Have you seen some of the stuff they’re selling these days? Gigantic rubber bands to give you privacy in economy, airplane sunscreen – and that’s just the start. We’re all for entrepreneurial spirit here, and we believe (almost) anything deserves a fair chance, so we got our hands on a bunch of (seriously) hokey travel products. The results? Interesting…

a blue bottle with a dropperAnti Jet Lag Liquid Oxygen Drops


If you’ve ever browsed a duty free catalog, you’ve seen these. Oxygen is a factor in jet lag and fatigue, so these drops are designed to get you a serious dose. In the meantime, they’re often said to rejuvenate the skin, reduce fatigue and help with insomnia. Many people swear by these, and at $15 a bottle- they are not cheap.


Rubbish. According to a director of the World Health Organization (WHO) they are “no more than salty water”. The human body receives oxygen naturally through the lungs, so additional oxygen is like having seven copies of an NSYNC compact disc. Quite a few companies have actually been sued for their claims involving these products. Pass.

a row of black socksCopper Clothing – Flight Socks + Eye Masks


Copper is anti bacterial and is known for creating energy. That’s science – not hyperbole. Compression socks are also known to help reduce swelling and other health issues during long flights, caused by pressurization. We got our hands on some copper woven eye masks and socks to test out on a few very long haul flights.


Win. We can’t explain it – but these products did give (perhaps through the power of suggestion) a real feeling of energy and tingling in the toes. And science supports compression socks. Also, bacteria is not ideal, airplanes are full of it, so anything which reduces bacteria – is a win. You probably need socks and an eye mask anyway, so these are far easier to justify than other items.

a blue inflatable neck pillowStandard Airport Store Neck Pillow

Premise: The idea of a pillow always seems irrationally exciting before a long flight. And the cheap but soft and furry fabrics really sell the feeling of “buy me”. Plus, the prices are temptingly low. These pillows are positioned to help you sleep better and rest on flights, so we forked over a few bucks to try for ourselves.

Result: Epic Fail. They’re not big enough to stay in place in the gap between seat and window. They’re not wide enough to fit most of your actual head. They are as useless as buying an actual donut and putting it around your neck and unlike most donuts – they’re over $10!

a flashlight with a light shining onHotel Room Black Light


Hotels love to brag about their unrivaled standards, luxury bedding and 10,000,000 count Egyptian cotton. But what about what’s “under the hood”? For about $10 bucks, you can get your hands on a mini UV light flashlight – to ensure you’re completely disgusted, wherever you stay.


Why? Don’t do this to yourself. Ignorance really is bliss here. Unless you plan on calling the general manager around to indulge in your lights off UV light detective show, you’re just ruining your own vacation. Take the $10, buy a beer and chill with the germ stuff.

Slot Flop Sandals – Hidden Compartments


What would-be thief would ever search your sandals? That’s the thinking here. These sandals are designed to be the perfect leisurewear, with the additional benefit of a storage compartment for credit cards and money. Sadly, the storage is in the same place as your smelly feet.


We’re laughing, but so are all the people who have been robbed wearing the sandals and got away without a dime missing. They look as cool as a 45 year old dad on the dance floor wearing a Hawaiian shirt after one too many beers – but you can’t knock their potential. You’ll just have to cope with wearing them – and visit a dangerous place, if you want them to be worth the money.

a cushion with a furry topInflatable Travel Foot Rest


Kicking your feet up is a luxury in the airport – and especially on an airplane. But this inflatable travel foot rest aims to change that. Inflated in just seconds, it’s the most space efficient way to have a foot rest with you at all times, wherever you go. And when it’s time to move along, simply deflate.


Fail. There’s niche, and then there’s this. To start – a backpack would accomplish the same amount of “foot rest”. Next – other than the first row, there’s literally no economy seat on earth with enough room for a massive inflatable foot rest, without your knees hammering your jaw line. There are about six people on any given flight who may find this marginally more useful than using a backpack or travel bag to rest their feet on. Save the space – and money.

a person with a tie over their headB Tourist Privacy Strip For Economy Cabin


Economy doesn’t offer nearly as much privacy as business class – and the B Tourist Strip aims to change that. It’s basically a gigantic rubber band you wrap around the back and side of your seat, and attach to the back and sides of the seat in front of you. It creates about a 10” high wall at head level – instantly sending a fantastic message to your seat mates.


Fail. It’s not worth the postage to send it back – and you will look like the biggest tool to ever set foot on an airplane. No thanks. And no – this was just a bonus laugh. We didn’t actually buy one.

Have you tried any hokey travel products?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. The giant rubber band thing looks promising. If you draped one of those airport store fleece blankets over top of it, it would make for a pretty sweet flying pillow fort.

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