I Survived the Layover From Hell Thanks to These 9 Travel Products


I just got back from weeks of traveling in Europe, and my return journey included the worst layovers of my entire life. And, yes, that’s layovers — plural. My trip included (but was not limited to) a 6-hour delay, a broken plane AC, another canceled flight, 10+ hours of lines in the Lisbon, Portugal, airport and more than one lost suitcase.

Everyone’s experienced a bad connection or delay, but lately, airlines have been struggling. You may have heard about the Delta strike, the unruly passengers, and airline labor shortages, the latter of which is expected to last until 2023.

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Let me start by saying: I adore traveling. I’ve had the privilege to travel extensively, all over the world, ever since I was a small child. My first flight was from Chicago, IL to London when I was just a few months old, and I’ve never looked back. However, as exhilarating, intoxicating and perspective-widening as travel can be, it can also be a real pain in the ass. And in 2022, you need to play for the worst-case scenario.

Long flights, flight delays, lengthy lines filled with angry customers, unexpected layovers, lost baggage: you name it I’ve experienced it and then some. Travel almost always involves some sort of unexpected hurdle, big or small, which is why it pays to have the right layover travel accessories to keep you on track to your final destination.

Whether it’s having the right carry-on suitcase, the right van camping supplies for a trip across the country or travel gadgets to keep your tech connected anywhere, having the right travel accessories is crucial on the road. They could mean the difference between a charged phone and a dead one, a comfortable nap or a neck injury, or a secure wallet and a stolen one.

Read More: The Best Travel Accessories in 2022

layover travel accessories

layover travel accessories

I survived the layover from hell and returned home safely with all of my belongings, but without the nine items below I perhaps wouldn’t have made it. Or would’ve had a much harder time getting where I needed to go.

Many of the layover accessories below might seem straightforward, or obvious, or perhaps a little frivolous. But trust me, when you’re staring down a 6-hour delay and your checked bag may or may not be on the flight, you’re going to be grateful you’re stocked with essentials on your back.

What travel accessories do you depend on to survive long and/or unexpected layovers? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add our favorite suggestions to this guide.


1. Portable Charger

This might sound dramatic, but I swear it’s true. On a long layover, or in the case of a delayed or canceled flight, your phone’s charge is everything. If you don’t have a charged phone, you have nothing to protect yourself against sleeping in the airport, losing your luggage or getting rebooked on a terrible new flight itinerary that could cost you days of your trip. You also don’t have anything to entertain you while your fellow passengers melt down around you, or keep you busy while you wait to board.

Since you can never be sure of the outlet situation in any given airport, gate or lounge, a portable charger is a long layover must-have. I ordered this inexpensive 2-pack from Amazon and both have worked supremely well on my long flights. They charge fast, keep your phone powered and have multiple connection ports so you can use a variety of cords.

Miady Portable Charger 2-Pack

Each of them holds 2.5 charges for an iPhone and has USB C and Micro USB ports available. They’re very lightweight, compact and have a grippy design that’s easy to hold and store in your backpack or fanny pack.

miady portable chargers, layover travel accessories

miady portable chargers, layover travel accessories

Buy: Miady Portable Charger 2-Pack $21.99


2. Charging Cord Organizer

Speaking of electronics, another layover accessory I will never travel without again is a cord organizer. This is something I thought was frivolous before my recent long journeys, and now it’s an essential. It’s a small bag you put all your chargers in that zips up neatly and tucks into your backpack. Not only does this keep your cords from snagging on other items while you pull them out, it also helps you retrieve a critical power cord at a moment’s notice. I purchased the inexpensive one below and have been very satisfied with it.

It comes with small slots for wrapped-up cords which I use when I’m feeling super organized. However, most of the time I just throw all my cords in there and zip it shut, which works fine as well.

YLQP Electronics Organizer Bag

It has zippered pockets and 10 different slots for power cords as well. It has plenty of room built into it and zips shut no matter how much you put into it, a key feature for travel. It’s made of durable exterior material that’s liquid-resistant for protecting your electronics, and it comes in a small selection of colors.

electronics organizer, layover accessories

electronics organizer, layover accessories

Buy: YLQP Electronics Organizer $9.90


3. Fanny Packs

Okay, this one is a bit controversial at the moment, since apparently fanny packs are back in style? Regardless, when you’re trudging through the airport and need your essential travel documents close at hand there’s nothing better. I like to have my wallet, passport, boarding pass and other key documents inside a fanny pack inside my backpack, so I can remove it and them any time I need.

This one is another affordable pick from Amazon, and works just as well slung across your chest as it does around your waist (fanny). Also, be sure to check out the SPY Guide to the Best Fanny Packs of 2022.

