As a food and travel writer, I spend a lot of time in airports and on airplanes. This can mean anything from a quick three-hour domestic flight to Miami for a food and wine festival or a long-haul red-eye flight to Italy to cover an olive harvest or go vineyard hopping. My job can be very fun and — at times — delicious, but those long travel days (and nights) can make jet-setters, especially solo travelers like me, susceptible to the potential safety issues that can arise in-flight, like theft.
Flying presents a unique (and often overlooked) theft risk because there are a variety of opportunities for those with nefarious goals to steal valuables. Whether it’s rifling through a purse or laptop bag when someone gets up to walk around or use the lavatory, or “accidentally” pilfering from a bag other than their own in the overhead compartment, our belongings are very vulnerable to the wrong people. This is especially prevalent on longer flights where people may be sleeping and not able to keep an eye on those laptops or wallets as carefully. It’s important to protect ourselves and our belongings in-flight, or our trip can go to a bad place before we even land at our destination.
To have more peace of mind while traveling, I’ve gathered around 12 travel accessories that I swear by for keeping my valuables safe and secure during flights. All of these anti-theft devices are pretty budget-friendly and available at Amazon. In fact, many are currently on sale, so don’t waste any time adding them to your cart.
Master Lock Portable Lock Box
Perhaps the safest option when traveling with important documents and valuables is to keep them all in one secure location. You may not even realize that your passport or wallet is missing until you are off the plane, unless you know exactly where it is and know it can’t be removed from that safe location, which is why I started traveling with a small lock box.
It presented a good option to keep my wallet, phone, or tablet, and passport safe when I wasn’t using them. The flight attendant-loved Master Lock Portable Lock Box is super easy to set up; just create a four-digit combination and either wrap the cable around the safe or attach it to a fixed object like your plane chair armrest or leg. Thieves won’t be able to access your important documents or valuables, and you can rest easier on that long flight. It’s also a great way to keep your belongings safe in your hotel, Airbnb, or vacation rental.
I can’t imagine traveling without my Apple AirTag. While I bring a carry-on bag whenever possible, there’s times that the length of my trip or items that I must travel with (say, a bottle of wine home from that Italy trip), just does not make it feasible. Investing in an AirTag, which is a flight attendant-approved travel accessory, was the right move. It takes seconds to pair with your iPhone’s Find My app, and by putting it in your luggage or wallet, you can keep track of it at all times. If you land in Los Angeles but your luggage is somehow sunning in Honolulu, this can go a long way in helping you track it and get your belongings back where they need to be: by your side.
According to other travelers, the AirTag shines in its precision and ability to give peace of mind. One reviewer wrote, “Whether it’s my keys, wallet, or backpack, the Apple AirTag has given me newfound confidence in never losing track of my essentials again.”
FYY Travel Cable Organizer Pouch
Keeping track of various gadgets and cables can be pretty overwhelming, especially when we have them strewn in all of our various pockets and bags and don’t quite know what is where and which device it is meant to accompany. I’ve experienced this on many flights, as I scramble to find my earbuds or the right cable to charge my back up charging brick (which needs to be charged itself to change everything else.
The key to keeping everything safe is to have it all neatly stored in one specific place like this handy (and flight attendant-loved) FYY Travel Cable Organizer Pouch. It comes in loads of fun colors — allowing you to match your luggage or tote if that’s important to you — and contains multiple layers to neatly store cables, flash drives, chargers, and any other tech needed for the trip.
TSA Approved Cable Luggage Lock
Even if you have a close eye on your suitcase, there are still moments when someone can sweep in and take something. Locking your bag will create an obstacle for these in-flight thieves, and it’s the smartest way to keep everything secure on the go.
These TSA-approved luggage locks are easy to set with your custom combination, and that combination of numbers can always be changed. It keeps the items in your bag secure, whether that luggage is in an overhead bin and out of your direct line of sight or checked under the plane. In fact, these luggage locks come recommended by flight attendants.
Yoyi Yoyi RFID-Blocking Undercover Bra Wallet
In most cases, you won’t need your cash and credit cards during your flight — and that’s a good thing, as that’s most likely the first thing thieves will be looking to grab. But instead of leaving them defenseless in your wallet or personal bag, you can keep them on your person with this discreet bra wallet.
Made with soft and breathable spandex material, it’s comfortable to wear on a long-haul flight, moisture-resistant, and equipped with RFID-blocking technology to keep your personal information safe. Use it to hold credit cards, IDs, money, your passport — anything that you want to keep secure and close to you while you nod off for the night on that flight (or when you’re in the airport or exploring your destination).
