If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Those of us who love to travel, will eventually have to fly. But if the idea of going up in the air in a giant metal tube gives you the jitters before the plane even leaves the tarmac, you’re not alone — it’s estimated that up to 25% of Americans get nervous about flying.
There’s a mountain of books, articles, and even breathing techniques about how to overcome this common fear, but it’s easier said than done to just ‘get over it’. But the best essentials for flight anxiety either help sooth your overall tension, or help you block out all the stressors that might compound over the course of the flight (like screaming babies, or turbulence).
But trust us here — prepping an anti-plane anxiety toolkit in advance with the right items will get you through the nightmare at 10,000 feet, and it’s just as important as what you pack in your suitcase. You might even find something new that’ll help you out through other stressful day-to-day situations on the ground.
So if you’re looking to help out the nervous flier in your life with a gift to ease their worries, or are a jittery jetsetter yourself just trying to make it through boarding time without losing it (no judgement), then we’ve found the best gadgets and gear to make air travel a breeze.
1. CalmiGo Smart Calming Companion
Like a cross between an inhaler, an infuser, and a stim toy, CalmiGo is the multi-tool of anti-anxiety devices. The best of all worlds, you’ll get relief that targets multiple senses, all in a compact gadget you can whip out even before you reach cruising altitude.
If you start feeling an anxiety attack coming on, the lights and vibration feedback help regulate your breathing so you can soothe yourself in the moment. There’s also a mouthpiece where you can inhale a calming scent, such as lavender, peppermint, or bergamot. A clicking wheel on the side lets you do something with your hands if you get fidgety. For all-in-one sensory distraction, fast, the CalmiGo will help you forget the last few bumps in the air.
2. NodPod Weighted Sleep Mask
Most sleep masks are flimsy and won’t help block out the harsh industrial airplane lights — but what if your sleep mask could pull double duty and help you get a more relaxing nap on a normally stressful flight?
Like a calming hug for your head, the weighted texture of this NodPod sleep mask gives you that same microbead texture you’d get in a really good weighted blanket. It’ll help you get some much needed shut-eye with no pinching elastic band thanks to it’s unique pull-through design, which works especially well when you’re trying to sleep upright (it could even double as a weighted neck wrap, too). Soft, flexible, and with a hint of pressure, this is mask will be your new travel nap companion.
3. Sony WF-1000XM4 Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
Sony’s WF-1000MX4s are some of the best earbuds for travel hands down, thanks to the same unbeatable noise-cancelling tech featured in their award-winning headphones.
The ergonomic design makes the WF-1000MX4s comfortable enough to wear for hours on end (24 hours of listening with the case, to be exact), which means you can keep them in throughout an entire cross-country flight without wanting to rip them off as soon as you land. The 6mm drivers and fantastic sound quality, especially on the bass end will make you want to keep them on anyways.
If it’s the noises that really raise your blood pressure during flights, from miscellaneous mechanical creaks to baby’s crying, noise-cancellation is the biggest draw of these earbuds. Sony’s Integrated Processor V1 cancels more ambient sound than ever with microphone sensors and noise isolating earbud tips. Believe us when we say that you’ll be surrounded in truly calming silence even while running through a busy airport.
4. PYM Mood Chews
While there’s no magic pill that you can take to ease all your flying jitters, consider these citrus-flavored calming gummies from PYM as your supportive boost to help you get through even the longest legs of your journey.
Great for anyone who dislikes typical CBD gummies, or doesn’t want to take messy drops on a plane, PYM Mood Chews are made with safe, naturally-occurring amino acids like GABA (for pain relief), L-Theanine (for relaxation and focus) and Rhodiola (for support for depression and anxiety).
To avoid getting overwhelmed at the airport, take one gummy before your flight, or whenever you start to feel that anxiety creep up in the air. The all-natural formula is gluten-free and sugar-free and starts working within minutes.
5. Lifeproof Pullover
Having a dedicated, planned-out “plane outfit” is one way to make sure you’ll stay calm and collected from takeoff to touchdown. We like this Lifeproof Pullover from Someone Somewhere, which is odor, stain, and water resistant so you’ll be able to tackle any anxiety-spiking moments on the plane, from spills to excessive sweating.
The fabric is treated with antimicrobial material, so that airplane funk will take longer to build up on the sweater itself, and you’ll step off the plane just as comfortable as when you stepped on. With hand-woven cotton threads, you’ll also slip into the most stress-free flight nap possible. Be prepared for anything life (and travel) has in store with this versatile pullover.
6. Comrad Recycled Cotton Compression Socks
Sitting cramped in next to strangers in tiny seats can make anyone’s blood pressure rise — and sitting down for so long can cause some uncomfortable post-fight swelling, too. Take it easy on your feet and give yourself the gift of a hug for your legs in the form of these cozy socks from Comrad.
Built for compression support to last your entire flight (and after you land), Comrad’s socks can help relieve swelling and boost circulation. They’re also made from super soft and breathable recycled cotton fabric, best paired with your favorite sweatpants for maximum aaah. The socks have a special contoured design that stretch to make them easy enough to put on and take off (unlike your shoes at TSA).
7. Sunday Scaries
For total relaxation, sometimes, dramamine and pressure point wrist bands just won’t cut it when it comes to banishing away flight anxiety completely. Fans of CBD products will enjoy Sunday Scaries’ CBD Oil, which is light, refined, and is designed to be absorbed quickly but not slow you down when you’re on the go.
But wait — you might be asking — can you even take CBD on a plane? The answer is yes: you’re legally allowed to bring CBD products made from hemp which contain no more than 0.3% THC on your next flight. Sunday Scaries CBD Oil contains zero THC, which gives you all the stress-relieving benefits without the traditional “high” of THC. However, anything CBD-infused that you take with you still needs to abide by TSA rules, so your liquids (oils and tinctures) must be less than three ounces.
Squeeze ⅓ of a dropper under your tongue before your flight if you have a hard time with takeoff. Each bottle contains 500 MG of broad spectrum CBD, plus the added benefits of vitamins B12 and D3, with no medicinal or “hemp-forward” aftertaste.