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As film festivals, awards shows and coronavirus vaccinations continue, so do flights carrying Hollywood stars and insiders to their destinations. A record number of travelers have passed through TSA checkpoints in recent months, with nearly 2.4 million people (the highest so far in 2022) going through on July 1, according to the U.S. agency.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that air travel is safe for those who are fully vaccinated, and the federal government stopped enforcing mask mandates in airports in April. The U.S. is no longer requiring pre-departure testing, however, the Centers for Disease Control still requires proof of vaccination for non-citizen and non-immigrant visitors.
Luxury airline Aero has seen business take flight since its U.S. launch in February 2021, when it began offering private flights from Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles to Aspen. (It launched in Europe in 2019 with flights between Ibiza and Mykonos.) It rolled out flights last summer from L.A. to Sun Valley, Jackson Hole and Napa Valley and a route to Las Vegas debuted in October, while European offerings have expanded from London to Ibiza and Nice, Aero chief executive officer Uma Subramanian tells The Hollywood Reporter.
“We have seen demand continue to increase since Aero launched and throughout the pandemic,” says Subramanian. “[The coronavirus] has really illustrated that travel is essential to who we are as human beings, and so there is enormous pent-up demand for new travel experiences. At Aero, we are excited to welcome new and repeat guests on our routes in the U.S. and Europe.”
Aero’s luxury-loving clients are “clamoring for a seamless travel experience to visit destinations like Los Cabos,” adds Subramanian. “Aero’s guests are seeking a radically better air travel experience. They are discerning customers who value service, time and the quality of the experience. In Europe, our clients have told us they want to go to places like Nice, Ibiza, Mykonos, and Lake Como.”
“During the pandemic, we have built a loyal following with couples and families looking for better alternatives, which give them peace of mind. Many guests are now traveling regularly with Aero, many to their second homes,” continues Subramanian. The flight company’s clients have included Emma Roberts, Hollywood stylist Tara Swennen, DJ Mei Kwok, fashion designer Alana Hadid and musician Jack Gilinsky, among many others.
Whether you’re jetting off on a private plane or looking to recreate the luxury experience, we’ve rounded up some of the best long-haul travel accessories (but they’ll work just as well for your short trips, too). Ahead, check out our go-to flight essentials, including traveler-approved backpacks, handy toiletry bags, luggage brands that frequently fly with A-listers, must-haves for sleeping soundly and more.
1. State Lorimer Fanny Pack
A fanny pack version of State’s best-selling Lorimer carryall, this convenient crossbody bag now comes with a longer strap. This compact but mighty bag can hold your essentials (like a phone, charger, wallet, sunglasses and lip balm) and a 12-ounce water bottle, making it easy to keep your must-haves in reach (or pass them through the security check) while you’re traveling.
2. Comrad Recycled Cotton Compression 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.)
3. Amazon Kindle Oasis
Featuring 8GB or 32GB of built-in storage and a seven-inch 300 ppi Paperwhite screen, Amazon’s water-resistant Kindle Oasis is the best slim e-reader for avid bookworms who want to quickly turn pages, adjust the screen shade and read worry-free while traveling. The 6.6-ounce tablet can withstand being dropped in two meters of water for up to an hour, and readers can adjust the font size and face, line spacing and margins to suit their preferences.
The Kindle Oasis is available with or without ads and can hold thousands of e-books (or 35 to 160 Audible books), and a single charge gets you up to six weeks of battery life.
4. Béis The Seatback Organizer
5. Ostrichpillow Go Memory Foam Travel Pillow
Our go-to for long flights and road trips, Ostrichpillow’s memory foam travel pillow supports your head and neck as you snooze while seated. We like the adjustable design so you can customize your comfort, and it comes with a handy storage bag.
6. Olika Ultra Hydrating Hand Sanitizer
Olika‘s charming bird-shaped hydrating hand sanitizer has saved us from hastily digging to the bottom of our bags, thanks to the convenient clip and portable size. It’s available in a variety of scents or in a fragrance-free version for those sensitive to smells. (The product is currently sold out on Olika’s website, but it’s in stock at Walmart and Bloomingdale’s.)
