10 products to make long-haul flights easier

Posted by Matt Sterne on 27 September 2018

These 10 products make long-haul flights easier and more comfortable, says Gear Editor Matthew Sterne. But he can’t do anything about the legroom.

 

Anti-theft backpack with USB charging port

R450, iconix.co.za

Fend off wandering hands in airports with this simple backpack that has a concealed zipper. It’s not as practical as a normal backpack as items are more tricky to access, but that’s the point if you want to thwart pickpockets. There are padded compartments inside the bag for tech devices, and the integrated charging port conveniently connects to your own powerbank inside the bag while you charge your device outside it.

American Tourister Road Quest 55cm duffle with wheels

R1 999, houseofsamsonite.co.za

This is nothing like the quality of the Samsonite duffel (see item 6), but it does tick all the right boxes for a carry-on bag. It’s large enough to hold your belongings on a short break, has wheels and an extendable handle so you can dash through the airport, and enough pockets and compartments to arrange your things.

2-in-1 flexible memory foam pillow

R280, takealot.com

This nifty pillow bends easily but is strong enough to support your head and neck. The material your head rests on is soft, while on the back there is a strip of non-slip material as well as two small pockets for stashing items such as chewing gum and lip ice. It can also be used as a cushion for lower-back support.

Stretchy belt pouch

R160, takealot.com

It’s tradition for mothers to thrust a money belt at their children as they set off on their first unsupervised overseas adventure. Now there’s a new, sleeker money belt on offer, made from Lycra to stretch to accommodate items. With a concealed cable port for headphones, it’s just big enough to hold your passport and phone, but might not fit larger waistlines.

The ostrich pillow

R299, iconix.co.za

Put your head inside (yes, inside) this pillow and let the outside world fade away. There’s a hole to breathe through and two holes at the top of the pillow in which to rest your hands if you want to snooze with your head on your arms. You might be ostracised for your ostrich-ness (it looks really peculiar) but you won’t be able to see or hear anything to care.

Samsonite paradiver light duffle on wheels 55cm

R4 299, houseofsamsonite.co.za

Sleek and practical, this bag is a joy to travel with. There’s a bunch of useful external pockets for documents, books or a spare top or scarf. Even the handle has a zippered home when not in use. The bag, made from an easy-to-clean polyester, is lighter than previous versions and can convert into a backpack.

 

Yale TSA travel lock (and airline headphone adaptor)

R195, yaleshop.co.za

This coded lock is ideal for securing your luggage zips together and is also TSA (Travel Sentry Approved). This allows customs officials in the USA to carry out their security checks without damaging your lock or bag – only US authorities have an override key for these locks.

 

Airline headphone adaptor

R45, takealot.com
Use your own (more comfortable, superior quality) headphones on your next flight with this simple adaptor that’s suitable for most planes that use double audio pin sockets. It’s especially useful if you like listening to music while sleeping, as I find airline headphones tend to slip off easily.

 

Go Travel TSA strap

R160, takealot.com
Add another layer of security to your belongings with this three-digit coded security strap. It slips snugly around the outside of a bulging suitcase. The bright colours (there are four options) ensure you’ll easily identify your bag and avoid any bleary eyed confusion with your fellow passengers. Nobody needs that kind of conveyer-belt tussle after a long-haul flight.

 

Six-piece travel luggage organiser set

R179, iconix.co.za

Just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean the contents of your bag need to run wild too. This six-piece set has compartments for clothing, toiletries and even dirty laundry – a dream come true for those who alphabeticise their bookshelves. It’s lightweight nylon, so don’t expect to keep it for life.