Long haul flights are a necessary evil. I am one of those people who absolutely LOVES long-haul flights… until I am on the plane for an hour, uncomfortable and sweaty, constantly checking the little in-flight screen to see when I can finally get off the plane. I find it hard to sleep on planes – which is, by all means, the best way to survive a long-haul flight. So I decided to research the best ways to survive that horrible long haul flight. I have now compiled a list of 10 travel gadgets and products that keep me sane on a long journey or long-haul flight!
One of my biggest problems on long-haul flights is being able to sleep. Sleeping is the easiest way to survive a long-haul flight. You close your eyes and fall asleep and by the time you wake up, cabin crew is asking you to adjust your chair and fasten your seatbelt for landing.
Yeah I am not one of those people who sleeps through a whole flight and I never will be – but this TRTL sleeping pillow does help me to catch some Zs on the plane. When I first saw this travel pillow I did not think it would be very comfortable. I mean – it looks like your head is just suspended in mid-air. But when I first tried it I was sold!
I had been dabbling with travel pillows before but when my travel pillow got eaten by the X-ray scanner in Urumqi China, I never thought to replace it. It takes up so much room and it is just a drag to carry with you. The ones you blow up obviously do not take in a lot of space but they are often not very comfortable.
Enter TRTL travel pillow! It provides you with amazing neck support which you can adjust so you can sleep while sitting upright, it is warm, it is soft and it is incredibly cosy! On my way home for Christmas I was finally able to get some sleep because of this pillow and it was so refreshing not to look like a zombie when greeting family in the airport.
2. Revolutionise your bed time routine with sleep headphones
For the past couple of months, I have been using sleep headphones as part of my bed-time routine. I am a bad sleeper – I find it hard to get to sleep and I find it hard to get out of bed. It literally is the worst of two worlds! But sleep headphones are actually helping a lot!
I tried using normal headphones but noticed that the little earbuds hurt my ears – ultimately keeping me awake. That is when I ordered sleep headphones. Sleep headphones are actually a headband with integrated flat headphones that connect to your phone or device via Bluetooth. You can listen to an audiobook, calm music or rain sounds and white noise to fall asleep! I don’t think I will be able to travel without them now.
3. Nanopresso coffeemaker to battle jetlag
Depending on where you are traveling to and from, you need to keep an eye on your jetlag. This means that you will want to stay awake during certain hours while you equally need to force yourself to catch some sleep when you might not feel like it.
For those who need to trick their body into staying awake, a nanopresso machine might come as a perfect little saviour! This small espresso maker fits in your carry-on and as long as you don’t forget to bring some Nespresso pods, you won’t run out of coffee during your flight.
Nanopresso is very handy to use. Make sure you charge your Nanopresso before you leave and befriend the cabin crew so they can top you up with hot water for your small espresso machine. This way you don’t have to drink the bad plane coffee while staying awake to battle the oncoming jetlag!
4. Game the time away with a Nintendo Switch
Are you looking to convince yourself/your partner to buy a Nintendo Switch? Read on!
Joshua and I bought a Nintendo Switch last year as we will be traveling a lot and taking an Xbox or a Playstation with you from one country to another is not that easy. Josh also wanted to play Zelda on the Switch while I had my eye set on Mario cart… so we bought a Nintendo Switch!
Honestly having a Nintendo Switch on the plane is a godsend! When we were heading to China from Dubai I played the whole flight from Urumqi to Xi’an. Gaming is just a great way to kill time! A Nintendo Switch also allows you to play with two or more people which is great when sitting together or when your plane has been delayed. You can buy a headphone splitter so everyone can hear the game without disturbing people around you.
5. Always travel with a headphone splitter
I love my headphone splitter. In fact: I always travel with it!
I bought one when my husband and I were still living in London. We often took the ferry from Dover to my parents in Belgium which gave us 2 hour to watch a movie of to binge a few series.
With a headphone splitter you can easily watch movies or play games on your Nintendo Switch together without disturbing other people around you or without having to share an earbud.
Headphone splitters are ridiculously cheap but they are an incredible gadget to take with you when on the road or in the air!
6. Create your own inflight entertaiment with the skyclip
If you, like Josh and I, don’t mind flying with cheap airlines, you probably came across planes without any inflight entertainment. Trust me: it is quite boring to stare at the back of someone else’s chair for 5 hours straight. I always try to download a Netflix series or at least a few movies so I can keep busy on the airplane. The only problem with using your phone as inflight entertainment is that you need to find a comfortable way to hold your phone up to watch your movie or series.
Enter the Skyclip! This amazing little invention allows you to literally clip your phone onto the seat in front of you so you can easily watch whatever you downloaded onto your phone. When I found out about this little thing I ordered it immediately. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet as we were lucky enough to have inflight entertainment in all the plains we boarded since.
7. Bring thousands of books on board with your Amazon Kindle
Bringing an Amazon Kindle on board to kill time is an amazing idea! I used to be an avid reader (now I just binge watch – oops) and wouldn’t go anywhere without my kindle. Even now – depending on where we are heading to, I will bring my paperwhite.
One kindle can store thousands of books. And did you know that buying e-books us actually cheaper than buying normal books? it is an added bonus that they all fit in a little device that is both small and very light. I first thought that reading on a paperwhite would not be very enjoyable. In fact- I was worried about reading off a screen. But a paperwhite simulates the effect of ink on paper and won’t leave you with a headache from staring at a screen for too long.
A kindle will also give you access to thousands of books you won’t find in the book shop. So many great authors are self-publishing at the moment, and I am sure you can find your next favourite book in the Amazon Kindle Shop.
8. Dont run out of juice with a powerbank
So you are using your phone, Nintendo Switch, your tablet or your kindle to kill time on the plane… the last thing you want to happen is for your batteries to die! A power bank will allow you to charge your devices and use them throughout the flight. I cannot stress how incredibly amazing they are!
A few years ago power banks were bad and expensive. You were hardly able to charge 20% of your phone and you would have to shell out at least $50 for a small power bank. I even thought power banks would be done and dusted within a few years… until they decided to put bigger and better models on the market at a much cheaper price. I think Joshua and I bought our power banks for $20 each and we can charge our phone twice with one load. That’s great when you are on several long flights or when you have to kill time in the airport.
9. Download audiobooks from Audible
I am absolutely crazy about audiobooks! I LOVE them! Not only do audiobooks help me to fall asleep, but they also help me to kill time. It is easier to listen to someone read you a story than reading the book yourself – especially when you want to relax, are prone to headaches or don’t want to strain your eyes.
Audible allows you to download 1 audiobook per month – or you can buy more credits with which you can download more! An audiobook will keep you busy for at least 8 hours – depending on what book you choose this might be more and longer. Most popular and bestselling books have an audiobook version.
10. Stay classy with a travel cocktail kit
I am one of those people who likes to drink alcohol on the plane. it helps me sleep, it helps me pass the time, and it overall is just nice to have a gin and tonic or a bottle of wine on the plane. If you have to buy your drinks on the plane, you might want to consider bringing a cocktail kit. This amazing kit will help you create 2 signature cocktail drinks. I honestly love the idea. Great for when you are travelling on a long flight at night and you need something to help you to sleep. This little kit is also a great present for people who like to travel!