Fly Right: Wendy Perrin has 15 Problem-Solving Items for Overnight Flights
Wendy Perrin is the founder of WendyPerrin.com, where she shares her unique and extensive knowledge of travel solutions and travel planners. Prior to founding WendyPerrin.com, Wendy spent two decades as Condé Nast Traveler‘s Director of Consumer News and Digital Community, and she is also currently serving as TripAdvisor’s Travel Advocate. Follow her on Facebook and @wendyperrin for all her best tips.
Leave it to frequent fliers to come up with creative ways to make overnight flights comfortable. These unusual recommendations come from assorted travel experts and friends on Facebook. They’re not all what you’d expect, but they’re all very clever. What items do you take on the plane to help make you more comfortable?
It’s super plush and comfy and can also be used as a pillow and lumbar support. It has a loop with a snap that lets me attach it to my carry-on bag so it’s easy to access and doesn’t take up precious space in my bag. —Susan Portnoy, founder, The Insatiable Traveler
I never board a flight without it. The wide, soft, cotton scarf with snaps can be worn all sorts of ways, which is great for travel. For flights though, I love that it can be a blanket, a pillow, a wrap, or even a sort of light-blocking head scarf.” —Christine Sarkis, senior editor, Smarter Travel
I always bring “FitKicks,” as they keep my feet comfy and clean. I also wear my L.L. Bean 850 down jacket that weighs about 2 ounces and doubles as a pillow when stuffed inside its own pocket. —Gail Rosenberg, luxury travel designer, Largay Travel
It’s a machine-washable, super-soft-fleece travel neck pillow that is the best thing ever. —Margaret Stevenso
It’s a natural headache relief treatment I buy in the U.K. It comes in a small container that you roll up, like a solid deodorant stick. It’s great for headaches and stuffy sinuses, and if you take a big whiff of it, it wakes you up too. Think of it as a solid Vicks Vapor Rub, only tinier and convenient. —Marie Fritz
Use these flower remedies and hope for a better sleep. —Paola Fiocchi van den Brande, founder of Passepartout Homes
Fantastic for rolling your feet over on long flights. I take one out and roll my foot over the ball while I’m sitting in my seat. It stretches the muscles and increases the blood flow to your feet and feels oh so good. Just don’t let it escape and roll down the aisle! —Allie Almario, vice president, Myths and Mountains
Inflatable beach ball
Bring one of those cheap blow-up beach balls and a hand towel. Blow up the beach ball, cover with the towel, and use as a giant pillow to lay on in your lap. It’s a refreshing change from the neck pillow for those who need a “little more” cushion. —Mark Estill, travel consultant/owner, Mark4 Vacations
White noise app
I use a white noise app on my iPad. Pop in my earbuds, turn on the waves, and the sound masks airplane and passenger noises better than noise-cancelling headphones. —Deb Arora, partner, Jacks & Stars
I bring a tiny vial of rosemary oil. My sinuses get super-dry on those long flights, and that leads to headaches and other weirdness. The smell of that oil just brightens up the inside of my head. And bonus, it banishes that weird airplane smell for a bit. —Pam Mandel, writer/editor, Nerd’s Eye View
I use it as a moisturizer (face and body), hair conditioner, toothpaste, mouthwash, and deodorant (it’s anti-bacterial). —Lynn Braz, author, LynnBraz.com
First, so that you can wipe off the tray table, armrests, and headrest. Second, so that when you wake up, you can wipe your face and feel refreshed. —Katie Kenner-Bohl
I take one while flying, and I keep a few extra in my toiletries bag, for the trip. Better safe than sick! —Kelsey Ebner
Your favorite herbal tea
It’s comforting to have something familiar while traveling, and a cup of hot water is easily gotten from a flight attendant. —Scott Laird, writer, AbFabSkyLife
iPad with extra storage
Beyond all the usual stuff that experienced travelers know to do to try to sleep (much of which will work or not work with the reliability of a cheap watch), what seems to affect me best when I’m struggling to sleep is knowing I have comfort “content” handy. Most of my favorite novels—and we’re not talking Tolstoy but easier-on-the-spirit reads—are already loaded on my iPad. And if I’m too tired to read, I have episodes of favorite TV shows (“Gilmore Girls” and “Frasier” among ‘em) and movies that help me feel at home and relax (“Mamma Mia” always makes me smile). When I replaced my old iPad with a new one, I doubled up on the storage space for just this reason: I wanted to make sure there was enough room for my old pals.—Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief, Cruise Critic
What do you pack in your carry-on for a more comfortable flight?