One Thing I Never Travel Without…

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Okay, straight up truth here, this is not an ad. This is just me trying to give you the same advice I give everyone I know who travels. There are a few things I never travel without, passport, phone, charger, deck of cards (I’m a magician after-all) and the ‘Manta Sleep Mask’. This sleep mask is a bit of a game changer for me.

I want total darkness when sleeping, be it on a plane to block out the glare of the in-flight entertainment screen, or in a hotel with blackout curtains that for some reason still let light in through the sides (seriously, what is it with this always happening?).

For years I went through different sleep masks provided as part of an in-flight amenity kit. I liked the old Air New Zealand Business Class ones with cute phrases like, ‘Beware I sleep walk’  and the new BA White Company ones are good at blocking out the light. For a long while I found the Emirates Business Class ones were pretty great since they had a little nose flap, but they weren’t perfect. Then the internet algorithms got wind of my search for an eye mask and suddenly Manta were advertising their kickstarter to me.

I invested in the kickstarter and have used a Manta mask ever since. Their latest model is always with me when I travel. It blocks out all the light, it looks pretty cool, it’s machine washable, and has a velcro strap that doesn’t get stuck in your hair but can make the mask nice and tight. The coolest thing though is the eye pads which sit around your eyes rather than against them. Which means the horrible feeling of something against your eyes isn’t going to keep you awake.

The mask has these little foam cups which sit above the eye and can be moved to any position on the strap, thus making it perfectly customisable for your face.They really do block out all of the light with no pressure on your eyes.

Bottom line

I’ve sort of conditioned myself to fall asleep now by fastening the Manta mask tight around my face. Without it on I struggle to get to sleep, when I put it on and tighten it, I’m out like a light.

They’ve now got all sorts of different masks, including ones that can be cool or warm, weighted, or scented with aroma. But for me, the classic mask does the job and I literally never travel without it. I genuinely hope it helps you sleep.

Do you have a favourite sleep mask or technique for snoozing when travelling? Let me know in the comments below. 


  1. Pangolin says

    Thanks. I find that I’m unable to tolerate eye masks due to the discomfort of pressure on the eyeballs (or else it has to be so loose it doesn’t block the light properly), so I’ll check these out.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Yes, I hate pretty much all the airline ones for precisely that reason. Might well get a pair of these (though I’m not exactly doing a lot of travelling at the moment I suppose).

    • Chris Cox says

      I was the same, the pressure on the eyes was always an issue, but these totally solve that problem!

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