The Travel Tools & Gadgets that Frequent Flyers UseFrequent flyers often make long-haul travel look easy. But this isn’t by accident; most frequent flyers employ the assistance of technology to make their experience more comfortable and stress-free. So, which travel tools and gadgets do frequent flyers use?

For starters, noise-cancelling headphones are very popular among AFF members. A good pair of these can block the sound of aircraft engine noise, other passengers and even crying babies.

Noise cancelling headphones are a must. I never thought they’d make y difference until i bought one myself. Best thing EVER to take on a plane. Helps with screaming kids and airplane noise. Had to fly back from honolulu last year and had a crying baby right behind me. With music could barely hear a thing

There are two main types of noise-cancelling headphones. Over-ear headphones such as the Bose QuietComfort 25 range are generally the most effective. But some prefer in-ear noise-cancelling headphones as they are less bulky and easier to sleep with.

My Bose QC20’s had them for about 6yrs now, and they make the flights a treat, with 14hr battery life, and because they are earbuds, I can sleep in them against headrests (or on the J beds). Their Noise Cancelling will never be as good as over-ear headphones, but they’re near good enough for me to sacrifice it for the conveniece of falling asleep with them. Plus the much smaller size means they can be packed much better.

There are also travel gadgets that can improve your health and comfort in the air. Some AFF members wear compression socks and use neck pillows to assist with sleeping in Economy seats. A good eye mask is also a must-have for getting a better sleep on board.

To combat Business class beds which are too firm or have bumps in awkward places, AFF member RooFlyer now takes a small, self-inflating mattress on board for additional padding. It makes any plane seat much more comfortable to sleep on.

Most airlines provide in-flight entertainment, but this is not always available – and sometimes it breaks down. Many frequent flyers like to bring their own e-reader, such as a Kindle, while others download audio books. Several AFF members say they pre-load their electronic devices with offline Netflix titles. And to ensure devices never run out of juice, battery banks can be a good travel gadget to add to your carry-on luggage.

Many frequent flyers swear by travelling “HLO”, or hand-luggage only. Travelling light is more convenient than carrying around a bulky suitcase for an entire trip. It also saves time waiting at the baggage carousel, saves on checked baggage fees and eliminates the risk of airlines losing your luggage. To maximise your carry-on allowance while ensuring you never go over (this can be expensive), some travellers have invested in a pair of luggage scales.

For travelling to warm destinations, one AFF member uses a USB fan.

I recently picked up a USB fan, mainly so that I could stay a little cooler in J on SQ where they don’t have over-seat air blowy things.I found that it’s even more useful in lounges; coming out of a shower, plonking the laptop on a tabletop, angling the fan towards oneself and munching on buffet snacks is really awesome.

Many travel tools and gadgets can help you to fly more comfortably. But another AFF member believes the true secret to happy travels is managing your expectations.

No whiz bangery. Just travel with less expectations

What helps you on your travels?

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Which whizz-bangery are you using to make your flying better?


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]