Flying Comfortably: My 5 Favorite Gadgets & Accessories

Yep, That's Shan!

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After hundreds of flights and thousands of accumulated frequent flyer miles, you come to appreciate your travel accessories. I’m not talking about those items you need once you arrive at your destination; although those are important too. I am speaking of those that make any flight just a little more bearable. Over the past several years, airlines have provided fewer and fewer complimentary items. So long are the days of blankets and headphones (unless you are sitting up front) — and even the seats are smaller (geez). Given that comfort ranks fairly high on most folks list, I wanted to share a few of my 5 favorite accessories that I just can’t travel without.

Travel Pillow

A travel pillow is a no brainer. Being slightly claustrophobic, I’ll pay more just to secure my place on the aisle. To ensure you don’t get knocked in the head by a rolling cart (funny, not funny), your upright sleeping position is of utmost importance. Many pillow options focus on the traditional neck brace design. They are generally hard and don’t “give” at all, ultimately leaving you in an awkward position. I love the BCozzy pillow for two really important reasons. It doesn’t push your head forward and it keeps your head from falling forward as well.

Eye Mask

To know me is to know that I am no good as a passenger of any mode of transportation. My body shuts down and sleep comes on almost immediately (don’t you just get the best sleep on an airplane?). I started bringing an eye mask after a bad experience on a flight home from Germany. It was a 9-hour flight and I was sitting in the bulkhead row. I was constantly awakened by the window on the opposing side of the plane where the passenger seated in the window seat repeatedly raised and closed the window the entire flight. I’m basically like Gizmo from the Gremlins — I do not like bright lights! I will never fly without my Jersey Slumber eye mask again.

Compression Socks

When I traveled to Paris a few years back, I had no clue what those little blue socks were for that came in my travel care bag. Unbeknownst to me, they serve a very important purpose. After a few hours of flying, your feet and legs may become swollen due to a lack of circulation. This is not only uncomfortable, but it can be dangerous. Ten percent of all air travelers develop swollen legs and feet on long flights which can lead to deep vein thrombosis. This is definitely a “do not leave home without” item; especially on long-haul flights. Physix Gear and Laite Hebe both offer inexpensive options.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

I have never boarded a flight and not had my Bose QuietComfort Headphones…never. I have owned other noise cancellation headphones in the past, but my Bose have never let me down. No matter your reason – crying kids, snoring neighbor, or other folks annoying conversations – a good set of headphones is a must; and plan to invest a little dough. You want to purchase a pair that not only cancel out noise but also keeps others from hearing your personal playlist (because that is annoying too).

Travel Blanket

There is nothing worse than spending several hours in the air on a cold flight! It’s the worse; especially if you have a tendency to get cold when everyone else is just right (*raises hand*). So having a warm blanket packed is right on time. Not all airlines supply blankets and even if they do, they typically don’t carry enough to go around. Blankets are easy to store in your carry-on luggage and are always good to have just in case. My go-to microfleece blanket from Amazon comes in handy and Travelrest has a great one too that wears like a poncho.

So what are your favorite gadgets or accessories that you never travel without?

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Yep, That's Shan!