22 Things That’ll Make A Long Flight Far More Bearable

As someone who recently took a 15-hour flight to Seoul (and back), I've got you.

Popular items from this list include:

  • An airplane seat back organizer because those seat back pockets are never as big as you need them to be
  • An Airfly wireless transmitter that’ll let you connect your AirPods or any wireless headphones to your airplane seat...even without Bluetooth
  • A hands-free rotating phone mount can help you watch what you want or take advantage of the movies available online for those budget airlines without TVs in the back of the seats
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An airplane seat back organizer
Promising review: "Very useful especially when traveling with kids. Provided easy access and storage to things like water bottle, hand sanitizer, snacks, wipes, headphones. I didn't have to access my carry-on." — JJ
Plus a drink holder if you're a window seat person
Heads up — you can only use this if you're sitting in a seat that has access to a full window!

Promising review: "I used this for the first time on a 737. It was fabulous! It didn't intrude into my sitting space nearly as much as I expected. Because the actual window is recessed from the side wall, this only sticks out from the side wall about an inch. If you're considering this, you likely fly enough to know that seats aren't always aligned with the windows. If your window happens to be right beside your seat or the seat in front of you, this won't be of much use. But because it doesn't jut out as much as I thought, you can use it in more situations than I expected. And when you can use it, it's great! I love not having to have my entire tray table down just to hold a 3-inch cup. My only suggestion would be to add a place to hold trash until the flight attendant picks it up. This is very small, very lightweight, and very useful. I'll be taking it on every flight from here on." — JBC
A hands-free (rotating!) phone mount
Promising review: "Great idea, handy little gadget. A tiny bit bulkier than I wanted to pack, but so very glad I did! Took with me for a flight out of the country. Handy to be able to clamp or stand on tray table to watch films aired via in-flight Wi-Fi. Sturdy, versatile, appears well made, and durable. Used with Samsung Galaxy Note 10+." — KLMCats
An AirFly wireless transmitter
It also comes with a USB-C charging cable, travel pouch, keychain holder, quick-start guide, and a manual.

Twelve South is a small business that has been creating innovative tech accessories since 2009.

Promising review: "I was a little reluctant purchasing Airfly after reading the reviews, but I’m so glad I did! It worked perfectly on the plane, and while on my trip, I also used it to listen to music in the car. It acted like a speaker because I had no aux cable. It was great!" —Yamile cardozo
An Apple AirTag for each bag
Storytime: After traveling last summer carry-on only, and being a person who tries to carry on whenever possible, I finally bought a couple of Apple AirTags during Black Friday sales. And I am SO grateful I did. My normal carry-on bag was too big to fit the Lufthansa luggage requirements (and BOY, do they check that!) so I had to check my bags for a December 2022 trip to Vienna and back from Prague (with a layover in Frankfurt). My bag didn't make it onto the plane in Frankfurt, and once I landed in Newark, New Jersey, I pulled up the app on my phone and saw that yes, my backpack AirTag was indeed with me, but my suitcase AirTag was still in Germany. (The screen grab is from an Amazon review, but you get the gist.) The AirTag also helped me track FedEx's delivery of the suitcase to my parents' house, where I was spending the holidays immediately after my Europe trip ended. I was even able to see it on a highway less than an hour's drive from my parents' house. TL;DR: I think AirTags are very much a worthwhile investment if you travel a few times a year. And I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Promising review: "I bought a pair of these AirTags for a trip to France, and I’m so glad I did! First of all, the setup is super easy. I had zero problems, and both were done in, like, five minutes. I put one in my purse and one in my suitcase. On the way back home, the airline lost my luggage. Checked the Find My Friends app where the AirTag is tracked, and I could see that it never left the Charles de Gaulle airport. I felt more assurance being able to track my bag through the app as it made its way across the world back to me. 10/10 would recommend!" —Lindsay Kirby
A handbag organizer with lots of pockets
Promising review: "I have always purchased handbags with lots of pockets and sections because I hate having to dig around trying to find something in the gaping hole of purses with no sections. But I have passed up so many cute bags because of this, and I was frustrated with having to do so. I purchased this medium size organizer, and I couldn't be happier!! It is very well-made, and it has so many great pockets to organize everything I need. THE BEST PART is, I can easily lift it out of one purse and put it into another one, and I always know where everything can be found. I wish I had gotten one of these years ago. When I first ordered this organizer, I didn't realize it had two zipper compartments on each side, and I was tickled to discover even MORE storage!!! With all the fun colors and patterns, it was hard to select one, but I've always been partial to polka dots. I love it and can't imagine anyone not being has pleased with this as I am!" — Ronna
A handmade leather cord organizer
Promising review: "No more tangled headphone cables! I bought a pair for my desk at home, and I'm purchasing another pair for my office. I love how neat and untangled my earbud cords are when using this organizer. It's leather, which I'm sure will last many, many years for such a great price." — Jane M
An electronics organizer
Promising review: "This is the perfect travel companion. It fits everything including an Apple TV, HDMI-to-VGA-converter, and multiple lightning and micro-USB cables. I haven't been disappointed at all. Plus, it packs nicely in a backpack and goes everywhere." — iamtheoneoff
Or a 30-pack of waterproof zippered pouches
Promising review: "I bought these for a trip for my family of five. I like to plan in advance to make sure no one forgets anything! These were a life saver packing for three kids! I was able to create a carry-on, toiletries, wires/chargers, and snacks pouch for everyone! I used clear sticker paper to create name labels, and it all worked perfectly! Would definitely recommend if you need to travel with family and need to set things out and pack." — mommyandbri
An I Dew Care "Tap Secret" mattifying powder shampoo
Promising review: "I was looking for a dry shampoo that would be easy to use on the go for a trip I was taking. I had no issues taking this through TSA and it was so easy to use on the go. You literally just pat the poof on your scalp and then rub the powder in. I do have black hair so dry shampoo is usually very visible in my hair, but I didn't have any harder time than usual rubbing this powder in. It did a really good job of soaking up all the oil and giving my hair volume. I'm not a fan of the price for the amount that you get, but it is lasting longer than I thought it would. I would definitely recommend and will purchase again." — Teresa
A cute portable charger
I bought this specifically for my weeklong trip to Europe in December when I knew I'd be taking a million videos of adorable Christmas markets. But! I keep it in my bag all the time, even when I'm not on vacation. I use Google Maps to get around NYC and any New Yorker will tell you that when you leave your home on a quick errand at 10 a.m. on a Saturday, you may not get home until 3 a.m. because there's always something cool to do and friends constantly reach out with impromptu plans. This little charger has saved me on several days while I'm out and about. No more need to bring your pal a phone charging cord when you're meeting for happy hour and searching the bar for stools near an outlet.

