You’ve put a lot of time and energy into your event planning. It’s the final stretch. There’s no reason to be ashamed if you’re stressed-out as you prepare for a long-distance trip to your event destination or conference center. Travel is a common stressor, and flying is an especially common fear. As many as 25% of Americans report at least some nervousness when flying, and the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that around 6.5 percent of the population has a diagnosable fear called aviophobia. That means you’re in the same boat (or plane) as 20 million other people.
The best way to ease anxiety is preparation. So we’ve built a list of a few comfort items to make your journey a little easier — each of these remove a specific travel stressor and should help make your journey a breeze.
Easy Acc High Capacity Power Bank for iPhone, Samsung, and Android ($37.99)
There’s nothing worse than a dead cell-phone battery on a long trip (well, there are worse things — but it’s still pretty frustrating). It always seems to happen when you most need to call someone or send an email. Plus, you can’t rely on scarce airport outlets, charging stations, or USB ports (and besides, tech experts warn that charging your cell phone at an airport station is somewhat akin to brushing your teeth with a toothbrush you found on the side of the road).
That’s where the Easy Acc High Capacity Power Bank comes in — it’s a portable charger for your cell phone or tablet (with two inputs, so potentially both if you so choose). It charges at speeds that are twice as fast as your computer and a fully charged unit is meant to keep your phone going on a five day camping trip — capable of charging an iPhone 7 six times, a Samsung S8 more than 4 times or an iPad Mini 3 two times. Plus, the unit itself only takes six hours to charge from a wall unit so it’s easy to reset overnight!
AirBolt Personal Luggage Security ($59.95)
In the digital era, personal information security is becoming more and more important — especially for those in the business realm. If you carry proprietary information on your laptop, tablet or cell-phone — or simply want some extra protection for your luggage — then the AirBolt is the smart device for you.
It’s a GPS tracking lock for your luggage that syncs with (and unlocks from) your smartphone, and features several creative security tricks. If you attach it to your carry-on, you can enable a theft-prevention feature that triggers an alarm if the bag moves too far away from your phone. If you put it on your stow-away luggage, the GPS feature allows you to track where your back is at all times — no more wondering whether or not your luggage was misplaced as you wait at the terminal. There are also a number of alternative unlock methods you can enable or disable so that only you know which is active (including a normal password if you prefer). The battery lasts around nine months, and the lock is 100% TSA approved.
A Footrest and Compression Socks for Pesky Ankle Swelling ($19.97 + $7.99)
Many often complain about leg and foot swelling when flying — this is a common, often harmless phenomenon caused by blood pooling in the veins due to inactivity (similar to what happens to hospital patients who are immobilized for periods). But, harmless as it is, the swelling can be uncomfortable.
That’s where your own personal footrest comes in. It hangs right off the seat in front of you and allows you to put your feet up in luxury. Additionally, compression socks will help put pressure on your veins and keep the blood moving (doctors often recommend them for patients who complain about swollen legs).
Noise Canceling Headphones (varies: $349.99 or $59.99)
Noise canceling headphones were actually invented in 1986 for air travel by Dr. Amar Bose (yup, that Bose!), specifically for pilots attempting non-stop flight around the world. To this day the technology remains relatively the same: an external microphone registers low level frequencies and neutralizes it with a noise thats 180 degrees out of phase — which is all a very scientific way of saying that your noise-canceling headphones can more than halve the sound you hear from the jet engines on your flight. Since the sound at the interior of an aircraft averages around 85 decibels, this is often critical for a comfortable sleep or to enjoy music or a movie.
Reliefband, for Air Sickness ($94.99)
Do you get motion sickness easily? A lot of people do, and air sickness is a very specific kind of motion sickness caused by disorientation related to the inner ear. Reliefband sounds like an odd bit of sci-fi technology — a wristband that minimizes air sickness related nausea by sending electrical signals through your nervous system. But it’s clinically proven and the reviews hold up. Plus, unlike nausea medications such as dramamine, it doesn’t cause drowsiness. It comes with a conductive gel and a charging unit, and is waterproof as well!
Portable Router ($44.95)
This is sort of a cheat entry, because it’s not exactly for use on your flight. But everyone knows how frustrating high wi-fi access prices on airlines can be. Nothing’s worse than getting off your flight, down to your hotel, and finding out your location also charges by the hour for wifi or has poor wifi access on your end of the hotel. If you’re on a business trip and have time-sensitive, important work to turn in — this can be detrimental, and costly.
A portable router isn’t always a solution, but it does work most of the time. See, a good portion of hotel TVs run signal through ethernet cables at the back of the TV. All you have to do is unplug the cable from the TV and into your router, and you’ve got your own personal internet connection in your room without the pesky subscription fees, or struggle to connect to distant wi-fi hotspots.
Bonus Entry: Ostrich Pillow
This is the silliest entry on this list. Just look at it. It’s really silly. And admittedly, you may be too embarrassed to use it on a plane. But it’s really comfortable, and it keeps you really cool. Plus, it does a better job at filtering out the light than most sleeping masks. Just don’t wear it when you’re going through security.