Welcome to part three of my “Travel Like a Yogī” article series. In part one of this series, I revealed my five essential tips for flying in comfort. In part two, I shared how I pack, including a specific folding method that maximizes space and visibility. In this part three, I’m spotlighting my top seven products for DIY in-flight luxury.
I love the feeling of first class travel, without the hefty price tag. With this collection of seven items, curated and tested over thousands of hours of travel, I’ve got luxury in the bag.
Favorite product #1: Vogmask face mask
My Vogmask is the most game-changing product in my carry-on bag. This little guy was $30 and worth every penny. I wear a size large, although I’m a small human—most adults wear a large, the medium size is for children.
The mask helps keep allergens and pollutants out, but it has the bonus of keeping my own moisture from my breath in. This is a huge win for staying hydrated in dry airplane cabins. And if I have to be in polluted air for an extended period of time, the Vogmask is designed for exactly that.
Breathing with the valve mask properly aligned did take a little bit of getting used to—it is after all filtering the air coming in, so there’s a noticeable restriction of airflow. At first, I had to tell myself not to get annoyed that there was something totally covering my nose and mouth. But I got used to it quickly, so I don’t see this as a huge downside. However, if you suffer from respiratory difficulty, do give yourself a few short-duration practice wears before you decide to have it on for a long period of time.
Favorite product #2: Bose QuietComfort noise-cancelling headphones, over-ear, Bluetooth capable (QC35 II)
The technology of the Bose noise-cancelling headphones is well documented on their site and there are glowing reviews aplenty all over the Internet, so I’ll just skip to the effects of having them on me personally.
The moment I put these on I feel a dramatic reduction in sound-based stressors. What does that mean? Because I’m a meditative singing teacher (plus actor and singer), my sonic environment and my hearing are very important to me. I need to avoid sound fatigue in order to fulfill my service to the world. This isn’t just for musicians and sound professionals, however. Coping with environmental noise stressors can be fatiguing and damaging to your ability to focus.
Conversely, when I have a peaceful sound-space I experience less stress, my nervous system is less keyed up, I can pay attention more easily, and my energy can be pointed at the things that deserve my focus.
Here are a couple more detailed notes on this product, which you can skip if you’re not interested in these headphones:
In the latest version of the Bose Quiet Comfort noise cancelling headphones, there are three levels of cancellation—high, low and off—so you can pick whether to cancel out most of the ambient noise, to keep the level of noise cancelling lower to be more aware of the sounds around you, or to have no noise cancelling at all. This is a nice feature, especially when I’m working in a café and I don’t want to be rude to the people around me that might talk to me, but I really don’t want to hear the blender and air conditioner.
There is a very slight “air cabin pressure” feeling in my ears when I turn the noise-cancelling function on. It’s just a bit weird at first; however, I find this an easy exchange for quieting the loud airplane drone, especially when I’m trapped with that drone for 10 hours or more. These headphones plus my Vogmask are my must-haves for experiencing zero jet lag.
Favorite product #3: lululemon vinyasa scarf
I love this thing. “You can wear it so many ways,” the lululemon educator told me, but when I first saw this scarf in the store I thought it was too fussy. I wasn’t interested in turning my scarf into a hoodie and a vest and a toboggan or whatever. I ended up buying it because I wanted a scarf and it’s a nice one, and I ignored the ‘how to style’ instructions attached to its tag.
I was wearing my scarf on a flight not long after, double-loop style, read: the laziest way to wear it. I got cold. I pulled one loop of the scarf over my head. Lo, I made a hoodie.
That was enough for me. I’ve since learned how to make my vinyasa scarf into a vest, a cravat, a shirt, a turban and several other variations. It comes with me on every flight. It isn’t fussy, as it turns out—it’s versatile.
Favorite product #4: Quay blue light filtering glasses
I’ve heard great things about these glasses combating the effects of prolonged screen time, including eye strain, headaches and fatigue. However, I did not suffer from any of these symptoms. I simply decided to try these glasses because I had a coupon.
(Drop a comment if you’ve ever done that. And tell me what you bought. Shoot, drop a comment if you’ve NEVER done that. Otherwise I’m not sure I believe that people like you exist.)
I noticed that after using these glasses for a week I felt much more energetic after my usual amounts of laptop work. My sleep quality improved noticeably, and the only thing I was doing different was using these filtering glasses. Although I didn’t think I had eyestrain, I was clearly experiencing something adverse from spending hours each day staring at my laptop and phone screens.
These glasses are in the $50–65 range, they’re really well-made, and—bonus points—they come in a bunch of different styles that all look really cute. I raise both hands for life hacks that also are cute hacks.
Favorite product #5: Aloha collection pouches
These little guys are packing efficiency wonders. They factor heavily into my overall packing strategy, so I have an entire article in this series (Travel Like a Yogī, Part 2) dedicated to that. I’ll let you read about these pouches in that post. Suffice it to say, I have a lot of them, I use all of them, they seem a little spendy but they’re totally worth it.
Favorite product #6: Hydroflask food flask / Zojirushi insulated bottle
I wrote about why I love my Zojirushi insulated bottle in the “What’s In My Bag” article here on skkYOGA. It’s the perfect size and shape for hot or cold beverages of all kinds, and I can lock and unlock the ‘open’ button with just one hand.
For hot food, I use my Hydroflask food flask. I put freshly-cooked porridge in this flask and it stays piping hot for hours. It takes two hands to open, so it’s not convenient for use while I’m teaching, but it’s great for all other occasions. The screw-top mouth is nearly the diameter of the flask itself, so I can stick a fork, spoon or chopsticks into the wide opening, no problem. The wide mouth also makes it easy to thoroughly wash up.
Favorite product #7: USB-powered mini-humidifier by Deneve
My little Deneve gives me moist air whenever, wherever I want. This is a huge boon whether I’m stuck in a desiccating airplane cabin for a few hours or living in a dry climate for a few weeks. Every time I’ve traveled without it, I wished I’d had it.
It’s super easy to use: all I have to do is stick this tiny guy in a cup with water and plug it into the nearest USB outlet. On long-haul flights I plug it directly into the USB at my seat. I take off my Vogmask and stick my face right over the mist output and breathe deep—this keeps my skin and breathing holes hydrated, which mitigates the effects of jet lag. To maximize the moisture I’m breathing, I make a little tent over my head with my lululemon vinyasa scarf, worn hoodie style.
The humidifier comes in a little kit with a couple of spongy, straw-like refills, so you can reserve one for water and use the other one for essential oils. Important note: I never use essential oils on airplanes, and I always check with the person I’m sitting next to before I use the humidifier at all. The last thing I want is for the person I’m sitting next to for 10+ hours to feel uncomfortable, even when it’s pretty obvious that the only thing it’s misting is the water in the cup.
These seven must-haves for in-flight luxury also amount to a large part of my no-jet-lag master plan. All seven of these products fit easily together in my purse, which makes them even more travel-friendly.
Travel time can be a stressful gauntlet or a luxury adventure, depending greatly on how you’re prepared. I’d love to know which of these seven items you like best, which you’ve already used or which you’re excited to try.
As always, I wish you good travel wherever you wander.