Unless you are wealthy, or travel for a company that has a generous travel budget, you probably can’t travel first class, or even business class, so you are likely to be traveling in economy/coach. Unfortunately this means that, particularly on long haul flights, it is not likely to be a very comfortable experience.
How can you make the most of your limited space and be more comfortable when flying? Fortunately there are gadgets to make flying more comfortable and help you adapt your cramped environment to make it more relaxed.
I have flown on many long haul flights, and at 6ft 2in tall, with long legs, I have had to learn to either live with it or do something about it. I have learned to do the latter.
These are my personal favorite travel gadgets to make flying more comfortable. I consider them my carry on essentials for long flights.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
I used to find the endless droning of the engines, the rush of the air past the fuselage and the hiss of the air conditioning on a long flight very draining.
Then I bought my first pair of noise cancelling headphones and from then on I wouldn’t be without them. I consider them the most important of my travel accessories for long flights, not just for trying to sleep but for making the journey much more relaxing and less tiring.
Yes, I know that they are not gadgets to make flying more comfortable, well not physically, but they certainly will make flying more mentally comfortable.
If you fly regularly seriously consider buying a pair – you won’t regret it.
There are headphones which block out sounds and are therefore simply noise isolating. True noise cancelling headphones are “active” which means they electronically cancel out particular types of noise (such as engine noise and rushing air).
They can range in price from $35 to almost $1000, so quite a range. Some even have Alexa voice control – but who needs it? You get what you pay for to some extent but only up to a certain level I think.
I have been using a relatively cheap pair for the last few years after my expensive Sony headphones finally stopped working. I have to say that there is little to choose between them but then the current Sony noise cancelling headphones have probably advanced since I bought my old pair.
The ones I currently use are the Paww WaveSound 3 Bluetooth Headphones which I have just noticed are now “Amazon’s Choice”. They are designed for air travel with a carry case and an aircraft in-flight entertainment adapter.
Noise Cancelling Ear Buds
You can also buy noise cancelling ear buds but personally I don’t like having things in my ears (but I am unusual it seems).
They work in just the same way as noise cancelling headphones.
If you are ok with having things in your ears (well most are, it is just me who is strange) then these TaoTronics active noise cancelling earbuds are very popular on Amazon.
Without a good travel pillow it is almost impossible to get any useful sleep during a flight. That is unless you are like my father was as he could have slept on a clothes line.
Getting some sleep not only helps make the flight go quicker but can certainly help to make you feel better and refreshed when you get to your destination.
There are a number of different types on the market. The one I have found to be the most comfortable for me is the BCOZZY Chin Supporting Travel Pillow but my wife prefers her J-Pillow Travel Pillow. Both we purchased on Amazon.
These can make sleeping more comfortable by raising your legs and can also help prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis – Wikipedia info).
There are two main types – inflatable footrests and, becoming increasingly more popular, are foot slings which suspend from the table.
You can read my full best inflatable leg rests for flights review post for more information.
These are something I always wear now on any flight over 4 hours and have for a few years. To find out more about these you can read my article “Should I wear compression socks on a long flight?“
Physix Gear Compression Socks are my current favorites – available on Amazon.
If you have problems sleeping when it is light then eyes masks can be a good idea. I have tried one and they don’t seem to help me.
My wife uses this one to great effect though – Dream Essentials Contoured Sleep Mask available on Amazon.
If you manage to get to sleep you can quite often be woken up by feeling a little cold. So using a small, warm blanket can help. Not all airlines supply blankets, or carry enough to go around if they do, so it is worth making sure by taking one with you such as the “World’s best compact airline travel blanket” available on Amazon.
Pressure reducing earplugs
If you have problems with the changes in air pressure when flying this can make you very uncomfortable. Fortunately it isn’t something I suffer from but I know others who do. Using earplugs which help to regulate air pressure changes can help alleviate the discomfort. They can also have the added advantage of reducing noise too. These are quite cheap so well worth trying – Luiswell Ear Plugs on Amazon.
More flying articles
If you found this article on gadgets to make flying more comfortable useful you may wish to read some of my other article: