me and can sleep just about anywhere? Do you sleep on the plane but wake up with a neck ache. Here is the perfect combination. Take along a neck pillow to support your neck while you sleep. The mask will keep the light out. Next thing you know, you are landing at your destination refreshed and ready to go. Buy it here.
2. EXPRESS VPN – Some of you are asking, what’s a VPN? It is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). With it, you are using someone else’s network server. Have you ever been to Mexico and wanted to watch your favorite Netflix show, but you get a notice that you can’t access it because you are in a foreign country? A VPN, basically makes the internet think you are somewhere else (like Dallas or Miami). So United States websites are accessible, just like back home. This is also very useful with financial institution websites, which typically restrict transactions from a foreign country. There are lots of VPNs out there and everyone has their favorite. Some are even free. But I LOVE this one. Bottom Line, it works! Express VPN costs about $100 a year, but is well worth it. The App is simple to install on any TV, phone, computer, or tablet (yes, you can install more than one device). One click and it is on, and the same to turn it off. It didn’t have any noticeable difference in speed, like the free ones often do. Download the app here.
1. Personal-size Luggage – This was a game-changer for us. Airlines often allow you to bring one or two “personal items” for free, like a backpack. The personal item must fit completely under the seat in front of you. This luggage meets the size requirements and fits under the seat. If you can do it, this saves all that time waiting for your checked luggage. You will be surprised how much stuff it holds. It also has a padded compartment for your laptop or tablet, lots of pockets inside, and an outside side pocket for your phone charger. This is handy and has a port for you to plug in your device without taking the charger out of the pocket. It has four wheels that spin in all directions and a retractable handle that’s plenty long enough even for me (I’m 6’ tall). At $80 it is our #1 travel accessory pick. Click here to get yours.
FTC Legal Disclaimer: H&K Travel is an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on any of the links provided and buy something, we will get paid a few pennies. Don't worry, it doesn't change your Amazon price. Oh and by the way, if you click on the link, and don't like our suggestion and decide to buy something else, well that's okay too. Whatever floats your boat. Speaking of boat, time to check on that next vacation. How's that for legal-ese? I shoulda been a lawyer.