By Talia Witherspoon
Between weather delays and long layovers, navigating crowded airports during the holidays (well, anytime really) can really suck. However, true jetsetters have mastered the art of packing only as much as necessary and carrying with them a few essentials that make roaming – whether by air, sea, or plane – their pleasure.
My bestie was a flight attendant for a number of years, and watching her pack and unpack at my place on her frequent stops in my city, I picked up a few no-fail tips that I have incorporated to perfect my routine. Considering that my city has the number one busiest airport in the world, my ability to look dazzling on the fly (pun intended) were really put to the test when I began dating a frequent traveler and had to rush to the airport on a whim to meet out of town. Here are a few tips that I picked up that have helped me to look and feel my best when dashing across time zones.
What to wear inflight
- First things first – no jeans, ever – not even the stretchy ones. Not only are they annoyingly restrictive, but they don’t do anything to help circulation. I find leggings to be the most forgiving and comfy for when I need to fold my legs up into lotus pose for some inflight zen.
- Layering is always appropriate because, no matter the season, it’s most likely going to be freezing on the plane. For me, a cami with a loose blouse and a sweater coat (or hoodie) are my necessities. A sweater is less bulky than a coat, but thick enough to keep me warm. And, it can easily be rolled up and placed at the small of the back for great lower-back support if I get too hot.
- Also, wearing flats instead of boots saves coveted legroom space. And because I’m cold natured I always make sure to grab a thick pair of socks to keep my toes toasty.
Gadgets and entertainment to put in the carry-on
- Noise cancelling headphones and a lavender eye pillow are a must for me. No one can predict how noisy a flight will be or if I’ll get stuck next to someone who refuses to nap on a night flight.
- Speaking of which, I happen to be one of those annoying busy types that will occupy myself with a good crossword puzzle or flesh out a few pitches if I find myself unable to sleep (sorry seatmate). Therefore a pen and pad are always on hand inflight.
- Additionally, because I’m old school, I still like my glossies and a good paperback. My reading material must be laugh out loud funny, no matter what. It not only helps the time pass, but I tend to feel like a real smarty pants when I’m able to knock out a dozen chapters in a few hours.
- Lastly, though I always have my laptop, I seldom use it inflight. Instead, my iPhone with an extended battery pack and wifi is all one really needs to get through a good movie on Netflix and, of course, the new Beyoncé visual album for the 100th time.
Beautifying products for the purse
- I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to daily makeup application and when going to the airport, less is more. Healthy, glowing skin is my primary concern. So to prepare, the day before I make sure to hydrate myself thoroughly. On the morning of departure, I make certain to lotion my face and body heavily—especially my lips. Rosebud Salve has proven itself to be a product that gives my lips a supple effect, and is a great emergency fix for patches of dry skin.
- Because I am simultaneously a germaphobe and obsessed with preventing my hands from looking aged, this new anti-aging hand sanitizer is a miracle in a bottle.
- Once the plane begins its final descent I start prepping myself for the landing. I wipe my face clean with the holy grail of travel necessities – the baby wipe (which I learned about thanks to babysitting my one-year-old niece). Those things are inexpensive, durable, soft, and moisturizing – the perfect multi-purpose refresher.
- Mushed, plane-head, a close cousin to bed-head, is an unfortunate, yet an easily preventable faux pas. To combat this problem, I usually rock a cute head wrap or if I want big, full hair, I bun it with a satin scrunchie. The result is a very ooh-la-la, swoon-worthy head full of post-flight hair.
- Before exiting I apply a bit of my favorite BB Cream, highlighter mascara and lip gloss for a seemingly effortless, post-flight dewy look.
- The final touch is my Jackie O stunner shades. A decent pair of sunglasses helps elevate my look from basic to sleek. Following these steps is easy and will take your airport look from groggy to morning dew fresh in no time.
Ditching “the stressed traveler look” is as easy as being equipped with the right assortment of accouterments. This is the busy season for cloud-hopping to Grandma’s; and getting there looking presentable is a breeze when you’re prepared. Now get to packing!
Want more travel tips? Read Amy’s advice on traveling in style.
Talia is a freelance digital journalist, writing artista and curator of Sassy Nation. A lifestyle specialist, her brand represents natural beauty, style, travel and healthy, simplistic living with a highbrow aesthetic. She has an affinity for lists and is also a known Earth lover, vegetable eater, tea sipper, cupcake baker and fun maker. She invites you to get to know her.