I love traveling. As you might have gathered by now, exploring the world is one of my favorite things to do in life, and when I am not doing it, I am often thinking about it or planning my next adventure. There is only one problem. I live on an island at the bottom of the earth and am the worst flyer ever. When I say that, I don’t just mean that I don’t like getting on a plane or that it’s not enjoyable, the common gripes associated with long-haul flights; no, I mean I am one of the worst people to get on a plane with.
I get severely nauseous and sometimes even violently ill, dizzy, the works. If you have ever been on a flight from Sydney where some girl needed to be put on an oxygen tank that was neatly placed between her feet, there is a decent chance it was me. Needless to say, it’s not pretty, which is why I wanted to share some of my favorite travel tools with you, just in case they can help someone out there make the trip of a lifetime to Disney. Some of these products really do make the difference from a disastrous flight to a manageable one. I’ve done it the hard way, so you don’t have to. Let’s get started.
Personal Fan with Built-in Power Bank and Flashlight
I use this item everywhere I go, especially on flights. That sad little overhead fan is useless when you are feeling hot, flustered, or nauseous, which is me on every plane. This has a little stand built into it, so you can set it up on the tray table and adjust the speed to give you a quiet, consistent breeze.
I love multifunctional tools, and this one is my favorite for that reason. If you have trouble sleeping, set it up on the side table beside your bed. Is your child overheated in the line for Space Mountain? Wet their face with water and get that fan pumping to calm them down. Your phone ran out of battery from all that photo taking? Plug it into your fan, which is also a power bank, and the problem is solved. Reading after dark when the kids are asleep in your resort room? Use the built-in flashlight! There are lots of similar ones on Amazon, so choose your favorite and enjoy!
TRTL Cool Pillow & Sleep Bundle
When my flight starts to push back from the gate, my body shuts down to avoid complete disaster, and I become one of those bobblehead sleepers, violently jolting my head around every time I feel it start to sink. That is where this product comes in super handy. It’s the TRTL Travel Pillow, and I absolutely love it. This soft molded platform rests your head at an angle, and I bobblehead no longer! All without feeling like you are being suffocated from all sides by one of those foam neck pillows that forces you to see six inches away from the back of your seat.
I already had the TRTL Pillow Plus, which is adjustable for different people to use and was a total game-changer for me when I was contacted about the TRTL products and offered to try it. I let them know that I actually already had one and loved it. Instead, they offered me the new Deep Sleep Bundle they are now selling, which includes the new Cool Pillow version as well as the TRTL Wrap, Sleep Mask, and more. It is incredible, and after trying it all earlier this month, I am in love. The Cool Pillow is even more comfortable, and the eye mask is fantastic. If you are in the parks during winter, have the light-weight blanket on hand to keep young ones warm in strollers as the cool air hits after sundown.
Shakti Acupressure Headband or Mat
The following product is something that I swear by no matter where I am in the world. At home, I use my Shakti Mat every single day. It is an acupressure mat with spikes all over it that feels incredible after you let the little discs do their magic. I use this to alleviate the effects of everything from stress to pain, and when I am traveling with little suitcase space, I hate not having it with me.
A few years ago, I tried something a little more unorthodox, the Shakti headband, and while I am not a massive fan of it around my head, I use this little strip as a mini version of the mat. I can use it down my back, under my feet or legs, basically in any position where weight is pressing down on it. The headband is a great way to take that effect from the mat anywhere with you and enjoy the benefits on your flight, in the car, or after a hard day in the parks on your feet. I use the Shakti brand here in Australia; however, you can try many on the market. Having used the cheap knock-off versions, there is something to be said about the quality you pay for. Using these products can take some time to get comfortable with, so start before you plan to travel.
A Reusable Waterproof Bag
My secret weapon when traveling and visiting Disney parks is to have a scrunched-up reusable shopping bag in my backpack. While on the plane, you can pull it out to separate a few items that you want to keep with you from the bigger carry-on that you would rather not have resting on your feet. You can pull it out in the parks for anything from that unexpected shopping item to carrying everyone’s hats and sweaters that won’t fit in your neatly packed backpack.
Where this one can really come in handy is in the times when you least expect it. My bag has played more roles than I can count and served as everything from an ice pack (filled with loose ice after a fall in Fantasyland) to saving my tech when I had nowhere to stash my camera at the last minute on Splash Mountain. I have even had it ready when I was extremely unwell on more than one occasion, though, thankfully have not needed to use it for this purpose just yet! Yes, I would throw it out and replace it if so. The bottom line is you can use it for anything, and it folds up to nothing to keep in your bag until needed.
If you are prone to sensory challenges, then earplugs are likely something you have tried using before. The problem is many can leave you feeling disconnected from those around you. Loops earplugs are different and can reduce the surrounding noise without compromising the sounds you want to hear. Our family has a few sensitivities regarding noise, and I discovered these when trying to find a way for one of my children to cope with crowded restaurants; ever since, they have worked like a charm.
Loops are fashionable, discreet, and functionally superior to anything else I have tried. They are fantastic for plane or car noise and work wonderfully to tone down the overall loudness of a Disney theme park without leaving you feeling like the muffled effect isn’t worth the quieter environment. I have every version they make for different applications, and they are all fantastic. Especially good for louder events in the parks, like fireworks or parades, if someone in your family is sensitive to noise.
Those are my top five must-haves when it comes to getting my travel disaster self halfway across the world to enjoy Walt Disney World. I hope they help someone out there who is nervous about traveling take that trip they’ve been dreaming of.
I have no affiliation with any of these companies or products. I offer this advice based on my own experience with the struggle of when you find travel challenging but love it just the same.
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.