7. Paravel Cabana Pet Carrier
For those traveling with their furry best friend, Paravel’s Cabana pet carrier (available in an array of stylish colors) will keep them comfortable. Made of recycled materials and vegan leather, this carryall measures 11 x 11 x 20.5 inches and folds flat for easy storage. Add a monogram to personalize your pup’s travel palace.
8. Pakt The Travel Backpack
Designed in collaboration with gear reviewer Chase Reeves and with the input of over 300 travelers, Pakt’s travel backpack boasts more than 20 features that make it essential for keeping your stuff organized on long flights and other trips. Made of water-resistant fabric spun from recycled single-use plastics, this carry-on-sized pack has a cool dual-compartment clamshell design with a mesh divider, a separate laptop compartment, a waterproof section for toiletries (or items that might leak), an exterior water bottle compartment, a hidden back pocket for important documents, a luggage pass-through and plenty of easy-to-adjust straps to keep you comfortable.
9. Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Headphones
For when you need to tune out engine noise (or a loud seatmate), Bowers & Wilkins’ redesigned PX7 Bluetooth headphones are a must for traveling audiophiles. With a battery life of up to 30 hours, these headphones are equipped with excellent adaptive noise canceling and ambient pass-through, while the retooled 43.6mm drivers deliver incredible depth and full clarity — you’ll forget you’re 30,000 miles above, and not in the studio with your favorite musician. They come with a 35mm audio cable so you can plug into your plane’s entertainment center. And if you’re low on juice, a 15-minute charge gets you five more hours of listening or quiet time.
We found that the earcups are insanely comfortable, and we like the auto-stop feature when you take off the headphones. If all of that’s not enough, let the sound engineers and industry pros at Abbey Road Studio and Skywalker Sound (who use the British audio brand’s gear) convince you to make the worthy investment.
10. Allbirds R&R Sweater
We’re fans of sustainable lifestyle brand Allbirds’ R&R collection ($98 to $118), which includes sweaters, hoodies and sweatpants in women’s and men’s sizes. The pieces are made of a special blend of organic pima cotton, hemp and Tencel, so expect to lounge on the plane in comfort while you’re wearing the classic fitted sweater and slim-fit sweatpants. Best of all, everything is carbon neutral.
11. Anker PowerCore 20100 Portable Charger
Ensure that all of your devices are powered up during and after that long flight with this high-speed portable charger by Anker. It’s got enough juice to charge smartphones five to seven times (depending on which model you have), and it recharges in as little as 10 hours when you use a two amp charger.
12. Dagne Dover Essentials Clutch Wallet
Dagne Dover’s travel clutch doubles as a crossbody wallet for when you want to stay hands-free. The sleek leather carryall has eight card slots, zippered pockets for your phone and other essentials and a handy wrist strap.
13. MedicPro N95 Masks
For extra peace of mind and safety, MedicPro’s NIOSH-approved N95 respirator face masks will filter out 95 percent of airborne particles, including droplets, dust and debris. They’re particularly handy if you’re heading to a dusty destination.
14. Etekcity Luggage Scale
The last thing you need before a flight is to get stuck unpacking (and repacking) your belongings when you’ve exceeded the luggage weight limit. This portable luggage scale is an essential travel accessory to keep on hand so you can skip the hassle at check-in and weigh and reassess your baggage ahead of time.
15. EltaMD UV Lip Balm with SPF 36
Sunscreen is always a good idea regardless of your destination. Swipe on EltaMD’s UV Lip Balm has SPF 36 to keep your pucker hydrated mid-flight, then again once you land to protect your lips from the sun.
16. Moon Dissolving Teeth Whitening Strips
For those who want bright pearly whites for all of those vacation selfies, these dissolving teeth whitening strips from Kendall Jenner-approved oral beauty brand Moon can be used wherever you are — whether it’s mid-flight or on the ground. The company says they’ll whiten teeth up to seven shades in about two weeks. (We like the fresh peppermint flavor, too.)
