7 Steps to Surviving Long Days of Air Travel
We have all been there. Long layovers, even longer overseas flights, your skin is dry and your mind is hazy! You arrive in your new destination feeling like no copious amounts of coffee could appease your hangry, bitchy exhaustion. Well here you will find a few tips to help you treat yo self to a more pleasant travel experience so you can arrive being that instagram worthy queen you dreamt yourself to be for months while planning this trip.
1.) Book Your Seat Ahead of Time
Praise the Lord for technology! Now we have the wonderful ability to choose a seat on the aircraft for free! If you need that extra leg room, book that exit row or aisle seat! If you want views for days and a cozy wall to snuggle up to, pick that window seat! Nobody wants to be that person in the middle trying to make yourself as small as possible to avoid awkward contact with the person next to you....that person probably didn't book their seat ahead of time.
2.) Check In ASAP to Get Early Boarding
The earlier you board the plane, the more space you will have in the overhead compartment. If you pack practically everything you own with you when you travel, or you are a backpacker with that heavy hunk of swag wrapped in nylon you've been hoarding on your back, then you most likely need that overhead compartment space.
Nobody likes to gate check their carry-on bag. It totally defeats the purpose! In the U.S. you can check in 24 hours before your flight online or on your phone, In Europe it can be up to 36 hours depending on the airline. Typically they will email you your boarding pass that you can print out at home, or you can put it on your phone through the app or just screenshot the email so you have your boarding pass's QR code. If you have an iPhone you can even keep your boarding pass in your "wallet" on your phone for super easy quick access.
3.) Book The Lounge
For any layover longer than 3 hours, I suggest looking up if the airline you are staying on has a lounge you can hangout in. Typically long layovers are in major airports so you should have this option, if you are a priority member than you probably already know that you get free access to this, but if you are a normal poor person like I, then you have to pay about $20-$30 for this option. This really isn't that bad considering they typically have free snacks, water and soda, free wifi, comfy seating and they may even give you credits to purchase food or alcoholic beverages from the bar. When you take into consideration how crazy expensive airport food is...and your sanity, it's really a no brainer.
I flew Jet Blue to JFK with a 6 hour layover until my flight to Portugal, and bought a ticket online for the Jet Blue lounge and it was so nice. I got to spread out, put my feet up, watch movies on my laptop, eat snacks, I got a $20 credit with entry, so I sipped on two glasses of wine. It wasn't very crowded so I just felt like I was in a swanky coffee shop or something, not an airport.
4.) Bring Snacks
This is pretty self explanatory. You can bring an entire 3 course meal if you want to, the limitations aren't as strict as you would think. Just nothing in a liquid state, like soup or yogurt, because well...you know how security feels about liquids. Look up the regulations for whichever airport you are flying out of and if you are flying internationally, make sure that you eat everything before you reach customs in that country. A happy belly equals a happy flying experience.
5.) Pack a Water bottle
Water is crazy expensive at airports for no reason, and you will get super thirsty. I like to have a filtered water bottle, that way that I can insure my water will always be fresh and clean. I have the Thermos Water Filtration Bottle and I know that the LifeStraw Go Waterbottle is also really popular. If you stay hydrated your body will feel better, your skin will look better and you won't feel as hungry all the time. It's really just a good life lesson.
6.) Do a Facial on the Plane
Now you don't have to do a full facial, but your skin drying is one of the major reasons you feel so icky after long plane rides. The cabin is always super drying so having something to keep your skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated is so important. The Hydrating Lotus Mask by Sephora is a really good, affordable option. They key is to look for masks that are hydrating and moisturizing. The paper ones are good because even though you kind of look like a serial killer, they are super easy to put on and take off. Most of the time, everyone is so in their own little world on the aircraft that they won't even notice that you look like Jason from Friday the 13th.
Another option for the not so daring, is a nice hydrating spritzer. I really like to use a blend of rosewater and witch hazel that you can make yourself or buy in a little spray bottle like this one from Mario Badescu; it is a little bit over the 3.4 ounces, so you will have to pour some of it into a separate container to meet the limit.
7.) Pack a Change of Clothes
Once I landed in Lisbon, I had already undergone over 20 hours of travel time, so after my flight I washed my face, made my hair look nice, brushed my teeth and changed my clothes into something I felt good in. This all took about 10 minutes to do and I felt like an entirely new person. It was amazing. When I arrived at my final destination in Barcelona, I felt chic and fresh face, not like the disheveled traveller I was supposed to be.
So hopefully this list has helped you have the best travel experience possible! If you have any tips that I missed here, please put them in the comments below! :)