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During the heart of the pandemic, to get my travel fix, I watched a lot of travel webcams from around the world and videos made by flight attendants and pilots. Sadly, almost all the flight attendants who had popular YouTube channels were furloughed but they still created videos, just with a different spin.

I watched ones that featured their must-have travel products, the things they never leave home without and it got me thinking I should share some of my carry-on must haves. If you’re a road warrior, you may already have some of these items but if you don’t travel as frequently, you may have an ‘aha!’ moment. So here’s the first travel essential that’s always in my carry-on bag and one that many flight attendants say they never leave home without.

I’ve had a slim portable phone charger in my carry-on for years but fortunately, I haven’t had to use it too often because I usually have a good phone with a long-lasting battery and I’m pretty good about making sure it’s fully charged before I go to the airport.

TIP: Limit the number of notifications you have coming in and close apps that are running in the background and draining your battery. But you can never guarantee that you’ll never run out of juice so it’s always helpful to have a portable charger handy.

In the flight attendant YouTube videos I watched, many of them also raised the good point that there are a lot of airports that don’t have functioning outlets and there are many airplanes that either have outlets that don’t work or don’t have any outlets at all.

But there’s another reason you should always travel with your own personal, portable charger. Some security experts caution against plugging your phone into an airport USB charging station (at least, not without some kind of protection, like this $10 data blocker) because these chargers can potentially install malware on your phone. Read that whole story here.

But back to portable chargers. There are plenty to choose from on Amazon but one of the most popular, with a 4.5 rating and with over 4,100 ratings, is this Anker Power Bank Ultra Slim Portable Charger. It comes with an 18-month warranty and is (at the time of publication) $21.99. I personally use the Nimble and I love it for a number of reasons including I can give readers $10 off with my promo code.

BTW: If you’re really in a bind and your plane doesn’t have an outlet, you can kindly ask a flight attendant to charge it in the galley, something I’ve done a few times in a pinch.

A few other essentials I always travel with:
-a universal adapter when I’m traveling out of the country
-a travel extension cord 
-a 3-prong to 2-prong adapter 
-a tech organizer

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9 Comments On "The Travel Gadget Flight Attendants Never Leave Home Without"
  1. RR|

    Hey JJ, what are some of the flight attendant/pilot YouTube that you watch?

  2. Charlie|

    There should be some good deals on power banks on Black Friday and Cyber Monday too. There were some on Prime Day but I don’t think any are still active.

  3. Richard|

    You are welcome :-)
    Thank you for providing such great advice over all of these years that I’ve been following you, while I travel around the world. Appreciate it.


  4. TDHill|

    Lately, several flights (international Azores Airlines and a few others) have said that the use of power banks is not allowed for recharging devices during the flight, nor can you charge the power banks during the flight. Any idea why (afraid of explosions or fire?) and if this rule will spread amongst airlines?

  5. Mireille Dalmeida|

    Thank you so much for all you do .really appreciate you.Greetings to all
    Mimi from Maryland

  6. Julia Breen|

    I was a flight attendant for two decades long ago. One thing we were required to have wiith us at all times was a small working flashlight, company issued, in case of night travel and/or emergencies at a time when lights go off in the cabin.

  7. Douglas Jensen|

    Better yet, use one of the few remaining phones that have user-replaceable batteries – my choice is the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro 6. Carry a spare charged battery (or 2) in a pocket or where-ever, pop out the dying battery, pop in the charged spare, and zing! no recharge time is required. Also, the battery is smaller and lighter than a portable charger.

  8. Douglas Jensen|

    P.S. The batteries are inexpensive and widely available on Amazon and eBay, and in Asia and Europe.

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