Once or twice a year, I tend to fly for 16 hours to visit my home town of Haifa, Israel. If we do some quick math, there’s a total of 64 nightmare-ish hours I spend on an airplane (round trip) cramped up like a box.
The key to a great long distance flight, I’ve found, is to not experience it. The perfect outcome is to get into the plane, and get out of it as quickly as possible feeling as closely as possible to the way you first got into it.
I started by trying out basic plane pillows, and while they improved the experience, they lacked the fine support system to properly hold my head for deep, long sleeps.
Medical situations that require rested heads have figured this out already. Neck braces have that exact function — and by scouting Amazon I found a product that leverages a similar concept:
This product snaps from the front, creating a 360 degree support system, fixing your heads to an upright position.
Sleeping with the lights on is a chore, and that’s where sleeping masks come in. Traditional ones use elastic bands to keep the mask on, but for 16 hour flights, the band creates enough pressure on one’s head for wake-up pains.
The SleepMaster is a lightweight sleeping mask with a velcro-based band. It allows you to adjust the amount of force needed to keep the mask snug just right.
Airplane background noise is intense. A constant humming in your ears for 16 hours will have residual effects, though most of us suffer through similar effects in urban areas, it’s intensified in airplanes.
On for 16 hours, my ears started cooking and eventually reaching boiling temperatures, either waking me up from deep sleep, or arriving to my destination with a headache. The problem wasn’t the concept, but the means of which it was applied.
Noise canceling earbuds provided the best noise reduction-to-heat tradeoff. While not as sound-proof as the headphones, the buds reduced noises by over 90% while keeping my ears cool and comfy.
With your head safely supported by the snug pillow (courtesy of your upper body), eardrums minimally stimulated from surrounding noise and eyes covered for minimal irritation, you can now turn your body off.
Filling out the leftover few hours becomes a matter of selecting the best movie to watch or book to read.
The solution is a versatile battery pack that can charge over all your devices and keep them running way over 16 hours.
After I charge the pack at home, I can plug in a USB cable from the battery pack to any of my devices and charge it up quick and easy.
Header Image by José Martín