Yes, wearing a mask with elastic ear loops for long stretches can get uncomfortable (but you should still wear a mask anyway). In many situations you can deal with this by moving away from others or heading outside for a short mask break (because you definitely shouldn’t just not wear a mask). But what if you’re someplace where you can’t really get away from anyone — perhaps, say, trapped in a metal tube 9,000 m in the air? Because even when it becomes a literal pain, flying is one of those times you simply have to keep your mask on.
Luckily, if you favour wearing over-the-ear headphones — which might already be a common practice for you, or an easy enough habit to adopt while you’re travelling (whether via a plane or the subway) or working in an office setting — there’s an easy way to keep your ears from feeling the pull of the elastic: attach the ear loops to your headphones instead.
By placing the face mask straps around the base of your headphones, you can keep the mask secured to your face while alleviating the strain and pressure caused by those elastic loops pulling at the backs of your ears. It’s a simple fix that will help you power through to the next time you are allowed to take your face mask off (airlines still let you do this while you’re eating, even if they’ve suspended in-flight services and you’ve had to bring your own snacks) in the midst of your travels.
Headphones are a staple for die-hard travels already. Even more so than earbuds, they’re great for noise cancelling, distracting yourself during long stretches on inactivity, or simply allowing you to talk on the phone hands-free while manoeuvring around an airport — and now they’ll also make wearing that mask (which you should definitely be wearing!) that much less bothersome. And sorry, Airpod fans — this is one thing your pricey Apple accessory can’t do.