MAXTOP Large Crossbody Fanny Pack

This one has multiple pockets for organizing your most important items, and a thick strap that would be almost impossible for anyone to cut through and steal while traveling. This pack became my go-to daypack in addition to a travel accessory during all of my travels, because of the thick, durable material, sturdy zipper and comfortable shape. It’s now a travel essential.

crossbody fanny pack, layover travel accessories

crossbody fanny pack, layover travel accessories

Buy: MAXTOP Large Crossbody Fanny Pack $14.77 (orig. $19.97) 26% OFF


4. Passport Cover

Speaking of your passport, a passport cover is another travel item I’m never going abroad without again. While you do have to remove it for customs because of the dimensions of the scanner, when you’re not showing it to a government official having a passport cover on your passport is a good idea. Not only does it keep it safe from damage, wear and tear and potential identity theft, but it also makes it easier to find and retrieve in your bag. Because your passport is the #1 most important thing in your bag when you’re out of the country, I recommend a cover for safekeeping no matter the destination.

Lewis N. Clark RFID-Blocking Passport Holder

This cover protects your passport from unauthorized scanning and can help conceal your identity while on the road as well. It’s made of durable nylon fabric for protection and is lightweight, making it perfect for travelers with already-heavy packs trekking through airports and train stations.

Lewis N. clark passport cover, layover travel accessories

Lewis N. clark passport cover, layover travel accessories

Buy: Lewis N. Clark RFID-Blocking Passport Holder $9.99


5. Earplugs

Whether it’s airplane engine noise or the whining from your fellow passengers, you’re going to want a way to drown out sound while traveling. I use cheap earplugs because I mostly just use them to sleep, but there are some seriously nice noise-canceling earbuds you can purchase these days that’ll do the trick. Sometimes you just need to tune the world out and breathe, and nowhere is this more true than in a crowded airport terminal.

Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs

This pack comes with 6 pairs of soft silicone earplugs that mold to the shape of your ears and drown out sound. My Airbnb in one city was situated right above a summertime night festival, and I slept like a rock with these in. These are also designed to help prevent swimmer’s ear infections and are safe to use with ear tubes as well.

Mack's earplugs, layover travel accessories

Mack’s earplugs, layover travel accessories


6. Hand Sanitizer

This one doesn’t need a ton of explanation, but I’ll give you my pitch anyway in case you’re even considering not having hand sanitizer on you while traveling. The surfaces you touch in airports, on planes and in taxis are touched by tens, hundreds and potentially thousands of people every day. Before you eat, drink or touch your face, using a squirt from a travel-size hand sanitizer will give you the peace of mind you’re not picking up some foreign, surface-borne virus. I always have a bottle with me, just in case.

Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer 3-Pack

Each of these bottles of Purell are only 1 fluid ounce, small enough to carry through TSA, and are filled with a formula designed to kill 99.99% of germs. The flip-top dispenser is designed to prevent spills, and each is small enough to fit into any pocket, fanny pack purse or back pocket.

purell hand sanitizer, layover travel accessories

purell hand sanitizer, layover travel accessories

Buy: Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Gel $4.99


7. Snacks

Mark my words: low blood sugar will be the death of you on a long layover, expected or not. It could mean the difference between blowing up at the airline employee who’s not making any sense or charming them into letting you on the next flight out. Having plenty of snacks and sustenance that isn’t airport vending machine food is key to keeping your experience from becoming the most miserable scenario possible.

I like Epic jerky bars because they have plenty of protein and no sugar, but any protein bars, jerky or dried fruit will do.

EPIC Chicken Sriracha Protein Bars

These chicken bars are flavored with spicy sriracha for just the right kick and have 11 grams of protein in each one. They’re made with 100% natural chicken, are gluten-free, keto-friendly, Whole30 and paleo-friendly as well.

EPIC jerky bars, layover travel accessories

EPIC jerky bars, layover travel accessories

Buy: EPIC Chicken Sriracha Protein Bars (12-Pack) $36.35


8. Body Wipes, Advil and Chapstick

It never hurts to have a small toiletry kit with you. Mine includes body wipes for a post-flight refresh if I don’t have time to shower, Advil for those unexpected cramps and headaches, and lip balm with some sort of SPF in it. All three of these items can help soothe aches and pains, and simply make you feel more like a real person when you haven’t slept, showered or even laid horizontally in hours.

PIPA MINT Shower Body Wipes

These body wipes come in packs of 10 wipes and are designed to be a no-rinse shower solution for adults. Each wipe is large enough to cover large parts of the body easily, and the small packs make them super portable. The formula is gentle, refreshing and doesn’t leave a residue. They’re thick and don’t have a particularly strong smell either.

pipa mint body wipes

pipa mint body wipes

Buy: Pipa Mint Body Wipes $18.94 (orig. $31.97) 41% OFF


9. Travel First Aid Kit

Lastly, a first aid kit also saved me multiple times from day-ruining blisters on my most recent trip. Travel involves a ton of walking, and you want to make sure your feet are well taken care of so they can get you from place to place with minimal pain.

Welly First Aid Kit

We love Welly first aid kits here at SPY, and they sell mini kits that are perfect for travel, compactly packed to only include what you need. This one contains their standard Bravery Bandages, single-use ointments and antibiotic creams, Ibuprofen and more.

welly first aid kit

welly first aid kit

Buy: Welly First Aid Kit $24.94


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