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The Best Portable Massage Devices For Cramped Airplane Seats

When it comes to neck pain, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

One of the drawbacks of traveling is that the journey is rarely as enjoyable as the destination. Before stepping foot on that beach with a tropical cocktail in hand, you must first brave the flight, and as we all know, airline seating can be extremely cramped and uncomfortable. So before getting on that next flight, travelers who experience neck or back pain may want to consider investing in any number of portable massage devices that can assist in working out pesky kinks to make your in-flight experience as painless as possible.


From massage guns to neck pillows, these options should help make the most out of your flight even when personal space is at a premium.

Turonic G5 Massage Gun
When your legs are cramped or your arms go numb, treat all of your limbs with some post-flight vibrations. | Turonic

When we think about massage guns like the Turonic G5, we typically imagine bodybuilders and professional athletes cranking up the voltage to give their muscles some relief following one of those insane workouts we see from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson on Instagram. It wasn't too long ago that the idea of packing one of these devices for something as simple as a four-hour flight would have seemed excessive, but have you flown lately? It's worse than ever, unless you're springing for those sleeping pods on international flights.

The "incredible shrinking airline seat" is no joke. We have less leg space than ever, even if we're lucky enough to score a spot in the exit row (for $100 extra, of course—remember when that was a free gesture?) it's still cramped, and our bodies pay for it even on the shortest flights. So, believe us when we say that this massage gun will become your best friend when it comes time to work out the pains that come with ordinary air travel now.


With seven massage heads and five adjustable speeds—ranging from "that's the good stuff" to "I think I see God"—the Turonic G5 Massage Gun won us over for its range and especially the travel-friendly case that fits every last piece, unlike other products that somehow become unpackable once you've taken them out of the box. Best of all, with six hours of battery life, you'll hardly have to worry about charging it after a few minutes of bliss for your aching muscles.

Buy: Turonic G5 Massage Gun

Cotsoco Mini Massage Gun
There's a place for everything and everything in its place when it comes to your luggage, but you'll want to add this. | cotsoco

This compact massage gun can fit right in most handbags and pockets for relief on the go. Four replaceable massage heads and four speed settings at up to 3200 revolutions per minute help you better target various muscle groups. And one thing we certainly don't want to worry about when we're focused on saving space is extra cords, so a huge advantage here is being able to charge this device with your USB-C cable while you're out taking selfies in front of the best beaches.

Buy: Cotsoco Mini Massage Gun

Comfier Travel Neck Massager
Why wait until you're checked into the resort? Make the flight a little more pleasant. | Comfier

What's the biggest drawback of dealing with cramps and pains from being squeezed between two strangers or crammed up against the window for three hours? You know, aside from the discomfort. It's having to deal with it while getting off the plane, waiting in the customs line, and then for your bag to arrive on the carousel. Even then, you still have to get a ride to the resort, and the whole ordeal can take at least an hour, if not longer.


Why wait? This heated, cordless neck massager can be worn for the duration of your flight, ensuring some relief in those moments when the in-flight WiFi doesn't work and you can't watch one of the movies you downloaded or share your feelings about flying with your friends on Facebook. What is the deal with those popcorn crisps anyway?

Buy: Comfier Travel Neck Massager

Yarosi Micro Personal Massage Wand
When one carryon bag is all you bring, every last square inch of space matters. | Yarosi

With eight speeds and 20 patterns, this micro massage wand packs a big punch in a tiny package to concentrate on pain in your neck, back, shoulders, legs, and feet. The flexible head is made from waterproof, body-safe silicone so you can even use it in the bath or shower.

Buy: Yarosi Micro Personal Massage Wand

Restek Massagers for Neck and Back
People might look at you as if you're weird for wearing this device, but they'd be insanely jealous if they knew why. | RESTECK

When you have a constantly sore back before you even board the airplane, you need to be thinking about your health and happiness, no matter how long the flight. A high-quality neck and back massager like this will go a long way in ensuring that you don't spend the bulk of your vacation wondering if you need a third or fourth spa treatment just because you can't stand the pain as you walk from your suite to the pool.

Best of all, it has its own compact case so you if you travel light, it's a carryon bag in and of itself.


Buy: Restek Massagers for Neck and Back

Stacey Ritzen is a contributing writer to Islands, an award-winning brand founded in 1980 that speaks to international travelers who have an affinity for the Caribbean and beyond. The website showcases destinations, resorts, cruises, and recommendations by the Islands' staff. Stacey has more than a decade of experience covering a wide variety of subjects, but none so close to her heart as traveling. She's especially fond of cruises, for which she tests a bevy of products and gear.