Travel Gifts for Comfy Plane Rides

Airplane travel is not fun, let’s face it. But I’m always careful to balance my grumbling with sincere gratitude. If it weren’t for a few cramped hours on airplanes, I probably would not know the weight of the air in a pharaonic tomb, or the light inside the Hagia Sophia, or the night-sky in the Sahara Desert, or a thousand other first-hand, unique sensory experiences found many thousands of miles from home. Honestly, I hardly remember all the hours I’ve spent on airplanes. It’s the places and people at the end of the ride that leave the lasting impressions. Still, it doesn’t hurt to pimp that ride as best you can. For me, that means swaddling my body in warm, soft things so it thinks I’m at home on the couch watching a Homeland marathon.

The foundation for a comfortable plane trip is comfortable clothing. Basically, you want jammies that you can wear in public, proudly. Your feet need to be warm and free to do what they do on planes. Socks don’t cut it. You need slippers. Then you need a blanket, not only for warmth but for privacy and to define your space. It’s a security blanket really, to make up for the vulnerability and lack of control we feel on airplanes. The protective powers of the blanket increase many fold when you know that blanket and where it has been. (Am I too attached to my blanket?) Finally, you need pillows to support the inevitable floppy-head and slouching back. (Is it really so hard to build a chair with lumbar support??)

My essentials, from Travelsmith:

3-piece knit suit

Soft, stretchy, breathable, wrinkle-resistant, cling-free, machine-washable fabric, keeps its shape so you don’t have to.

$99 on sale from $149 through December 18, 2013

3-piece knit suit

3-piece knit suit

Merino Wool Wrap

A blanket disguised as clothing, 100% merino wool, 65″L x 27″W.

$69 on sale from $99 through December 18, 2013

merino wool wrap

merino wool wrap

Women’s Nufoot™ Mary Jane Slippers

soft, water-resistant, with protective sole for visits to the loo




Coolmax® Travel Blanket®

soft, breathable, lightweight and all yours
open 70″L x 55″W; folded: 7″L x 3 1/2″W


travel blanket

travel blanket

Super Snoozer Memory Foam Pillow

I like the combination of memory foam, for just the right amount of neck support, with inflatable areas for less packing bulk.

16½” x 11″(inflated); 5 1/8″ x 5 7/8″ (closed & folded)


neck pillow

neck pillow

Lumbar Pillow

17″W x 5″D x 9″H; folded: 8½”W x 4½”H. 8 oz

lumbar pillow

lumbar pillow

Check out for these and other gift ideas for all the travelers in your life.

1 thought on “Travel Gifts for Comfy Plane Rides

  1. Pingback: A Few More Travel Gift Ideas, Before it’s too Late | The Ya'lla Blog

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