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As frequent flyers over here at RS Recommends, we’ve been through our fair share of hellish layovers (I myself experienced an unexpected hours-long refueling “pitstop” in St. Louis on my way to Vegas). We travel extensively, yes, but even the most seasoned of air veterans can encounter the rogue delay or extended connection. With airline labor shortages expected to last until 2023, these kinds of issues aren’t expected to slow down anytime soon, either.
While we can’t predict every travel hurdle that will come your way (it seems like every time you stuff a carry-on so you don’t have to check a bag, the plane is full and you have to check it anyways), it does help to be prepared with the best layover travel accessories to make it through your next layover as smoothly as possible.
You always have to be ready for the worst case scenario, whether you brought a charger without an international adapter (guilty), or the noisy airport is bleeding through your earbuds while you try to do work in the terminal. A lot of the best accessories for long flights are also going to be useful for sitting and waiting in an uncomfortable plastic chair, too. Who says neck pillows are just for sleeping on airplanes?
If we can survive our layovers with tech gadgets that keep us connected and charged up, and get all our valuables from point A to point B in one piece, you can too. Some of these layover accessories might seem less practical than others, but you’re also going to want to keep your stress levels in check too when you’re staring down a flight delay with no end in sight. So pull up your luggage, kick back your feet, and stock up on these layover essentials before your next flight.
1. EPICKA Universal Charger Adapter
Did I make it all the way to the Malpensa Airport in Milan until I realized by little Apple charger wasn’t going to cut it? If you’ve ever stared at an outlet abroad in horror as you realized those prongs don’t look familiar, then you need this universal charger adapter.
This one covers more than 150 countries, and you simply slide the buttons to push out prongs for the US, EU, AU, and UK). Outlet real estate is precious in the airport, but with four USB ports, one USB-C and one AC socket, you’ll be able to charge a whopping six devices at the same time.
2. Away The Large Tech Case
While we’re on the subject of electronics, you should never travel without a dedicated electronics organizer, or at the very last a bag to hold all your myriad of cords and cables. I used to try to shove everything into a pocket of my carry-on, only to have to dig through piles of clothes on the floor to find the one cord I actually needed.
For long layovers, pack a bag like this tech organizer from Away, which has a separate zipper compartment for larger devices like laptop chargers, and elastic loops for tangle-free cable storage. What we like: each and every item has a dedicated space, so you’re not spending precious moments in airport security lines untangling cords.
3. Oars + Alps Cooling + Cleansing Body Wipes
Airport funk is sometimes unavoidable after hours sitting on a stuffy plane and then plopping down in a seat for another several hours waiting for that next flight. Bringing along a small pack of body and/or face wipes has been a game-changer for me whenever I need a post-flight refresh, but don’t want to just splash myself in the terminal sink.
Oars + Alps wipes deliver a one-two cleansing punch — one side has a “crystal” texture to exfoliate and remove dirt and sweat, while the other side has a combination of menthol, caffeine, and ginseng root to soothe puffy, tired skin and energize you for the next leg of your journey.
4. Sony LinkBuds S
When you’re trying to drown out the sound of screaming babies and general airport hustle and bustle, you’re going to need something a little stronger than regular earplugs (although we do have some reusable faves). While bulkier over-ear headphones might be better for achieving total silence during your flight, we like the pocket-sized convenience of Sony’s newly-released LinkBuds S, which delivers their world-class noise-cancellation in a more mid-range package.
The most useful smart feature for an airport is that it automatically adjusts the level of noise cancellation based on your environment. Combined with intuitive touch controls, and audiophile-quality sound thanks to their Integrated Processor V1, you won’t want to take these earbuds off (although try not to miss any important flight announcements).
5. Anker PowerCore 20 Portable Charger
Even if you don’t think you’ll need a portable charger, even if you’re 100 percent convinced you’ll be able to find a spot with an outlet in an airport, that’s your brain is lying to you — a portable charger is one of the most important tech accessories in your travel arsenal.
If your flight’s been delayed or cancelled, there’s nothing worse than running out of juice while checking for updates (or being bored while you wait at your gate), so pick up this portable charger from Anker. While it may only have two USB-A ports, it charges up fast, and can juice up an iPhone 8 up to seven times with 20,100mAh of power. Unlike some other battery packs, this one has the added bonus of also being flight-approved.
6. Sunday Scaries
Layovers can easily make you want to bang your head against the wall, especially if the person behind the airline desk isn’t sure when they’ll be able to get you on the next flight out. For a quick calm-down, squeeze a dropper of Sunday Scaries’ CBD Oil under your tongue. It’s light, refined, and designed to be absorbed quickly but not slow you down when you’re on the go.
Each bottle gives you a stress-relieving 500 MG of broad spectrum CBD, plus the added benefits of vitamins B12 and D3. However, keep in mind that anything CBD-infused that you take with you still needs to abide by TSA rules, so your liquids (oils and tinctures) have to be less than three ounces. We’d only recommend this method for domestic flights, since international laws on CBD vary in strictness (if you’re flying abroad, these are our favorite CBD-free, mood-boosting chews).
7. Gravel Layover Travel Blanket
One of the unfortunate truths is that you may or may not have to take a nap in an uncomfortable position in a lounge during your layover. While not quite as hard as sleeping upright on a plane, there are little things you can do to catch at least a few Zzs, from deploying your most ergonomic of neck pillows, to bringing a dedicated travel blanket like this one from Gravel.
It packs down to the size of your fists, but when unfolded, microfleece-lined sleeves and an insulated foot pouch to keep your extremities super toasty (important for AC-blasting terminals, or if you flew to Alaska, but are dressed for Miami). There’s also a zippered pocket to stash your AirPods, snacks, or a boarding pass right by your side. Bonus: folded up inside the pouch, it becomes an extra travel pillow!
8. Stojo Titan Collapsible Travel Cup With Straw
Unless you want to take out a second mortgage on your home to afford a bottle of water at the airport concessions stand (although some places like New York are cracking down on wildly overcharging for food and drink in airports), bringing a reusable water bottle or travel cup is super important. To stay hydrated throughout the entire length of your layover we like Stojo’s Titan Travel Cup, which is as lightweight and portable as it gets.
Unlike a metal bottle, you can easily squish it down and toss it your bag when you go through security. Fill up at a water fountain, or use it in coffee shops (it handles hot and cold liquids), and don’t create more plastic waste while you travel. The cup comes in 8-24 oz sizes.