If you’ve traveled lately, you’ve probably encountered your fair share of tricky situations. As flight cancelations, delays, downsized routes, and labor shortages continue to plague the industry, many travelers find themselves facing tough choices—and a lot of downtime.
The golden rule of travel has always been “expect the unexpected,” but these unprecedented times call for more specific advice. That’s why we asked AAA Travel experts one simple question: What is your go-to carry-on item for dealing with delays? Here’s what they told us.
1. BRING A POWER BANK INSTEAD OF ASSUMING THERE WILL BE A CHARGING STATION
You know the sinking feeling you get when your phone dies at the gate or on the tarmac and there’s not a single charging port in sight? That’s a thing of the past with the Go Travel Power Bank 4000. The best part? You don’t even have to bother charging your devices before leaving home. It’s that fast.
Why we love it: Equipped with Cell ID Chipset technology, this ultra-portable power bank automatically recognizes connected devices and adjusts to charge most modern smartphones in just 90 minutes. When its bright LED power indicator changes, you know you’re good to go.
2. WHEN YOU’RE STUCK IN AN AIRPORT, YOU’LL NEED ALL THE COMFORT YOU CAN GET
In today’s hectic travel landscape, nothing is out of the question. If you’re faced with the unimaginable prospect of sleeping at your gate, this Bon Voyage Travel Comfort Kit provides a plush pillow, blanket, and eye mask to help make the experience as restful as possible.
Why we love it: A spacious 50”x60” blanket offers cozy respite, while foam-core neck pillow and eye mask attach easily to luggage for optimal portability on the go.
3. PACKING CUBES DO A LOT MORE THAN ORGANIZE YOUR CLOTHES
Keeping luggage organized is tough in the best travel scenarios—and nearly impossible when a flight cancelation throws a wrench in the works.
When seconds count, this Ecotex 5-Piece Packing Cube Set does more than keep your clothes organized. Their smart design also makes extra space in your carry-on, so you can skip the baggage claim and focus on getting to your destination.
Why we love it: The cubes are made from durable, lightweight Ecotex material with quick-access zippered front pockets, so there’s no need to unpack and repack during a brief stay.
Similarly, the classic Expandable Packing Cube Set from REI makes packing (and unpacking) quick and easy.
Why we love it: With their mesh-top design, these packing cubes go the extra mile to keep your clothes dry and fresh. Bonus: their expansion zipper lets you customize the size anywhere from 3.5 to 21 liters, saving vital space in your carry-on.
4. TO HELP COMBAT STRESS AND FATIGUE, FRESHEN UP ON THE GO
Impatient fellow travelers and TSA agents may not be the only ones watching as you frantically search for your boarding pass or passport—it’s also a prime opportunity for thieves. That’s why smart travelers trust this RFID-Blocking Document Holder to guard their most vital info.
Why we love it: Three easy-access pouches are lined with certified RFID-blocking/anti-scan fabric, while the adjustable neck strap provides comfort for all-day wear.
5. FRESHENING UP ON THE GO WILL HELP YOU COMBAT STRESS AND FATIGUE
When you learn your flight has been canceled and you’ll be hotel-bound for the night, emergency toiletries are the last thing you want to think about. Fortunately, you won’t have to with the Man On the Go™ Complete Toiletry Set keeping you fresh and clean while you navigate less-than-ideal circumstances.
Why we love it: Built for convenience, this 10-piece set features shampoo, mouthwash, deodorant and every other essential item for grooming and hygiene on the go. Its compact TSA-approved mesh design keeps toiletries dry and organized so you can find what you need in a snap.