IN Travel + free time, It’s our job to find the best of the best, from must-see destinations to genius travel hacks for your next trip. And while we draw from our wealth of experience as travel writers, we also value insights and recommendations from frequent flyers, flight attendants. With how often flight attendants travel, I know I’m always personally looking to them for tips on ways to travel smarter – especially how to get the most out of your luggage – and you should too.
And to help you do just that, I’ve picked the brain of Shanese Stuckey, a Miami-based flight attendant who’s worked for United Airlines for the past eight years, to discover her must-haves from her rock. rigid packing routine. Here’s a curated list of her top 9 tips and products to help you pack more efficiently for your next trip.
10th generation Apple iPad
Stuckey packs her iPads for a genius reason: they “are able to connect to a keyboard, so everything is a lot easier than packing a bulky laptop.” Attachable keyboards are extremely sleek these days, and as she mentioned, they really save some space in your trunk. Oh, and not to mention that especially with an iPad case, you don’t have to worry about storing your precious laptop.
Hicober 3-in-1 charging station
Between your phone, headphones, and smartwatch, all those charging cords can certainly add up in your suitcase. Looking for a solution to completely improve your charging needs? Stuckey says: “Because you can’t always charge everything at once, or if you’re somewhere for a short period of time and need to charge your devices quickly, this 3-in-1 charging station is extremely useful. ” It’s fast-charging, compact, and an all-purpose charging pad for just $32.
Bagail Packing Cube Set
We’ve sung the praises of packing cubes time and time again, and Stuckey also considers them a travel must-have because they “keep your stuff organized but also condensed.” Some can help you fit up to 2 weeks worth of clothes in a single suitcase. But they also keep your clothes separate as well. As she explained, “flight attendants wear tights and you don’t want them to get in the way, so I have a designated cube pack just for my tights.” So if you’re working with a limited amount of space in your bag, you really should grab a set of packing cubes.
EcoGear 28 Inch Duffel Clothes Rack
Stuckey explained that although flight attendants have certain requirements for the type of luggage they can use, when she’s off the clock, she highly recommends this closet bag with a garment rack and shoe compartment as “a genius way to store and pack items. ” I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I have a few weddings coming up and I’m thinking of buying it to hang my many dresses and store my shoes for the weekend.
Kuogo Portable Door Lock Kit
According to Stuckey, “traveling alone creates a number of different security concerns,” and as a result, she recommends keeping one of these portable door locks in your bag for an extra line of defense in your rental or hotel room. It is extremely compact, so it will hardly take up space in your luggage. It comes in a set of two, so you can stay extra vigilant if your rental has multiple doors or if you want to keep one at home.
The passenger compartment, which can be extended by 20 inches
Stuckey pointed out that the key to packing the perfect piece of luggage comes down to a great bag itself, and while her personal pick is the $750 Tumi 19 Degree International Carry-On, we found a more affordable but equally roomy model for . only $59. It’s just under 9 pounds and features clever packing compartments and compression straps to keep your belongings safe and compact.
Morfane Travel Toiletry Set
A common mistake Stuckey thinks travelers make is that they overbook. As a flight attendant, she said they can’t “make the suitcases too heavy because they’re constantly lifting them up and down,” so she encourages travelers to “pack your essentials and nothing you don’t necessarily need.” You don’t need to bring full-size, or even travel-size versions of all your skin and hair care products for trips that only last a few days; instead, condense it all into a convenient travel toiletry kit for easy travel.
Lura Mini Portable Travel Hair Dryer
Speaking of compact essentials, this hair dryer is almost half the weight and size of a regular dryer, making it the perfect size for your luggage. Complete with a diffuser and an extra blow-dryer head to tame frizz and flyaways, it’s the foldable hair accessory you didn’t know you needed. Oh, and if it couldn’t get any better, it also comes with interchangeable plugs (US and EU), so there’s no need to worry about buying an extra conversion plug.
Outdoor Ventures Packable Puffer Jacket
“I always roll my clothes in my suitcase instead of folding them to save space,” says Stuckey. And while this tip works incredibly well for shirts and pants, it can be much harder to find a winter coat with the same foldable nature. That’s why she says a puffer coat that’s designed to be packable and rollable, “would be great to travel with and throw in your luggage.” We recommend this one which comes with a handy bag to save on even more space.
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