Not Martha

travel accessories for a red eye flight

I hate flying, so when I do fly I tend to freak out and buy things I think will make the trip more bearable. Here is what I bought last month for my first red eye:

Bucky 14 Blinks Sleep Mask

I’m the dork who stands in the travel store and tries on all the sleep masks, and this one was my favorite. I bought it in plain black, but there were plenty of bright colors and patterns (which look suspiciously bra-like to me, thus the black). This mask is made of very light weight molded foam and has deep pockets where your eyes go so there isn’t any pressure on my eyelids or tickling of my eyelashes. The foam conforms to your face and blocks out light very effectively, Scott even used it to take a mid-bright-day nap in our hotel room. The elastic strap has some velcro at the back so you can adjust it but it’s not too intrusive. Of all my freak out purchases this was the one I liked the best.

I bought this at Wide World Books and Maps, whom I love dearly, in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle.

Lug Nap Sac

I was looking into travel pillows when I remembered a blanket that folds into a pillow that I read about a few years back. The Nap Sac goes one step further. It’s a travel blanket that folds up into a pouch which acts as a pillow, but it also comes with an inflatable pillow insert so you can use the blanket and pillow at the same time. It’s made of muppet-cuddly material and it has a handy wrist strap so you can hang it from your luggage or your hand. It’s also, I found after the fact, Oprah approved.

I used the pillow at a hotel where the feathers in the down pillows kept poking me in the cheek, the blanket on the plane, and hugged the whole thing to me during a particularly rough landing. The blanket has a pocket in the middle of it that can hold an iPod or cell phone. I’m glad I got this, I think it will be handy to have for car trips as well.

I called around to find a place that carried this and ended up going a little ways to get one, only to see it innocently hanging at a nearby Whole Foods after we’d returned from our trip.

Thermarest Neck Pillow

I hated this. When looking at neck pillows I was warned that the inflatable ones don’t offer much support when you lean on one side and all the air moves to the other side. The Bucky pillows were widely recommended but I was reluctant to buy another bulky thing to bring on the plane, and I found the seam along the center back cut into my neck a bit. I hoped the Thermarest pillow, which is an outer layer of foam over an inflatable chamber, would be the best answer but it was too small to offer much support at all and only served to make me frustrated. Lesson learned: listen to the people who clutch their Bucky pillows to their hearts. If I ever find myself needing to sleep on a red eye flight again I’ll try the Bucky Fuzzy Wuzzy.

One last note: The girl in the travel shop highly recommended the Thermarest Compressible Pillow. She said she’s used it for lumbar support on planes, as seat padding on rickety buses in South America and for both airplane and tent sleeping as a regular pillow. She says it hasn’t gotten flat no matter what she puts it through and washes really well.

· comments [12] · 06-6-2008 · categories:shopping ·

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ammie // Jun 6, 2008 at 8:11 am

    I hate flying too. We have the opportunity to fly to Paris in July at a ridiculously low rate and I just can’t get my mind around the 12 hour flight across the ocean. I really want to go but not sure I can psyche myself out enough to do it. If I manage to muster up the guts I’ll be well prepared with all of these great suggestions. Thanks!

  • 2 megan // Jun 6, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Ammie – I’ve been on long overseas flights as well. I don’t know much about individual airplanes but I remember the long flights were made more bearable because the seats were a little larger, there were movies played though the whole time and there was free booze. In the morning the stewardesses brought around hot, wet towels.

    Do buy yourself a sleep mask, though, I remember I could not sleep because the tv screens were kept on all night and it was too bright for me even with my eyes closed. Also ear plugs. Bring sleeping pills, even just tylenol pm. The other thing that I myself need on flights is lumbar support, the small airline pillows aren’t bad for that. Also, comfortable shoes or some warm slippers to put on once you’re in the air, Mighty Goods recently mentioned these.

    If I were to be doing a long flight I would get myself movies for my ipod/iphone/media player and maybe get a nintendo ds lite. I need to be completely distracted.

    But, go!, go to Paris! Get a Bucky pillow, buy trashy magazines, you’ll be fine on the flight and it will be more than worth it.

  • 3 Maria Fe // Jun 6, 2008 at 9:14 am

    My husband bought the same sleeping mask for me and I just don’t like it! Even when I adjust it, it’s still not tight enough, its not blocking out the light!!!
    I went back to using an old hello kitty one from claire’s :D

  • 4 Jennifer // Jun 6, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    This post kills me! I am about to take my two children on a night flight to London so we’re busy laying in things like sleep masks and pillows. I had just begun to investigate blankets when I read your post! I now have three of those blankets en route from some eBay proprietor.
    Thank you!

  • 5 Michelle // Jun 9, 2008 at 8:19 am

    About your Bucky eye mask: how’s the nose? My current eye mask lets a lot of light in through the nose, does that happen to you with this one? Thanks!

  • 6 megan // Jun 9, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Michelle – I find that the area around the nose is completely dark with the Bucky mask. Though, if you have trouble with it I saw a few eye masks that have a stretch cloth area that goes over the nose, like this one. I saw another one that wasn’t quite so square-ish.

  • 7 Joy // Jun 9, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    The eye mask looks like a bra!

  • 8 megan // Jun 9, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Joy – Yes, I mention that it my description of it. The patterned Bucky eye masks looked even more like bras.

  • 9 shelterrific » Blog Archive » blogwatch: where we’ve been clicking this week // Jun 13, 2008 at 8:34 am

    […] For those who’d rather spend money on travel, Not Martha has some flight accessories that we want now, particularly the sleep mask. […]

  • 10 melanie // Jul 31, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    I bought the Lug pillow/blanket for a long plane ride and bus trip. The pillow is way to small, doesn’t cushion your neck and is awkward to use. The blanket, yes it is very soft, leaves lint all over you. I would caution anyone about spending that kind of money as we then then bought the pillows, at the airport, that wrap around your neck and really do the trick when you want to be comfortable on a long flight. Good Luck

  • 11 Catherine // Jan 20, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Hi, I design products for Bucky. I’m always pleased to read about everyone’s experience with our products, good or bad. If storage space is a concern, we do make an inflatable neck pillow called Gusto that folds into a small compact case. Also our Minnie is fairly a compact pillow that is made from sustainable bamboo fabric and filled with millet hulls. You can check out all of our travel products here:

    PS. I like to think of our 40 blinks masks as more of a bikini top than a bra. ;)

  • 12 susan // May 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    have a hot pink eye mask and love it. i’m asleep if other passengers make comments about it bra like appearance!

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