17. Barmes Freebase Suitcase
For digital nomads who literally live out of a suitcase, Barmes Design’s genius Freebase luggage functions as a mobile office and carry-on luggage in one sturdy hard case, so it’s convenient for layovers. It has a 45-liter capacity and includes seven accessories for organizing your goods, including three removable bags for your essentials and laptop, two packing cubes, and gym bag and a convenient liner bag for easy customs inspection.
18. Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless Noise Canceling Earbuds
For those who prefer to drown out sound with pocket-sized earbuds (as opposed to bulkier over-ear headphones), we’re fans of Sony’s newly-released LinkBuds S, which offer excellent noise canceling on planes, convenient and intuitive touch controls, and smart features that automatically adjust the settings depending on your environment. The Integrated Processor V1 promises immersive sound quality for audiophiles, and they boast IPX4 water and sweat resistance. (If you do prefer headphones, we also love the company’s noise canceling WH-1000XM5 Bluetooth headphones that include a 35-millimeter jack for plugging into onboard entertainment.)
19. Amazon Basics 3-Piece Hardside Spinner Luggage Set
You can’t beat the price of Amazon Basics’ three-piece luggage set, which comes with 21-, 26- and 30-inch scratch-resistant spinner suitcases, which roll comfortably from the terminal to the tarmac. It’s perfect for travelers who want a full matching set without breaking the bank, and each piece has four double spinner wheels, telescoping handles and fully-lined interior organizers with dividers. The luggage can also expand up to 15 percent so you can fit more when you head home.
20. Dimj Packing Cubes, 8-Piece Set
Keep your belongings organized with these best-selling travel packing cubes, which come in a range of colors and eight- or nine-piece options. The sets include three sizes of clothing cubes, organizers for your tech accessories, shoe holders, and smaller zippered bags for your pocket-sized essentials.
21. Gravel Layover Travel Blanket
No more fussing with itchy standard-issue fleece blankets that never cover your shoulders — Gravel’s packable and insulated Layover travel blanket is made of recycled water bottles and has a built-in foot pocket, and the snaps let you connect the edges (or attach another blanket) so your accessory stays put. It’s six feet long and 3.5 feet wide, and rolls up into a small pillow-sized stuff sack that measures seven inches by five inches by three inches. A zippered pocket lets you stow away your phone, headphones, wallet and other personal items, and the fabric is waterproof and anti-static.
22. Away Medium Check-In Suitcase in Lavender
Travel in one of this year’s most stylish hues with Away’s medium suitcase, which is now available in lavender. (The rest of the brand’s luggage also comes in the new colorway.) This check-in bag features the direct-to-consumer travel gear brand’s signature features such as a lightweight polycarbonate hard shell, 360-degree spinner wheels, an interior compression system and a water-resistant laundry bag.
23. Calpak Luka Waist Bag
If you prefer to keep your essentials on your person, Calpak’s Luka waist bag (available in other colors) is a comfortable and convenient choice. It’s made of lightweight fabric and features plenty of interior compartments and a hidden exterior pocket, and it can be worn as a fanny pack or crossbody.
24. Bose QuietComfort 35 II Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
If a premium audio experience (or the ability to block out noise) and comfort are your top flight priorities, you’ll want to pack Bose’s QuietComfort 35 II wireless headphones. Whether you’re connecting to your own device or to on-flight entertainment, these around-ear Bluetooth headphones offer up to 20 hours of listening on a full charge, and you can choose from three levels of noise cancellation. The dual-microphone delivers clear sound on calls, and you can personalize your audio settings and switch between devices with Bose’s app. The headphones are also compatible with Amazon Alexa, so you can control your music, ask for information about your destination and more.
25. Enro Tech Face Mask
We’re fans of Enro’s comfortable and stylish face masks, which are available in two styles and in a range of sizes (including for kids), colors and prints. The brand says independent lab tests have found that its washable face coverings filter 99 percent of particles (including viruses and bacteria), thanks to the built-in PM0.1 filter. Thee masks have a water-repellent outer layer and an adjustable nose bridge and ear loops.
