Q: What’s worse than a full day of traveling that leaves you with puffy skin, frizzy hair and an oily face?
A: Getting to your destination with oily and puffy skin, frizzy hair, and feeling out of place in your travel clothes that at the time, you chose because comfort > style.
As I have become a frequent traveler overseas to visit my boyfriend, whose job as a professional hockey player takes him all over the world, I have created a foolproof list of tips and items that are carry-on friendly to ensure I step off the airplane looking and feeling fresh.
Whether you are being picked up by your lover, by a taxi cab driver, by a bus or by your mother, here are some tips to feel like yourself upon arrival:
1. Carry wet naps. Lots of em. Use them on your hands throughout your flight and if your skin is not sensitive and/or if it is oily, use one on your face towards the end of the flight. Wet naps usually don’t have a high alcohol content, which makes them safe for your face. Plus they are cheap and easily accessible! (On that note- you can also use them as a sanitary wipe).
2. Lip balm. Not gloss, not stick, not stain, but balm. Keep those lips hydrated, use them on your cuticles, dab it on your cheeks for a Dewey look post-flight. If I do pack a lip stick, I pick a neutral shade I can smear across my lips, as well as on my cheeks for a blushing appearance that looks healthy and natural. Multi-purpose is my favorite type of item!
3. Mint-flavored floss. Bring gum if you need (after so many flights, the altitude change no longer bothers me so I don’t often bring gum). I like mint floss because it provides a fresh scent and keeps my teeth feeling freshly brushed.
4. An empty water bottle. No need to buy one past security: empty bottles are allowed, and flight staff will happily fill it up for you as they make their rounds on the plane offering drinks.
5. Eye drops. Airplanes have regulated air circulating the plane, which can make eyes feel scratchy and dry. I apply once in the middle of my flight and once before landing.
6. Small snacks. Low sodium, high protein granola bars are my favorite pick for on-flight snacks. The meals supplied on long flights are usually bland yet high in sodium and carbohydrates. I won’t even mention how salty the peanuts and pretzels are! Protein is easily digestible, filling and energizing.
7. Although I envy the people who rest comfortably against the window, I always pick an aisle seat if given the chance. Sitting for hours on end cuts off circulation; an aisle seat gives easy access for standing up to stretch mid-flight and walking to the bathroom.
8. Gravol. For short flights, I will chew on a non-drowsy Ginger gravol to avoid any nausea during turbulence or rough landings. For long flights, I utilize gravol to help adapt to the time change. While you will get a few good hours of sleep, it enables you to be awake long enough to have your meal if you wish, to have a stretch or trip to the bathroom, and then wears off, with no leftover drowsiness.
9. A hat that matches your outfit. I don’t suggest wearing one on the plane, as grease will build up and kinks will appear. However, I do suggest tucking one into your carry-on in case grease and kinks build up throughout your flight. I love floppy, felt hats to go with all sorts of outfits, and they retain their shape very nicely when shoved into a bag.
10. This is a big one. DRESS NICELY WHILE TRAVELING! The flight attendants appreciate the show of respect to their profession and when you land, you will be grateful to be able to be confident in what you wear. Also, several articles online who have interviewed airline staff have stated that there is a better chance you will be upgraded in your seat if you are dressed nicely. Worth a shot, am I right? I am not suggesting heels and a fitted dress. I am suggesting maxi dresses, tunics with tights, your favorite, most comfortable pair of wedges (my preference) or shoes that enhance your outfit. Avoid jewelry for metal detector and bloating purposes. My go-to outfit is a maxi dress with a scarf that can be used as a blanket mid-flight, with a cardigan or jacket and pair of comfortable wedges. Maxi dresses provide more freedom than sweats or leggings do, but provide cover to your legs so that you don’t need to worry about any slips while sleeping.
A final tip for traveling: do not bring any form of entertainment unless it is something that works for you. If you are not a reader, don’t buy a new novel thinking, “this time I’ll really get into it”, because in reality, you won’t. Flights and traveling is tiring, long and exhausting, and in order to get through it quick and painlessly, you need to stick to your comfort zones. If music comforts you, bring your earphones and indulge in a great playlist. Indulge in light reading if it keeps your mind occupied. Or simply take a nap. The moral of the story: do what will make you the most comfortable in a cramped situation.
I find these items and tips have been useful to me as I travel. I would love to add or improve this list, so please comment below if you have any suggestions!