Get to Your Airport Gate On Time With These Practical Must-Haves

With holiday travel season almost here, it's safe to say the airport will be full of chaos. Cut the noise and get through TSA as fast as possible with our Amazon picks that will make your life easier.

By Jenny Lee Nov 15, 2023 11:00 AMTags
Shop Amazon Airport Travel EssentialsE! News Illustration / Photos Courtesy of Amazon

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Ahh, the winter holidays. The smell of pumpkin spice is slowly starting to mix with roasted chestnuts and gingerbread, and the most wonderful time of year is finally upon us (almost). Seasonal magic is starting to fill the air with excitment for spending time with our loved ones, from sharing delicious meals and opening meaningful gifts together to cozying up by the fireplace and spending quality time with quality company (in matching holiday pajamas, of course. But to get to this winter wonderland of cherished memories, there's one more awful hurdle many of us have to overcome: the airport.

From unbelievably long ticket check-in lines to the ever-stressful march through TSA, even just the thought of facing the inevitable mayhem of the airport during the holidays can be enough to ruin your holiday cheer. And we're here to tell you, your feelings are completely valid, and we're here to help as much as can. We've rounded up everything you need on Amazon to get through baggage check and airport security as quickly as possible so you can arrive at your gate on time (or even early enough to grab a cup of steaming coffee and relax in the waiting area or lounge). From slip-on sneakers and clear makeup bags that will have you in and out of TSA in the blink of an eye to a discreet money belt and nifty cup holder that will keep your essentials securely by your side while freeing up your hands, we're here to make your life easier.

Trust us: If you're traveling anywhere this holiday season, future you will thank you sincerely for having these practical essentials with you.

Riemot Luggage Travel Cup Holder

Yes, you're in a rush to get to your gate, but Starbies is a must when you're at the airport. This travel cup holder for your suitcase allows you to free up your hands from your phone, drink, passport, and other small items. It comes in 24 style options, each of which has three total pockets and is made of durable, machine-washable oxford cloth.

One Amazon shopper wrote, "When I ordered it I was worried I was being too extra with this. But after traveling with it I LOVE it. Makes going through the airport so much easier. I can be hands-free while the bottles right there in my face (instead of in a bag) is a great visual reminder for me to stay hydrated. I also love the phone/passport pouch. I personally usually keep my phone and passport in my purse because it's more secure, but when through check-ins, customs, security check...etc, it's very convenient to slide them into the pouch since it's so much more easily accessible. I love it. I've already convinced a couple of friends to get it."

FYY Travel Cable Organizer Bag Pouch

There's nothing more annoying than trying to pull your phone or passport out of your bag and all of your stray, tangled electroonic cords trailing out too, especially if you're in a hurry to get through the airport. This electronic organizer case, which comes in 21 design options and two sizes, has all the slots and pockets you need to store your power baank, earbuds, chargers, USB, and more while you're on the go. It's also equipped with a comfortable hand strap for easy carrying if needed.

One Amazon shopper wrote, "I am so glad I purchased this - I have used this twice for vacations. It holds passports credit cards, pen, change area, boarding passes etc, so great to keep everything organized when going thru airport security I would definitely recommend this product to others"

Special Made Collapsible Water Bottle

Want to stay hydrated while traveling but don't want a bulky water bottle slowing you down? Say hello to this chic collapsible water bottle. Made from BPA-free, food-grade organic silicone, this bottle is designed with a patented sealing scree cap that elimminates leakage and splashing, according to the brand. It also features a wide mouth that makes the interior of the bottle easy to clean, and it can withstand temperatures from -50 to 200°C.

As one Amazon shopper wrote, "The concept and design of this product is simple, but pure genius for traveling. Love that this collapses so I can just keep it in my personal carry on and use open it up after TSA to fill up before boarding. It's also great while you're traveling to always have water on hand. When you're done, you can collapse it back up and easily slip it into a belt bag, shoulder bag, purse, whatever." Travel Passport Wallet

Store all of your essentials in one secure place with this travel wallet, which can hold money, up to six passports, 4-10+ cards, and travel documents, according to the brand. It comes in six different colors and patterns, and it's made from water-resistant ripstop nylon for all-weather protection.

According to one Amazon shopper, "We recently used this for travel of a family of 4 to Europe. It was great for me to store all our passports, vaccine cards, baggage claim tickets, boarding passes if needed (some airports in Europe don't use digital), credit cards, and cash. It was great to have everything conveniently located and ready to grasp out of the top of my backpack. The individual passport sleeves are great when we're home and the passports are in general storage, but realistically when going thru security and then passport control back to back, you're just shoving them in there as a stacked pile because it's faster. The case will zip closed fine doing this and is no strain. For me, it was more about being easy to grab and I could organize all my travel stuff in one place. Easily store it in your hotel room/cruise cabin safe while on your trip. Highly recommend."

