Air travel has come a long way in the last half a century or so. Sure, flying in the 1950s was ultra-glamorous but the tickets cost so much that even a short trip could set you back a month's wages or more.
Today, affordable flights give us the flexibility to swan off at the drop of a hat, but the downside is that planes aren't as luxurious, or in some cases as comfortable, as they used to be.
But help is at hand as the Flexicover team has compiled a list of its five favourite travel items that'll help make your next flight zip by faster than you can say "cabin crew, prepare for landing".
While a pair of regular earplugs will block out noise, they'll do nothing about the discomfort caused by variable air pressure as the plane climbs and descends. That's where these specialised earplugs come in which work by opening up the ear canals, which makes them less likely to block up and they also offer some noise protection too.
Portable battery pack
If you're anything like us, you're already well used to packing a plethora of electricals to keep you amused mid-flight. As well as your ever-present smartphone, you might have an e-reader, a tablet and a handheld console. But how to keep them all juiced up and ready for action? Long-haul flights often provide a plug socket for each seat, but for guaranteed charging, pack a solitary portable battery charger with multiple built-in connections. Make sure to choose one that includes all the standard couplings: an iPhone lightning cable, USB-C and MicroUSB are the most common.
Hanging flight bag
When you're sat in economy, finding anything in your hand luggage is a frustrating endeavour that typically involves blindly reaching between your legs and scrabbling around in the bottom of your bag while cursing under your breath and apologising to your neighbours. If only there was an easier way, right? Well, it turns out there is: just buy a hanging flight bag. These godsends are blessed with myriad pockets and compartments in which to store your gadgets. They're designed to hang from the meal tray in front of you and best of all they're compact enough to pass even the strictest of carry-on baggage size limits.
Rigid neck pillow
Some people can't sleep on planes for love nor money; others are guaranteed to drop off before the plane's even finished taxiing to the runway. But whichever camp you fall into, there's a fair chance you won't find snoozing as you cruise at 35,000 feet a particularly comfortable experience when sat pretty much upright. With nothing to rest your head on (save for the shoulder of an accommodating neighbour), stiff necks are a common complaint, particularly if you're flying long-haul. Save yourself having to shell out for a massage on arrival by picking up a rigid neck pillow. There are countless designs on the market, from discrete cushions that look like scarves, to neck brace chic, for people prepared to sacrifice style in favour of heavy-duty neck support.
When you're sky-high, the pressure gets to your legs, increasing the chances of swelling and, at worst, blood clots. Counter the effects by donning a pair of compression socks, which cling tightly to your lower legs and improve your circulation. They're also great for minimising muscle pain after a hard day of activity, making them doubly useful to active travellers. Their growing popularity with fliers, hikers and runners means they're now available in a vast range of styles. You heard it here first: compression socks are on fleek!
Wherever you plan to head to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.