Full disclosure: I am gifted with the ability to fall asleep anywhere. At any time, with any light or noise conditions, and in any imaginable variety of train, plane, or car seat, I can fold my body into some semblance of comfort and be totally out for the count within minutes.
I don’t say this to brag; there are downsides. For one, my friends have lovingly captured multiple photos of me comatose in the passenger’s seat, drooling onto the seat belt that’s somehow strapped across my face. And while that hurts my pride, it’s the least of my worries when it comes to pain. Because falling asleep is no problem, waking up at the end of the trip with a stiff neck, numb lower back, and searing headache almost always is.
Enter the wonderful world of travel pillows. There are endless products out there to provide the plushy reinforcements you need to sleep better while traveling and feel better once you’ve reached your destination. I’ve rounded up a few favorites, from discreet neck pillows that could pass for scarves—or are hidden away in the hood of a jacket!—to inflatable sleep support devices that require superhuman levels of self-esteem, but are so, so worth it.