In-Flight Upgrades for the Gypsy Traveler

Word by Janell M. Hickman

Newsflash: Winter is in full effect, causing wanderlust to strike harder than ever. Why would you want to be cooped up in your home (or office) when there’s so many fabulous places to explore? If you want to truly put the mantra “catch flights, not feelings” into practice, you might need to consider upgrading your travel gear in 2017. Beyond travel apps and flight fare watchers, travel pros know certain essentials make even the longest airport visits just a smidge more comfortable.


Here’s our abbreviated of edit of must-haves to scoop up before your next escape—whether big or small.


The On-the-Go DuffleParavel The Grand Tour ($345, tourparavel.com)

Long weekends (or short trips) don’t always require a rolling suitcase. In fact, a sturdy duffle can often do the job. This water-, stain-, and spill-proof version can not only take a beating, but looks good in the process. It’s no wonder this collection exudes #stylegoals, since it was concepted by former Delpozo fashion alums, Indré Rockefeller and Andy Krantz. Plus, most of their pieces retail for under $350 giving you more extra cash to spare on flights, accommodations, and experiences.

Blinks Ultralight Sleep Mask

Stylish Shut EyeBucky ‘40 Blinks’ Sleep Mask ($14, bucky.com)

Listen, all eye masks are not created equal—especially the complimentary ones handed out pre-flight. Make the most of a long, international flight by getting the best sleep possible with a light-eliminating mask. The unique design of deep molded cups also allow space in between the eye and the mask, meaning can you to blink freely without pressure. The lightweight fabric (the mask only weight 7 grams total) is both hypoallergenic and hand washable. A major win in our book.

Protect Ya Neck
Cabeau Memory Foam Travel Pillow ($39.99, www.cabeau.com)

Listen, cheap flights might mean less-than-luxe airplane seats. But, there’s no need to suffer thanks to this soft-yet-supportive, memory foam pillow. Boasting a specific (and patented) ergonomic design, you’ll enjoy 360-degrees of support. Now, you can feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud while in the clouds. The best part? The removable washable cover means you can have a fresh clean pillow as often as you like. Boom.

Alpaca Throw

Luxe Layers–  Baby Alpaca Throw ($225, shop.stfrank.com)

Chilly air cabins mixed with not-so-sanitary blankets aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. Save yourself a lot of trouble by bringing your own luxurious topper to warm up when the AC is a bit too high. Handcrafted in the Andes (more than 13,000 feet above sea level) in Peru, this sinfully soft throw is made from 100% Peruvian baby alpaca—a favorite of royalty. St. Frank’s commitment to design and social impact ensures the alpaca is sheared (not killed) leaving the animal unharmed and handled ethically.

Hip-Hip-Headphones – Stitch Ear Buds ($49, molami.com)

Even the shortest plane rides can be filled with the inconsiderately loud, the uncontrollably sick, and of course, the crowd favorite: the cranky crying child. Enjoy a first-class listening experience with keen attention to detail by the first headphone company designed by women, for women. For example, the buds gently rest in your ear for maximum comfort yet offer a cool, fashion slant with touches of matte black/ gold or matte white/copper. Get ready to tune out the three-way cringing combo listed above with a dope playlist or an array of podcasts you’ve been meaning to catch up on.


Voluspa Scented Travel Candles  ($16, www.voluspa.com

Every traveler loves a hotel room that smells fragrant and pleasant, like the smell of home away from home Travel tin candles by Voluspa are not only beautiful to look at they are affordable and also burn for 50 hours which covers quite a bit of territory for frequent fliers.

Sound CheckSshhhh! Ear Plugs ($21.60, amazon.com)

Transport yourself into a world of silence thanks to these soft-touch hypoallergenic silicone plugs. Unlike others that you haphazardly drop in your bag, pop these back into their base until you feel that irresistible urge to have a moment of solitude again.


Texture Logo


A Good Read – Texture (3 Months for $10, texture.com)

Gone are the days of carrying multiple books and magazines. Streamline your subscriptions with this innovative new app that gives you unlimited access to 200+ of your favorite magazines by Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Communications, and Time Inc. The digital-only reading experience is exclusively available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, Android devices, and Amazon Fire tablets only. Get ready to fall down a content rabbit hole with this all-access pass to the world’s best magazines.


Flight Therapy: Aesop Ginger Flight Therapy ($31,aesop.com)

Uneasy travellers will love this natural, homeopathic solution to combat stress, nausea or weariness. Made with natural essential oils, the lightweight formula can be applied directly onto neck, temples, wrists, behind the ears or abdomen before you even take off. The invigorating blend can also double as a roll-on fragrance for those who want to keep their carry-on super edited. 

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