In a time when airplane seats are shrinking and every in-flight request comes with an additional charge, bringing your creativity aboard is an absolute must. Aside from keeping your essentials within arms reach, staying entertained and — most importantly — comfortable, is key.
That said, we’re calling all seasoned travelers and novice flyers alike because we have some lifesaving products for you. Just remember, before you judge a book by its cover, consider the benefits each of these items brings to the tray table. Ridiculous as some of them may seem, they’re totally worth it, and they’ll help you keep your sanity, to boot.
From innovative head pillows to posture products that’ll keep your back pain at bay, here are 15 frequent flyer’s dreams.
1. Hooded Travel Pillow
- Price: $39.99
Seems silly? Perhaps. Worth every penny? You bet. The Hooded Travel Pillow from Grand Trunk will keep you cozy and protected from unwanted banter from the chatty Cathy sitting next to you. No drawn shade on your row’s window? No problem. Simply snuggle up using the micro-fleece, memory foam pillow, and you’ll be out in no time.
Next: For when you really need lights out
2. Blackout Travel Eyemask
- Price: $14.99
Here’s the scenario: You’re in desperate need of catching some zzz’s, but your neighbor absolutely refuses to pull down the window shade. This situation calls for some serious eye protection.
And once again, Grand Trunk delivers a banger of a travel product. The Blackout Travel Eyemask is just what the doctor ordered the next time you find yourself fighting to block out the sun’s powerful rays.
Next: Cocktail? Yes, please.
3. The Carry On Cocktail Kit
- Price: $24.00
Yes, this is a thing, and it’s right up our alley. The TSA-approved Carry On Cocktail Kit provides passengers with a pocket-sized case fit for the traveler who’s in desperate need of a drink — a drink that’s got a bit more kick and elegance than those being served by flight attendants, that is. While it doesn’t include the alcohol, these kits do include the tools and ingredients needed to whip up your favorite cocktail at 30,000 feet.
Next: No more elbowing your neighbor
4. Create-A-Space armrest divider
- Price: $39.99
Tired of fighting with your co-passengers over armrest space? Join the club. As the friendly skies continue to become less and less friendly by the minute, it’s only a matter of time before elbows will be thrown in an effort to secure your tiny slice of arm-resting heaven. Luckily, with the Create-A-Space portable seat partition, passive aggressive passenger fights will be a thing of the past.
Next: When you need to block everything else out
5. JAM bluetooth headphones
- Price: $39.99
Peace and quiet on an airplane — what’s that? Unless you’re fortunate enough to fly private, you probably struggle to find any sort of serenity on a flight. For this reason, finding the best headphones you can is crucial.
If you’re the earbud type, try the JAM Comfort Buds on for size. The lightweight buds feature an ergonomic collar that’s comfortable enough to keep around your neck throughout an entire long haul flight. If you prefer headphones, the JAM Transit Lite are for you. These wireless Bluetooth headphones provide up to 11 hours of easy listening and, hopefully, stress-free relaxing.
Next: You may need to give this one a chance before making your final decision.
6. The NodPod
- Price: $39.99
The NOD2.0 is a travel solution that’s dedicated to making sure you get every bit of sleep possible while sitting in an uncomfortable airplane seat. Basically, it’s a small sling that goes around the back of your headrest. From there, you pretty much strap your head in, and sit back as it cradles you. Somewhat goofy? Possibly, but you’ll be so well-rested by the end of your flight, you won’t even care.
The product is currently available for pre-order.
Next: We’re really loving this one.
7. Ostrich Pillow
- Price: $44.99
The Ostrich Pillow is perhaps one of the trendiest accessories on the market today — and for good reason. It looks cute and keeps passengers comfy. Strap it around your neck for extra warmth, or even use it as an eye mask.
Next: A pair of these will keep your legs happy.
8. Compression socks
- Price: $32.00 and up
Before we dive into our recommendation here, it’s important to understand why compression socks are important in the first place. They help increase circulation, alleviate aches, and prevent swelling, heavy legs, and even blood clots. It’s clear to see that sporting a pair of these puppies will help keep your dogs from barking throughout your travels.