Venture 4th Travel Money Belt

If you prefer to keep your hands free while still having your valuables right by you, this travel money belt is a gamechanger. It features a minimal, lightweight design that includes multiple pockets, a breathable mesh back, and RFID blocking for added security. It's roomy enough to fit all your essentials yet discreet enough to keep everything concealed, especially when worn under clothes. Plus, it's available in 12 different colors.

One shopper on Amazon described, "I rarely leave reviews, but this product deserves it.The belt itself is heavy material, the zippers look to be reinforced, obviously high quality. My wife and I are traveling to Belize in a month and I wanted something that I could put our passports, cash, CC, and travel tickets in. Women have their purses, for us guys, it is a little tougher, especially for disorganized people like me. Usually when I get to security, I am the one holding up the line, digging through his pockets, etc. The last time I traveled I lost my laptop cord to TSA and swore that would not happen again, although I did not want the (ughh) fanny pack. This belt is perfect, not too big, obvious high quality, attaches nice and tight., and the zipper pockets are about the right size. All in all, I am very pleased, it will work nicely for what it is designed for, obviously some thought went into this product's design. Highly Recommended"

Dr. Scholl's Shoes Women's Madison Sneaker

Unless you're lucky enough to breeze through TSA PreCheck, chances are you're going to have to remove your shoes (on top of your jacket, electronics, etc.) when you arrive at airport security. With the long streams of people waiting behind you, along with the general chaos that is the TSA line, it can get overwhelming to try to untie your shoes, put them in the conveyer belt, and then hurry to put them on and tie them up. Avoid the hassle with this stylish slip-on, which feels like a comfy slipper but looks like a chic sneaker.

One Amazon shopper bought these as "traveling shoes for Europe." They added, "Great shoes for traveling, easy on and off through security and great for going in and out all day! not so good for rain but they are comfy!"

Bagail 8 Set Packing Cubes

I'm convinced that packing cubes are made of some sort of magic, because they manage to turn the piles of messy clothes on my bed into neat shapes that fit beautifully into my suitcase. If I didn't have these packing cubes, I'm 100% sure it would take me twice as long to pack for any trip, and I would have missed a good amount of flights in my lifetime. Available in 12 gorgeous colors and patterns, this set of eight packing cubes includes standard packing cubes in three sizes, an underwear bag, a sock bag, a drawstring bag, a shoe bag, and even a cosmetics bag.

According to one Amazon shopper, these cubes are "great for organized, effective travel." They wrote, "I have purchased other packing cubes and these were a thicker material with sturdier zippers. I took them on a trip lasting over 7 days and they made it easy to reach for something clean and ready to wear (comes with a dirty laundry bag too). You don't have to unpack your whole suitcase to find what you need, just go to the right cube. They have carrying handles on them also, so if you overpack at the airport and need to shed pounds, you can just grab a cube and make it part of your carry-on. Highly recommend for feeling organized and limiting the contact of your clothes with hotel dressers."

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Vigorport Luggage Straps

Speaking of which, these luggage straps are great for those who have more bags than hands (been there, done that ... almost every trip). Made of premium nylon material, these luggage straps come in three different sizes and can be adjusted in both width and length for all your airport traveling needs.

One Amazon shopper raved that these straps were "heavy duty and super useful," writing, "We used 2 of these to secure 6 HUGE Suitcases together, with two kids luggages placed on top. My husband was able to drag all of it from our hotel to the airport (short walking distance away) on his own, and the fasteners didn't break! It was such a welcome help as we had 10 suitcases altogether and this easily took care of 8. Each of luggage's were heavy on their own, so it took a little bit of time and momentum for the luggage's to roll easily, but it did, and everything was secure, organized and easier to get to the check in counter. The Last suitcase in the line did tip at an angle, but because of the wheels and the fasteners, it didn't affect anything. We got lots of interested stares and nods at the airport as my husband rolled our line of suitcase by. It looked like people were super impressed with how easily my husband pulled an organized line of suitcases himself. It sure did much to free my hands so I can stroll my youngest with special needs, while my other two kids pulled the last 2 bags. I am so very glad we ordered these! They do what they say they will do."

Ekouaer Women's 2 Piece Lounge Set

When you're dealing with all the hustle and bustle of the airport, you'll want to be feeling comfortable — but of course, that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style for function, in this case. This chic lounge set comes in 19 different color/patterns. as well as sleeveless or long sleeve options. This short sleeve edition includes a stylish slim-fit design that's perfect for layering, and the wide leg pants are styled wiht a soft elastic waistband and two side pockets.

