Pillows for Travel Comfort

Whenever I fly, I get envious of the passengers with neck pillows. I don't like to tote a neck pillow with me because it's just one more thing I have to pack (and I'm all about efficient packing) and I've never been so uncomfortable on a plane that I've felt I absolutely needed one. But I'm still envious because I always think it would be nice to have one.

I've decided to do some research and invest in a travel pillow, inspired by my Hawaii trip (97 days to go). Why? The longest plane ride I've ever had was back in middle school when I went to Korea. I was traveling for more than 24 hours (each way) but because I was young, my body wasn't filled with aches and pains after the flights. However, lately, I'll be on a less-than-5 hour flight and my neck, back, and tushy will be sore from sitting still for too long. This trip to Hawaii is going to have me sitting on a plane for 10+ hours each way so I expect it's going to be brutal. Thus, I've decided I'm going to do what I can to get myself as many comforts as reasonably possible and a travel pillow is a good start.

Here are the two main criteria for travel pillow shopping:
  • Portability - the pillow needs to be inflatable/deflatable so that it can be rolled up and packed in my luggage and/or have little straps with velcro or snaps so that the pillow can be attached to a bag handle for easy toting. Plus, it can't be too heavy because I like to travel as light as possible (since it gets rather tiring to carry bags around all day).
  • Comfort - duh! The pillow must offer neck support and have a soft exterior and be comfy; otherwise, what's the point?
From my research I've found that there are two options for pillow shape:
  • horseshoe shaped
  • long or golf club shaped.
And there are four options for pillow insides:
  • beads (styrofoam - like the filling of a beanbag chair or organic - hulls, a.k.a. grain husks)
  • memory foam
  • air (inflatable)
  • stuffing/down (the stuff in normal pillows).
I've highlighted one option in each category that interested me the most. So I went and just searched "travel pillows" in amazon.com and got a whole slew of results. Here are the ones that interested me most:
I've highlighted the one that I'm going to test out. The price is right and the reviews are pretty good. I'm still a bit concerned about the inflatable factor because I worry the pillow might pop or develop a hole but I'm going to be fearless and try it out!