If you’re looking to stock up on a few pairs of your own, we have a couple favorites. We love Vim&VIGR for fashionable options, as well as CEP Compression when we’re in the mood for something a bit sportier. Additionally, there are even compression tights you can try out next time you’re preparing for a long flight.
Next: Another product aimed to keep your feet and legs where they belong
9. Foot hammock
- Price: $69.95
The Flight Hammock from Fly Legs Up is a serious game-changer. While it’s possible you run the risk of feeling a bit foolish at the start of set-up, your co-passengers without this tool will be the only fools in sight. Here’s how it works: Simply attach the hammock to the drop down tray table in front of you. Once it’s all set up, you’re free to stretch out or curl up.
Next: For all your inevitable aches and pains
10. BodyworksBall handheld massage tool
- Price: $34.99
Being stuck in a seat for hours on end, along with staring at a screen or sleeping in an uncomfortable position, puts passengers in a bad spot. Our in-flight behaviors are doing nothing but working against our overall comfort. Given this reality, pain relief products are key.
That’s where the BodyworksBall comes in. The portable self massage tool is small enough to use in-flight to relieve small aches and pains, neck cricks and stiffness. And the product is so well-loved, in fact, that it even made Oprah’s “O List.”
Next: An innovative take on a scarf … or pillow
11. Trtl travel scarf-turned-headrest
- Price: $29.99
This totally unique travel accessory will keep your head comfy, without requiring you to carry a bulky pillow through the airport. A scarf at first glance, the Trtl Pillow has hidden support that props your head up, keeping it where it belongs when you’re ready to close your eyes.
Next: We’re loving this natural headache remedy.
- Price: $12.99
Prone to headaches the second things get stressful? Us, too. And traveling can often times be one of the greatest stressors in life. While popping Advil can do the trick for some, not everyone wants to resort to pills. That’s where the Relēver comes in.
The handheld, just-to-market device is the ideal tool to naturally treat headaches and reduce jaw pain by stretching out the jaw muscles. We’ve tested it out, and we can safely say that it really does work.
Next: It’s time to get cozy.
13. Rumpl Down Puffy Blanket
- Price: $149.00
We all know that those gross, scratchy, tiny airplane-issued blankets don’t do much. However, bringing your own along will seriously change the way you fly.
The problem with most blankets is their size, and no one wants to lug a bulky blanket around the airport. Enter the Rumpl Down Puffy Blanket. It packs down into a tiny stuff sack, and unfolds to deliver premium warmth, comfort, and coziness when you need it most — 30,000 feet above ground.
Next: This airplane pillow is certainly worth a second look.
14. Kaz Headrest
- Price: $79.99
Finding the perfect position to rest your head is a struggle, which is why we have one more suggestion in the way of travel pillows. Have you ever seen a person in the middle seat put their tray down, and attempt to lay their head on it? Yeah, it typically doesn’t pan out so well. But now, we have this, and it’s a total game-changer.
It’s one of the more ridiculous items to make the list, but the Kaz Headrest is a lifesaver. More specifically, it’s a lifesaver for anyone who doesn’t have the leaning luxury of a window seat. Simply set up the Kaz Headrest on your tray table, and it will extend up to meet your head, providing the perfect perch for your precious noggin.
Next: This product is a must for anyone who suffers from back pain.
15. BaxMAX lumbar support belt
- Price: $69.95
While this one’s not specifically an in-flight product, it makes the list for good reason. If you’re anything like most other folks in the world, you’re no stranger to lower back pain. And what’s one thing that constantly contributes to all that discomfort? Slouching and sitting for hours on end, with no attention to posture.
Most of us are guilty of this, which is why support belts are even a thing in the first place. To combat the spine compression most passengers feel throughout a flight, we highly recommend you bring one of these pain-preventing products along. For instance, the BaxMAX lumber support belt is super lightweight and thin enough that you can wear it right under your clothes.