5 travel gadgets you need for your next flight

  Reserved seating on an Austrian Airlines flight. Image credit:    Austrian Airlines   /   Creative Commons

Reserved seating on an Austrian Airlines flight. Image credit: Austrian Airlines/Creative Commons

Flying for a long time will definitely require some kind of distraction from the potential boredom, especially if you’re not one of those people who drift off as soon as they’ve sat in their seat and wake up when the wheels have touched down.

Thankfully, we live in an era where technology rules the roost and there are a variety of gadgets that can help keep you occupied during your flight. After all, around 67% of the world’s population own a smartphone, which are essentially computers that can fit into your pocket.

But phones aren’t the only useful device that you can pack into your hand luggage, so here’s a look at a variety of devices that will help make your next flight that little bit easier.

Noise-cancelling headphones

  Noise-cancelling headphones could be the key to a peaceful trip. Image credit:    Umair Abbasi   /   Creative Commons

Noise-cancelling headphones could be the key to a peaceful trip. Image credit: Umair Abbasi/Creative Commons

If you want to divert your attention from the sound of children crying, people complaining and annoying passengers attempting to drum up small talk, then noise-cancelling headphones are a sound investment, pun absolutely intended.

Having these types of headphones allow you to effectively zone out and concentrate on the music, podcast, movie or whatever audio file you’re listening to. They’ll also give off a signal to others that this is your do not disturb time.

If you’re looking to relax and get some shut-eye while you’re on your flight, music is a good way to help this happen. Studies have found that music helps us relax and ease us off to sleep, and if you want to drift off faster, you should follow these steps:

  • Listen to music you know

    Play slow music around 60-80 beats per minute with relaxing melodies and low-frequency tones

  • Put the music on as you settle on the flight and apply a sleep timer so that you don’t get disturbed by it as you sleep. Just set the timer to run for around 15 to 45 minutes.

Sleep mask

  A camper uses a face mask to help him sleep. Image credit:    brookpeterson   /   Creative Commons

A camper uses a face mask to help him sleep. Image credit: brookpeterson/Creative Commons

While this is not a gadget in the traditional sense, a sleep mask can be the difference between wide awake and fast asleep. There’s an aromatherapy sleep mask to help soothe you off to sleep, or you could go for the activated charcoal option that will rid you of those puffy eyes after you’ve got your shut-eye.

Perhaps you’d prefer a foam mask that will block light out while delivering the utmost facial comfort. The choice is yours, but there are some great adaptations of the classic eye mask that you’re sure to love.

Window shelf

Yes, that’s right, thanks to the wonders of technology, you can now enjoy not only the window seat but also to have a shelf that attaches to the window of the plane – talk about having your cake and eating it!

The window shelf by spAIRtray claims to increase your window seat space by a third and lets you remain organised while you’re flying. A nifty gadget to add to your hand luggage items is this foldable device, which is super-easy to install. Once it’s in place, simply insert it into the window shade track and you’ve got yourself an awesome non-slip travel shelf to pop your bits and pieces onto.

Foot hammock

You might like to get your feet out of your shoes, but hate the chilly temperature around your toes. However, there is a handy little gadget that will stop you from ever having nippy feet again. This stylish foot hammock by SmartTravel comes complete with an adjustable strap, so the only thing you need to do is hang it around your tray table, place your feet in, set the length that suits, kick back and enjoy.

The additional perk of this little gem is that it has medical benefits too; having been proven to help reduce swelling and also aid your circulation.

Luggage scale

Not so much a gadget for the flight itself, but one that will help you stay relax and stress-free pre-flight, the luggage scale can come in handy and take the stress out of checking in.

Have a portable digital scale to hand and you’ll easily be able to find out the weight of your luggage before checking it in, meaning there won’t have to make the choice of what to pull out of your case and leave behind at the counter.