Promising reviews: "I purchased this item before I traveled to Greece for one week. I used to this multiple times at the airport, on the airplane, and during my day trips while exploring during my vacation. This has lasted multiple charges it has been very convenient since you are not attached to an outlet while you’re recharging your phone." — christine k.

"When traveling I often run down the battery on my phone, especially on cruises when I go off the ship on an excursion and take a lot of pictures. I have had portable chargers before but they are heavy for their size and you need to carry a cable as well. The iWalk solves both problems. It is compact, lightweight, and requires no cable. And it is reasonably priced. I highly recommend this product." — Nancy J.
Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed
A collapsible silicone water bottle
I bought this water bottle before a 2.5-week trip to Vietnam (where you don't drink tap water) and Malaysia (where you do). I didn't want to bring one of my ride-or-die S'well bottles because it would take up extra room in my bag when I wouldn't be able to use it during the majority of the trip. This handy silicone bottle did just the trick! It's very easy to roll up and stays rolled up thanks to the just-stretchy-enough loop. Said loop was also very handy while walking through airports and just around sightseeing. The bottle is easy to clean and doesn't make my water taste weird. I'm now using it as my daily water bottle and feel confident it'll serve me well for a long time. Plus! With a collapsible water bottle it's easier to remember if you left water in it before you go through security.
Or a water bottle with a Brita filter
Promising review: "I love this water bottle! I bought one for me and one for my husband because we went to Europe, and I didn't know what the water quality would be there. I was so glad I did because we mostly had to use tap water, and I don't typically like the taste of tap water. The water tasted great, and I couldn't even tell it came from the tap! When you first use the straw after a refill, it takes a moment for it to come out. But after that, there is no delay. This bottle was the perfect size to have enough water to keep me hydrated without being too bulky to carry around. I would definitely recommend it!" — Gina Meeks

