As a former flight attendant, friends often turn to me for travel tips. Whether you’re about to board a long haul flight or just travelling short haul, here’s my top eight ideas for making the experience more comfortable.
(1) Collapsible water bottle
I know we can no longer carry large amounts of liquids through customs (limited quantities 100ml), but a collapsible water bottle is still on my list of inflight essentials. Rather than paying for costly bottled water on arrival, I like to take the opportunity to fill my own.
I like this space saving Ohyo bottle, which comes in green, turquoise, pink or white for around £5. The great thing about the Ohyo bottle is that it concertinas down to a third of its height when empty. Plus parents can buy with confidence because it’s BPA and PET free and is dishwasher safe.
(2) Sleep Mask (from our website)
You might think you’re not able to sleep on a plane, but a really good sleep mask can make all the difference. I’ve really struggled with them in the past, especially the ones that press against your eyes lids as they would always make my eyes hot and irritated. The J-pillow contoured sleep has two molded
areas to ensure there’s no contact with your eyes. You’re even able to open your eyes and blink with them on so it’s just like being in a dark room. They cost £6.99 including p&p from the Jpillow website. Learn more about our contoured sleep mask.
(3) Noise cancelling headphones
Noise cancelling headphones remove background noise, including engine hum and other people’s children! You can use them without music to get a bit of peace and quiet. Or if you are playing music, you won’t need to turn it up so loud, which is obviously better for your ears.
This What Hi-Fi award-winning pair from Lindy, for around £40, was voted The Daily Mirror Best Buy.
(4) Eucalyptus oil
A tiny bottle of eucalyptus oil is my airplane survival wildcard. A multi-purpose wonder, a dab of this soothing oil can help relieve the dried-out nasal passages and tickly throat so common in the cabin. A small drop on your forehead will relieve the beginnings of a tension headache, just make sure it is diluted first before applying to the skin. It can really help relieve the pressure in the ears when flying, just put a few drops on a cloth and inhale for take off and landing. Eucalyptus is also an effective insect repellent. Depending on what you want to spend, you can pick it up at your local chemist for around £2, buy the organic variety from Neal’s Yard for £4.50 or splash out on a posh Aveda bottle.
(5) Tempting treat
Everyone knows drinking alcohol on the plane will only make you feel worse. Not so with this hangover-free treat. Gin & Tonic gourmet popcorn from London’s Joe & Seph’s is infused with 5% London Gin and 5% tonic, air popped and coated with a light caramel. £4 per 70g bag.
(6) Perfumed wipes
A million miles away from baby wipes, Agua de Colonia eau de Cologne refreshing tissues have a wonderfully reviving citrus smell, combining lemon, lavender, geranium and eucalyptus with essential oils of rosemary, thyme and bergamot. These individually wrapped credit card-sized wipes from Madrid’s oldest fragrance house are £3.95 for a box of 10. They can be used anywhere on the body and can invigorate and refresh your skin in an instant.
(7) Digital Luggage Scales
OK, these are not strictly for promoting comfort in the cabin, but we had to include this fab invention. Make sure your holiday mementoes haven’t taken you overthe limit with these tiny digital luggage scales from Find Me a Gift. Measuring just 13cm x 5cm x 3cm, they are a great way to keep clear of excess baggage fees. £17.99
(8) Neck pillow
We couldn’t write an inflight essentials list without including the J-pillow. Our award-winning design was created to support the neck from the side and the front when sleeping upright. The padded version has a snap loop fastener at the top of the pillow which enables it to be clipped to the outside of your luggage while in transit but if you are particularly tight on space, try the inflatable version at £19.99.