Whether squelching the sound of a jet engine or muffling noisy nightlife, ear plugs can be a traveler's best friend. We tested a bunch to find the most effective ones to help keep your head on top of the pillow—instead of under it.
EarPlanes by Travel Smart, $7.95 at Rand McNally Travel Store in San Francisco or www.randmcnally.com. Bonus: These plugs prevent the ear-popping pains of ascent and descent. But follow the instructions carefully or you'll be back to chewing gum.
Ultra Husher Foam Ear Plugs by North, $2.99 at Longs Drugs stores. Form-fitting foam is gentle on the ears but wimpy for fighting clamor.
Travel Ear Plugs by Eagle Creek, $5 at the Rand McNally Travel Store in San Francisco. This is the best design for reducing the roar of jet engines to a hum.
Rockets Ear Plugs by American Allsafe, $1.89 (plus shipping) atwww.toolbarn.com. Sound reduction on a par with Eagle Creek—plus chic cord and carrying case.
Ear Putty by Physician's Choice, $3.29 at Walgreens. As if anyone needed more ear wax. Poor sound blockage and icky-sticky consistency. Steer clear.
Photography by Craig Maxwell
This article was first published in September 2001. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.