Lewis N. Clark RFID-Blocking Stash Neck Travel Wallet
If the bra pouch isn’t your style, then give this neck travel wallet a try. Its lanyard-style, multi-compartment design drapes closely (and comfortably) to your body and provides ample storage opportunities for your valuable travel documents. For extra peace of mind, the dual-layer RFID-blocking technology protects data security and its rip-resistant nylon ensures that nothing will fall out when you’re on the go.
In their review, an Amazon shopper said, “I wore it on the plane so I wouldn’t have to sit on a wallet. The neck cord was soft and didn’t bother me at all, most times I forgot I was even wearing this neck stash. It’s nice to be able to travel and know that your ID and cash are safe, even from RFID theft.”
Venture 4th RFID-Blocking Travel Money Belt
I haven’t owned a fanny pack since my teen days as a junior camp counselor at a local Brooklyn day camp, but it was always a really effective way of holding all of my various odds and ends without having to lug a purse or tote around. The same can be said for a money belt – and once I tried it, I never looked back. It may not be making its way into fashion magazines any time soon, but this money belt is comfortable (great for wearing on a long flight) and has enough room to fit your passport, IDs, credit cards, cash, and so much more. It also protects the contents via its secure RFID-blocking fabric so that no one can steal your sensitive, private information.
According to one traveler, this belt is “inexpensive, lightweight, durable.” They continued, “I wore it everyday for an 18-day trip to Japan. It survived multiple flights, hotels, trains, walking, climbing, running, and multiple cities. The belt stayed on my person every minute (apart from sleeping). I wore it under my jacket and it was unnoticeable, but easily accessible (perfect for security).”
Luumxai 16 RFID-Blocking Sleeves Envelopes
Boost the security around your credit cards and passport with these RFID-blocking sleeves. They’re slim and made with vibrantly colored aluminum foil to protect your valuables. But don’t let their decorative exteriors fool you; they are significant in that they are RFID-blocking, which keeps your passport, credit cards and other important IDs, and travel documents safe from data theft while in your wallet. And, you can get a set of 16 for just $6.
“These sleeves are great items to travel with and use every day,” an Amazon shopper shared. “It keeps your passport safe from being scanned by scammers, [and] the color coding helps me remember which credit card is in which colored sleeve.”
SightPro 14 Inch 16:9 Laptop Privacy Screen Filter
Most of my travel is work-related, so more often than not, I’m hard at work on a flight. I might be conducting interviews, checking emails, or getting some writing or research done. I’m always concerned about people trying to read my screen over my shoulder, and I started to realize that privacy shields were an essential for not only keeping my content private, but also protecting me from spying eyes when entering passwords or credit card information into my device.
These screen shields can be installed super fast, and use clear adhesive strips or slide mount tabs to adhere to the display. Its main perk is that it protects the screen from side viewing, but it also provides anti-glare benefits when I’m on my laptop while adding an extra layer of protection against scratches and scrapes.
General Medi Mini First Aid Kit
Emergencies can happen anywhere, even when you’re in-flight — and your most valuable possession is your health and well-being. This mini travel first aid kit will be essential on any adventure and will prove to be an asset in a hotel room, in a car, and on a plane. It contains things that you never think to carry but should, like a tourniquet and CPR respirator, as well as sterile bandages, saline, and far more.
It’s a small but efficient kit, says one Amazon reviewer: “I am actually surprised as to how much stuff this small kit actually holds!”
Anker 20,000mAh Portable Charger
It’s fair to say that we can’t travel without our phones. It’s how we do everything, from getting our mobile boarding pass to booking a rideshare once we land. It’s with our phones that we keep track of flight delays and cancellations, or check maps that route us to our connecting flight. So when that red low battery bar starts glaring at us, we can feel pretty unsafe. So, make sure you’ve got a reliable portable charger to keep your electronics in active, working order and ensure that you get to where you need to be.
This Anker travel charger comes in fun colors and offers high-speed charging with its powerful battery and attached USB-C cord. What’s more, it can charge a phone several times on a single charge, too, which can come in handy on those dreaded long layovers.
She’s Birdie: The Original Personal Safety Alarm
It may seem like you don’t need to worry about someone trying to rob you (or even assault you) when you’re on a plane, but that’s not always the case. If there’s ever someone who gets too close, makes a situation uncomfortable, or makes you feel in danger, it’s important to be able to protect yourself.
That’s where the She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm comes into play. This safety device has a siren and flashing strobe light that will draw the attention of other passengers and the flight crew once activated, and deter a dangerous situation. It’s also a handy gadget to keep on your person when you’re out and about exploring your destination — and even when you’re home.
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