For a group trip I’m going on, I was given an inflatable neck pillow by the travel agency. It seems like a good idea: it packs compactly and is still reasonably comfortable to rest my head on. However, it is made with flocked vinyl, and reeks of plastic softeners. My solution: make a cotton flannel cover. It has a much better texture, can be easily washed, and it even hides the silly name of the travel agency.
I took a scrap of leftover flannel and cut it out in the shape of the pillow with the fold of the flannel on the straight edge of the top of the pillow. I then stitched around the perimeter, leaving one side open so I could stuff the pillow in. Crowning touch: I put a button hole where the valve sticks out so it can be inflated and deflated with the cover on. (More photos here.) The net result is an improved pillow, which did help me sleep while I was packed in a 747-400 sardine can for 14 hours.