One Amazon shopper summed it up perfectly: "Lounge or Travel, This Set is for YOU!" They added, "I wanted a lounge set that I could use also for airport travel that didn't look like pajamas, and I found this set! I wore the complete set for the airport, and I wore the pants separately on a couple occasions. The pants work as beachy or pool pants, and they also pair well with a tropical shirt or crop top. I am considering buying this set in a couple other colors."

Merokeety Women's Long Sleeve Soft Chunky Knit Sweater

Hoodies are great, but not so much when you're in the crowded TSA line, awkwardly trying to jiggle and pull it over your head without dropping all of your belongings. That's where this knit cardigan comes in. Not only is it available in 32 color options, it's made from an oh-so-soft popcorn yarn material that will keep you cozy in even the stalest air-conditioned airports. It features a relaxed fit that's perfect for layering and dressing up or down (and it has pockets)!

According to one Amazon shopper, "I'm really enjoying wearing this sweater. It's a good travel sweater because, even though it's comfortably warm, it's light if you take it off and have to carry it. I've worn it casually, open with a long sleeved tee underneath, and also closed and belted with a collared blouse and pashmina to make it dressier and still stay warm. I ordered a larger size to wear casually over a light hoodie but found that it's way more versatile than to just toss on to run errands. I'll probably buy in more colors."

Rinlist Travel Backpack

This backpack is designed to be optimized for all your travel needs. Available in seven chic colors, the backpack is equipped with cool features like a USB charging port design, a built-in luggage strap attachment, an elastic side pocket, adjustable shoulder straps that can be hidden away, and waterproof material. One thing I love about this backpack in particular is its dedicated laptop compartment, which makes it easy to slip tablets and laptops in and out quickly for airport security (as opposed to taking it out of your backpack and then taking it out of its laptop sleeve).

As one Amazon shopper wrote, "I recently went on a 2 day trip to visit my mother and I chose this backpack in hopes that I wouldn't have to pack a huge carry-on duffle bag. Sure enough, I was able to fit 2 pairs of leggings and shirts, two pairs of workout clothes, and various undergarments to last the entire time. It also fits my workout shoes and toiletry bag. Lastly, I was STILL able to put my Macbook and other accouterments in the front pocket for electronics. The extra pockets at the front allowed me to place random snacks and such during the trip and the location of the electronics pouches allowed for easy removal during the TSA checkpoint. I will DEFINITELY be using this again and again when I travel."

Ethereal Clear Makeup Bag

Available in 25 color/design options, this clear makeup bag will have you breezing through the TSA line. The transparent top ensures that airport security will be able to easily check your liquid toiletries and makeup, while the bottom compartment allows you to keep all your brushes clutter-free and secure.

According to one Amazon shopper, "I absolutely hate packing makeup in my checked bag because they break things all the time so I keep it in my carry on and tsa loved and even complimented this bag because they could easily see my liquids (foundation, concealer, setting spray, etc. )"

Morfone 16 Pack Silicone Travel Bottles Set For Toiletries

If you're looking for a full set that has everything you need to pack your toiletries, this pack of 16 silicone travel bottles and case is just what you need. According to the brand, these bottles are TSA-approved and made of food-grade, BPA-free silicone. The bundle comes in four gorgeous color palettes and includes a clear zip bag, four bottles, four jars, two spray bottles, two spoons, one funnel, one clean brush, and a page of labels.

One Amazon shopper called this set "perfect for travelers with a skincare routine." They added, "I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the items in this travel set. I was able to bring all of my favorite creams, cleansers, and lotions on my trip and had room to spare. I stuffed the bag full of makeup, shampoo, body washes, etc., and had no issues checking the clear bag through TSA. It was the perfect size to store all my liquids while traveling!"

Bexeen Travel Pill Organizer

One of the key tips for getting to your gate on time is being mindfully strategic when you're packing. Ensure that your essential pills, vitamins, and supplements are packed and secure with this travel pill organizer, which comes in four colors and features seven compartments. The fully sealed gasket design is damper-proof and temperature-resistant, so you don't have to worry about your pills melting together or getting damaged.

According to one shopper on Amazon, "I had purchased 2 other brands which were considered favorites and best sellers, but they did not have the moisture barrier and were not as sturdy. I received this a week ago and now I actually enjoy taking my medicine. Crystal clear doors to see what is inside, a seal for moisture barrier and substantial, quality plastic make this a must."

Speaking of optimizing your travel preparations, if you're looking to apply the same level of calm to your entire routine, check out our top picks for the organized & those who desperately want to be!