Once strictly reserved to in-flight catalogs of kitsch such as SkyMall, gimmicky travel accessories are now all over the internet and range from hilariously quirky to awkward and embarrassing. However, plenty of these seemingly gimmicky travel accessories are actually pretty awesome. Here are a few of our favorites.
1. The Vector Cup Holder
If you've ever had your laptop on a tray table when beverage service has come around, you've probably noticed how hard it is to make extra room for one of those little plastic cups. Enter the Vector Cup Holder, a clip-on cupholder that travelers can attach to their desks or tray tables in order to, in the company's own words, "prevent computercide." While this gizmo may seem unnecessary at first glance, it may actually be worth packing -- especially if you don't want to be forced to choose between ginger ale and getting your work done every time you fly.
2. Flight Spray
One of the biggest dilemmas frequent fliers face is how to deal with dehydration while on flights. While drinking lots of water and slathering on moisturizer certainly help, dealing with dry nasal passages is often more of an issue -- that can lead to nosebleeds, headaches, and general discomfort.
On your next trip, try out Flight Spray, an herbal nasal spray containing turmeric and spearmint that helps keep your nostrils hydrated during long flights; it really works, and can make a huge difference in your overall levels of in-flight comfort.
3. The Travel Halo
While you might not look like the coolest person on your next flight if you decide to sport the weird but useful travel halo, you might very well be the most comfortable. This alternative to bulky neck pillows is worn like a headband, with two small cushions (one on each side of your head) to keep your skull nicely cushioned. It also comes with an eye mask and earplugs for the ultimate in-flight sensory deprivation experience.
4. The Aros Sleep Hoodie
With the exception of long-haul international flights, free pillows and blankets are a thing of the past. Fortunately, Aros clothing company has you covered with the Sleep Hoodie. The company's sweatshirts have inflatable pillow inserts in the hoods that you can blow up like you would a beach ball or a floaty raft. When inflated, the inserts add about an inch-and-a-half to two inches of discreet, but effective, padding.
5. The BodyWorksBand
Fitness nuts looking for ways to keep up their regimens while on the road will appreciate the BodyWorksBand, a convenient and easy-to-pack exercise tool made out of latex. While it essentially looks like just a big piece of blue stretchy material, it comes with a variety of workouts printed on the band itself, meaning you don't need to be an exercise expert to get use out of it. Extra workout videos are also available on the BodyWorksBand website.
6. The ReliefBand
If you're prone to motion sickness, you may be familiar with motion sickness relief bands, small wristbands with integrated plastic marbles that put pressure on points of your wrists in order to help relieve nausea. The ReliefBand initially seems like a pricier version of these wristbands, but this high-tech watch-like device sends programmed pulses through the median nerve, modulating the neuro pathways between the brain and the stomach that create the sensation of nausea. So it may be more expensive, but it's also better equipped to ease your motion sickness.
7. The quip Toothbrush
You probably (hopefully) have a toothbrush. That toothbrush might even be electric, but if it is, it's probably a cumbersome affair with a big charger that might fizzle out if you try to plug it in overseas. And while buying another "fancy" toothbrush just for travel might seem like a silly proposition, the quip might make you change your mind. This sleek electric alternative to regular old toothbrushes has all the bells and whistles of a high-end electric toothbrush (including a timer). What makes the quip nice for travel (beside its compact size) is that it runs on a single AAA battery and comes with a wall mount that can be flipped around to double as a travel cover.