26. Roam Expandable Luggage
If you’re the type of traveler that always ends up coming home with more baggage, Roam’s new Expandable line of luggage will help you carry the extra load. The travel brand offers four carry-on and check-in suitcase sizes (such as the 60-liter Jaunt XL) that can now carry up to 28 percent more, so you can pack light on the way and stuff your bag on the way back. You can also completely customize Roam’s luggage colors from the handle to the body to the wheels, and finish it with a monogram, too.
27. Stojo Titan 24oz Travel Cup
Avoid getting parched while reducing waste with Stojo’s collapsible 24-ounce Titan silicone travel cup, which we’ve taken with us on nearly every flight and used at coffee shops whenever we travel. It’s great for throwing in your bag when you know you’ll need to drink up later as you can’t bring water through the TSA checkpoint. If this size is too big for your liking, the company also has 8-, 12- and 16-ounce options.
28. Manta Sleep Eye Mask
Get light-free shut-eye with Manta Sleep’s blackout eye mask. It has adjustable modal eye cups that mold to your face (without preventing you from blinking), so you can enjoy your snooze session in comfort.
29. Tallgo Travel Neck Pillow
This memory foam neck pillow will make your mid-flight nap a more comfortable one. It’s made of soft velour material and the ergonomic design helps to support your head and neck when you’re sleeping in your plane seat. It comes with a storage bag and can be easily stuffed away when it’s time to deboard.
30. Bellroy Travel Folio
Keep your passport, boarding documents, vaccine card and other travel essentials in one sleek spot with Bellroy’s leather folio. It comes with RFID protection, a mini pen (as well as space for a full-sized one) and plenty of interior slots for your ID and credit cards.
31. Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack
For essentials that you want to keep within arm’s reach on the flight, Everlane’s ReNew Transit backpack (available for preorder for late September and early October shipping) is compact enough to be stowed under your seat. Made of recycled polyester with a water-resistant finish, the backpack has comfy straps so you can breeze through the terminal, and the luggage pass-through strap lets you attach it to the handle of your rolling suitcase with ease. Inside, it’s got a compartment for a 15-inch laptop, a water bottle holder and two organization compartments; outside, there’s a large zippered pocket and an external bottle pocket.
32. Travelsox Flight Travel Socks
These travel-friendly socks are made of a blend of Coolmax, Lycra and nylon, which help to prevent moisture build-up. The compression design helps to reduce mid-flight foot swelling, stimulate blood flow and keep your feet comfortable while you’re seated for long periods.
33. July Carry-On Pro Luggage
Australian luggage brand July is the latest name in stylish travel accessories to land in the U.S. The company’s Carry On Pro suitcase is ideal for frequent travelers who prefer a sleek design and like to travel light and efficiently. This 26-liter luggage has a TSA-friendly lock, an ejectable USB charger and a detachable front sleeve for quickly removing your laptop (or whatever else you decide to stow in it) at the airport. Inside, a hidden laundry bag, convenient twin-strap compression system and storage compartments make it easy to organize your belongings.
34. Monos Carry-On Pro Plus
Another luxury luggage option for stylish travelers, Monos’ Carry-On Pro Plus is for frequent flyers who also want to take advantage of the brand’s summer sale. (Brandi Cyrus was recently spotted flying out of Nashville with the same suitcase.) Made of aerospace-grade polycarbonate, this style fits a 15-inch laptop in the front compartment and fits in most overhead bins. It’s finished with vegan leather accents, super-quiet 360-degree wheels and a sturdy telescoping handle.
35. Travelpro Maxlite Air Hardside Expandable Luggage
Packing more than a week’s wardrobe? We’re partial to Travelpro’s 29-inch checked hardside luggage, which is expandable and lightweight. It features a 100 percent polycarbonate shell that absorbs impact and can expand up to two inches. Other colorways are also available.
36. Samsonite Stryde 111 Carry-On Spinner
When you expect a late-night arrival, Samsonite’s new Stryde 111 carry-on spinner will keep your path illuminated, thanks to the brand’s built-in eVision LED lighting in the handle. USB ports keep your devices powered up when you add your own battery charger, and the inside includes three removable accessories to keep your items organized.
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