Whether it’s for business or pleasure, the process of getting to your destination can be a stressful and uncomfortable experience—especially in economy. From making your seat a little more comfortable to arriving fresh faced and ready to tackle a long day of meetings, here are a few of our favorite strategies and products to help solve some of the inevitable inconveniences of travel:
If you can avoid checking a bag, it’s worth not waiting in line before check-in and standing around the luggage carousel after landing, hoping it arrives on time and in one piece. Though, lugging a heavy carry-on around the airport isn’t exactly ideal either. To avoid over-packing, try picking out specific outfits and versatile shoes before they go in your bag.
I’m a big fan of carry-on luggage with four wheels. I always travel with my Away carry-on (and have made many friends sharing the extra plug on the wireless charger). Turns out Away also makes an amazing personal item size bag, the Everywhere Bag. It keeps all the things I need most—such as headphones, chargers, lip balm, etc.—organized, fits right over the handles of a roller-bag and looks professional and chic.
Organize your seat
Assigned a bad seat? Try checking in for your flight as soon as possible. Some airlines will release more available seats 24 hours before a fight. This is a great time to look for a better seat. TripIt Pro users can also utilize the Seat Tracker feature to set alerts when preferred seats (such as window or aisle and in front of or behind the wing) become available.
As soon as you arrive to your seat, wipe down all the surfaces around you (arm rests, tray table, etc.) with an anti-bacterial wipe. It’s no secret there’s a ton of germs on the plane, and one of the worst times to get sick is when you’re traveling.
Pack a small bag with just the essentials and place it somewhere you can reach without leaving your seat. Here are a few products you’ll find in my bag: charging cables, hand sanitizer, tissues, face wipes, lip balm, a pen, lotion, gum, Excedrin, extra earbuds, a tiny dental kit, and an extra set of contact lenses. It’s incredibly handy to have these essentials within reach mid-flight so you’re not rummaging through your luggage if you get a headache or have chapped lips.
Dress in layers
Is it just me or does the plane temperature drastically change from boarding to landing? In my experience, it always seems to be hot when you’re boarding and about halfway through the flight it turns into an icebox. So how do you stay comfortable? Dress in layers.
I also recommend packing a small blanket or scarf. My favorite is this travel set by Parachute. The blanket and eye mask are made from extra fine Merino wool, which is breathable and incredibly soft. It works well as a pillow in the carrying case and is warm enough to get cozy on a chilly red-eye.
Combat the pressurized cabin
It’s no secret that a pressurized cabin isn’t wonderful for your skin. Which is why it’s so important to give your face a little TLC when traveling. Before heading to the airport, I apply plenty of moisturizer instead of makeup to keep my skin glowing. If you’re bold, you might even try using a sheet mask on a long flight.
Though it’s not just your skin that is affected by the dry air. It’s important to keep your body hydrated as well. I recommend having a sizable bottle of water in your seat back pocket to refill throughout your trip. You can bring an empty reusable bottle through security or buy bottled water near your gate before boarding your flight.
Compression socks are helpful for keeping your blood flowing while you’re flying, which also helps combat jet-lag and fatigue. They also help prevent varicose veins and dangerous blood clots. Thanks to Comrad, gone are the days of boring and just plain cringe-worthy compression socks. Starting at $21, these creative patterns and sleek designs are worth every penny.
You can also try drinking juice or tea containing ginger, as it is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve nausea and swelling.
Steamer vs. iron
Hotels don’t always provide the best quality irons, so I make a point to pack a travel-sized steamer to keep my clothes looking professional and wrinkle-free. There are several travel options available, though none as chic and efficient as the Cirrus No. 2 by Steamery. It’s compact and so powerful.
If we’re being honest, it can be difficult to find delicious in-flight food in economy. Instead of chancing it, pack your own snacks. You can eat them when you get hungry, which means you’re not on the schedule of the flight crew.
Pro tip: Go for foods that crumble instead of drip so you don’t accidentally stain your clothes.
Download your playlist
If I’m taking a red-eye, I especially enjoy winding down to a podcast or audiobook on the plane. If you want to do the same, be sure to download everything to your mobile device ahead of time so you can listen in airplane mode. Same goes for music on Spotify.
If you need a little help falling asleep, try the Calm app, which is packed with meditation and sleep stories.
How do you make travel more luxurious? Tweet us @TripIt to share your tips!