Fly a lot? Most planes don’t provide all the comforts of home. Between cramped seats, noisy passengers, and limited options for entertainment travel by air can be a real trial. But you can make the best of it. If you travel by plane a lot, there are some things that you just can’t live without.
Here’s 7 gadgets that you must have for frequent flyers:
1. Noise Canceling Headphones
There’s a huge variety of these available, from earbuds to over the ear, cheap to a high-end audiophile, wireless, wired, or even with custom headphone cables. Fit these to your own needs and budget, but keep in mind cost and quality. If sound quality is a must, your costs will be higher. Another consideration is size and convenience. Small is always suitable for carry-on, but you may sacrifice your sound or increase your cost even higher to preserve it.
2. Lightweight Notebook or Laptop
With travel computers, the choice is between size and weight. The larger the computer, the larger the screen and keyboard, important considerations for people who make frequent use even while on the road. But size comes with increased weight and some real awkwardness when trying to use your computer in your seat. It might even be best to have a dedicated flight notebook if you travel enough. Save the larger laptop for the hotel when you arrive.
3. Tablet or E-reader
These are a must-have for bookworms, along with some pre-downloaded reading material. This can also be an excellent substitute for the notebook computer. Add a portable wireless keyboard, maybe even a folding one, and you have a miniature workstation. Not as powerful as a dedicated computer for many uses, but smaller, lighter and with more modest power consumption.
Look into preloading movies or TV shows or setting up a streaming service for some alternatives to the in-flight movie. Dedicated E-readers are very lovely, and some of the better models feature some of the same capabilities of tablets. Make sure what you get fills all your needs, or you may end up with a stack of them.
4. Portable Battery
Most airlines now have the charging available on their planes, but if you carry multiple devices you may find you need to charge more than one at a time. High-capacity batteries are very reasonable now, with enough power to perform multiple recharges of most phones. Look into some of the more clever combinations available, like an RFID proof wallet with a battery built in, or luggage with a large battery accessible even when closed. Others provide a flashlight, file storage, or even wireless hotspot capability.
5. Sleep Accessories
With enough travel, you will end up on a late-night or even overnight flight. Be prepared. Neck pillows come in a dizzying array of styles, including inflatable ones for a real space saver. Eye masks are very useful not only to block the light but to signal your fellow passenger you intend to sleep and head off those awkward conversations when you need your rest.
Earplugs are an option if you find them more comfortable to sleep with than headphones or earbuds. One size does not fit all, so be prepared to try several of each of these items before settling on the one that works for you.
6. Portable Space
One thing lacking in any airline seat is space. Be prepared to provide some of your own. Gadgets for attaching a shelf to your window gives you some room, for creating a little more room on the armrest, and to separate your arm from your neighbor’s, may seem over the top, until your arm slips off for the seventh time on your four-hour flight. Take a look at what is available to make your seat feel a little bigger.
7. Personal Comfort
Don’t feel like you have to tough it out. If you can be comfortable, you should be. Miniature hammocks for your feet can help on long flights, as can specialized socks and footwear to help your circulation. Finding sturdy, comfortable, and wrinkle-proof clothing for your flights can turn your journey from a hardship into a pleasant outing.
Luggage, both carry on and checked, can be chosen for size, convenience, and comfort. Easy to lift carry-ons with straps that don’t cut into your shoulders should be a requirement. A wide variety of checked luggage with wheels exist to make moving your bags around airports and hotels easier. Use them.
There are numerous options for each of these, so dig in and find which ones fit your style. Depending on how much you value things like comfortable sleep or high-quality audio, you can spend a lot of money on these. But if you spend enough time in the air, you’ll find out how valuable these investments are. You might even learn to enjoy flying again.
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