They do require replacement filters every two months; you can find a pack of five of those for $11.25.
Some no-tie elastic shoelaces
Promising review: "At first I was skeptical that these laces wouldn't hold my shoes on tightly enough, but I decided to give them a try in my Converse Chucks. They're fantastic! I like the way the 'hidden' fasteners sit inside the shoes below the eyelets, but on top of the tongue, and I can't feel the fastener at all with my foot in the shoe. I've had them in for around eight months, and they're still just as elastic as ever. They haven't stretched at all and show no signs of wearing out. I loved them so much that I bought five more sets to put in all of my shoes! No more triple knotting my shoes so they don't become untied. I tie knots pretty slowly so these laces have honestly saved me tons of time. I couldn't be happier with them." — lucidity
A set of Sea Bands
Promising review: "So glad I bought these. Flying usually makes me terribly nauseous. These helped so much! You need to find the right pressure point, and they are really tight. Other than that, 5 stars." — T. Schneider
An airplane footrest that loops over your tray table
Promising review: "I bought this for an international flight, and I’m glad I did — sprained my ankle the last night, and this was my best friend for the return. Even with upgraded seats, I chose to use this rather than the foot rest on the airplane seat. I love that the height is adjustable, and it can work for one foot or both. Seriously a game-changer." — M. C.
A bendy travel pillow
Promising review: "I ordered five travel pillows to try out for my trip to Madrid, and this was the winner. I have fibromyalgia and normally get terrible neck and shoulder pain when flying long distances, but this pillow helped me so much. If I switched positions, I would just reshape the pillow to support whatever I needed to. My daughter and I both have one now, and we use it in bed every night, too. I am so glad we found this amazing pillow. 😊" — Pam Goodson
A set of popular wireless Bluetooth earbuds
These come with a wireless charging case that provides up to 14 hours of charge (with the earbuds able to play for four-plus hours with each full charge).

I also use these on the reg in my everyday life to listen to Spotify and podcasts, and even talk on the phone. I have to charge them about once a week and always keep them in my coat pocket.

Promising review: "Best decision! These are the greatest headphones ever! I saw them on TikTok months ago and added them to my wishlist. I got a new phone that doesn't have the headphone port so I decided it was time to finally buy them. They are amazing and I probably won't ever take them out of my ears! 😂" — Katlyn D Arnold
A Trtl travel pillow
Promising review: "I was skeptical of this at first, but am so glad I bought these for my international travel. Multiple 11+ hour flights back and forth, definitely loved the fact that I had these. It was a bit awkward to try to find the right position where my chin/cheek area would be comfortable, but once I did, I did not have any issues sleeping, and I woke up without any pains on my neck. Since it is a basically fixed size, I would say give it a shot, and if it fits, great! You'd be glad to have this for long travels where you have to sit straight up, and if it doesn't fit, then it's just a bit of a hassle to have to return it. Overall, it was definitely worth it for me to take that risk of potentially having to return it if it didn't fit." — Eric

Ciera Velarde, an editor here at BuzzFeed, also loves this! She says: "I've used this for the past few years and swear by it! Before this, I always found traditional neck pillows uncomfortable and would end up ditching them halfway through the flight and getting frustrated. The Trtl pillow is adjustable — you wrap the pillow around your neck and secure it with Velcro, and if you find it's too loose, just make it a bit tighter! I've truly never slept better on a plane than with this pillow."
Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed
A five-year Global Entry membership
I put off getting TSA PreCheck and even Global Entry for YEARS despite flying ~10x a year because I'm a person who likes to get to the airport early and have getting through security down to an efficient routine. However, my breaking point was July 2021 when I had to wait soooo long at the airport when coming back to the country from Croatia (I had Mobile Passport at the time, but the machines were broken so I had to wait in line with everyone else). I went to Italy about a month later after signing up for Global Entry and coming back into the country was a breeze. I just had to let a machine take my picture, print out a receipt with said picture, and then place it in a nearby TSA agent's open palm. Then onto baggage claim! I've since used the Global Entry portion seven times and the TSA PreCheck about two dozen times since getting it. So I feel as if I've already gotten my money's worth in less than two years.

Apply with the Department of Homeland Security for $100. Once you're approved, you have to do an in-person interview and if approved on the spot, you can have your TSA PreCheck and Global Entry privileges available immediately. I just so happened to find a date for my interview the day before I flew to Italy and was able to update my boarding passes and flight reservations with my info to reap the benefits ASAP.
A weighted sleep mask
Promising review: "I am a flight attendant and have a wacky work schedule. I frequently have to sleep during the day. These are SO comfortable and cool as well. I have ordered and tried out at least 10 eye masks off of Amazon and have found these to be the best. They are SO comfortable and do not have Velcro on the straps, for which I am thankful, because I usually sleep on my back and am sensitive to the thickness of eye masks that have the Velcro straps." — sw
A memory foam seat cushion
Lots of reviewers who drive for a living rave about it.

Promising review: "I drive a truck and suffer from sciatica. After a few days, I began to feel relief. I highly recommend this to anyone who suffers from sciatica." — lou jones

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