Don’t get us wrong, we know heading off on a long flight can be exciting: the prospect of jetting off across the world in pursuit of adventure, the 7am pints, the duty-free perfume… But soon, the joy of the journey can wear off for even the most excitable travellers, usually between having a stranger fall asleep on your shoulder and feeling your feet go numb somewhere over the Alps. That’s why we’ve rounded up our pick of the best travel accessories to help you survive your next long-haul flight.
Whatever particularly pains you when you’re jet-setting, whether it’s a nagging feeling about leaving your precious cargo in the hands of the luggage people, losing your bag at the carousel, not being able to sleep on overnight flights, or aches and pains from economy seats, we’ve picked something to help.
If you’re an anxious flyer or have trouble sleeping, go for a comforting pillow spray to soothe you into dreamland, or a silky soft eye mask filled with lavender for a luxurious spa feel. If you get bored and restless, a pair of really good noise-cancelling headphones make an excellent investment piece that’ll cut out sensory overload and maximise entertainment. For the ultra-organised (or those making an attempt to be organised), a personal accessories organiser or travel wallet is ideal for keeping the important bits close at hand. From the brilliant to the bonkers — fair warning, there is ‘smart luggage’ to come — it’s all here.
It’s hard enough deciding what goes in the hold and what gets promoted to carry-on, without having to deal with a jumble when you board. Luckily, with the folio-style Knomo digital organiser, you can keep everything you’ll need close at hand. Travel documents, keys, devices, medication and more are all neatly corralled with handily-sized pockets, but best of all are the elastic ties for strapping down tricky items like cables. Knomo have a variety of fabric and leather versions of their Digital Organiser, although the Knomo Surface Fabric in Charcoal has a particularly sleek look to it.
If you find it difficult to sleep when you travel, especially while up in the air, but don’t want to turn to sleeping tablets, this pillow spray is a lovely gentle alternative. Made with pure essential oils and operating on the principles of aromatherapy, a few spritzes either side of your travel pillow will gently lull you to sleep with calming lavender, vetivert and chamomile. Plus, it’s not just for travel — try it when you get home too!
As far as investments for travel and home use go, noise-cancelling headphones are a winner, and this set from trusted brand Bose is our favourite. A set of noise-cancelling headphones are great on the ground for your commute or chilling out at home, but in the air, they’re a sanity-saver. If the in-flight films are a bit naff, use them to stream a boxset or listen to some music without disturbing your fellow passengers, or simply pop them on to drown out a bit of noise when bedtime rolls around.
Long touted as a remedy for sleeplessness and anxiety, lavender can be a nervous traveller or tricky sleeper’s best friend, and it’s put to good use in this soothing mask. It doesn’t let any light through at all, and it’s very comfortable to wear, with sturdy elastic and soft-on-eyes silky fabric. Perfect for in-flight naps, or just for creating a little bit of peace and tranquility in an often overstimulating environment.
If you’re a little bit paranoid about where your luggage might end up, and in what state, after a long-haul flight, this is the suitcase for you. It puts you in complete control, with GPS tracking to keep an eye on it from afar, remote locking for peace of mind, and smart alerts. Forget about trying to balance this suitcase precariously on the scales, too: it has its own built-in digital scale to show you how far you are off the baggage limit, and if you can really risk that extra pair of shoes.
If you struggle to get comfy squeezed into airline seats, especially if there’s no room to recline, this ergonomic pillow might be the solution. This innovative memory foam travel pillow squishes down into a small ball for popping easily into your hand luggage, and opens up again without the need to inflate, so you can get into the best position quickly to avoid neck pains and other aches. The breathable velour outer is beautifully soft, too, never scratchy.
Forget keys and codes, the next generation of padlock is here. Actually, if you do forget keys and codes, this is the perfect travel accessory for you: using the free companion app, you can open the lock using your smartphone, and even share temporary or permanent access with others. Cleverly, the lock will send tamper alerts to your phone, so if anyone tries to get into your suitcase, you’ll soon know about it. A very clever gadget that has applications at home as well as away, and a much more cost-effective alternative to the BlueSmart One suitcase.
A truly beautiful travel wallet can be hard to come by, but luckily luxury leather brand Aspinal of London have us covered. With beautifully soft calf leather, moiré silk and plush suede, it’s immensely elegant, not to mention touchable. It really shines on long-haul flights where multiple documents are needed, and is an especially good buddy on stopovers, as it keeps everything you need in one place with full-length compartments and even a boarding pass section. This travel wallet will hold your passport, tickets, visas, currency and more.