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I've flown on multiple 19-hour flights and this $10 foot hammock is the best travel accessory I've ever purchased

Julie Gerstein   

I've flown on multiple 19-hour flights and this $10 foot hammock is the best travel accessory I've ever purchased
  • I'm 5'1" and regular airplane seats can be uncomfortable as hell for shorties.
  • But I've discovered the key to managing on long flights: a foot hammock.

Tall people may quarrel with this, but there's nothing worse than flying while short.

Yes, it stinks to have your legs crammed under the seat in front of you, but plane seats are also pure torture for those of us 5'4" and under (it must be nice to be in the magical 5'5" to 5'9" height zone that airlines seem to cater to) on long-haul flights. The way most plane seats are designed makes sitting in one position for a long time — like, say, a 19-hour flight between New York and Singapore, where I used to live — an absolute nightmare.

I'm 5'1" on a good day, so long-haul flights leave me with leg and back pain. If I sit all the way back in my seat, my feet don't touch the floor, and that puts tons of pressure on my thighs and lower back, and causes poor circulation. No matter how many times I get up during a flight to walk around, sometimes, I swear, I can feel the blood draining from my thighs.

Enter: the foot hammock.

This lightweight traveling device is exactly what it sounds like: a hammock for your feet. There are dozens of them for sale on Amazon — the foot hammock I purchased is virtually indistinguishable from the rest — though some appear to come with extra padding if you're willing to pay more. The key thing to look for is that yours comes with an adjustable strap so you can adjust for your comfort and height.

You simply hang it over your tray table and lock it in. By giving your feet and ankles a place to rest, you take the pressure off your lower back and legs, improve circulation, and reduce stiffness and swelling.

On a recent trip to Norway, it kept my legs from seizing up into awkward positions and allowed me to sleep for most of the flight, which meant I didn't have to waste the first day of my vacation in a zombie haze.

My short dachshund legs no longer stiffen up in pain when I fly. Now, instead, I can concentrate on how uncomfortable the headrest is.


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