So Hemi and I have been traveling for years. Some years it feels like we see more airports than bedrooms. Some years we spend more time in tents and 4×4’s than houses. That is just the way we are. We aren’t Gypsies, but we are pretty close to it!
Necessity has driven us to travel – either to visit his mum in the UP of Michigan or to escape Melbourne’s cold and head outback Northern Territory way. And they say necessity drives invention. I knew that cars had to be comfier and something had to be done about long-haul travel.
Did you know that it takes around 30 hours to fly from Christchurch NZ to Marquette Michigan? Plane to airport to another plane to another plane to another plane…. And about 3 days to drive from Melbourne to Darwin?
It was before this exact route in 2014, when we were going to see Hemi’s grandad, that I decided to buy a mattress topper, cut it in half and split it between Hemi’s and my seats. BEST FLIGHTS EVER!
Problem was, it was so bulky it filled up both of our carry on. I decided though, that this was the best I could do in economy. And it worked. And we did it for a few trips.
Couple of years later, once we had moved to Thailand and I had a bit of time up my sleeves, I thought I should perfect this idea.
I had, what is now known as, a Travel Mat™ made up. Basic mat that could be rolled up and easily stored on carry on. Comfy, to a degree, as I was only using standard commercial foam found at big department stores.
Now, I have always hated neck pillows – you will read write up, after write up, about how bad they are. All you have to do is look around on a plane and see how badly they are designed. No one can possibly use them the way they were intended.
The problem is, is the bulk behind the neck, it pushes the neck too far forward.
So, I started toying with the idea of adding a neck pillow. A neck pillow that could be formed into different shapes and used on different sides of the head.
See, some people love a left hand window seat, as they always sleep on their left, others like the right. Others like the aisle seat for easy access to the bathroom. Very few like the middle.
So, I had a neck pillow made that could be formed on both sides of the mat.
But the real breakthrough came, when I partnered up with a great Finnish guy named Matti. He proposed 2 arms of a neck pillow that could be swapped from side to side.
Now with the bulk of the Travel Mat™ joined to the arms, it meant the arms could EXSIST without the bulk BEHIND the neck.
Thus the Travel Mat™ was invented and now better travel for everyone! You see, travel is good but travel with a Travel Mat™ is BETTER!
A 3 in 1 solution to airlines with their cost cutting, comfort cutting measures – longer flights, less service, less foam padding in seats.
- SEAT CUSHION
- BACK CUSHION
- NECK PILLOW (that works)
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing – 5 or 6 trips to China, visiting factory after factory. (Hemi has had some amazing school excursions – I home school him, so he comes with me everywhere)
Organising shipping after our successful Kickstarter campaign – NIGHTMARE!
Getting the foam right has been one of the toughest things to deal with. Companies wanting to skimp on quality is another thing – zippers that broke on first use, toggles not fitted properly – all of these things had to be drummed into manufacturers.
But here we are 2019. One year after we were awarded runner-up for most innovative product at the Travel Goods Show for 2018.
It has been an amazing year, but we are finally RETAIL READY. Time to sell, and unleash the Travel Mat™ Ultra onto the world.
Enjoy yours, please review it.