Calling all rookie and professional travelers alike! Whether domestic or international, traveling can be overwhelming and exhausting to say the least. Since meeting my British husband back in 2013, I've flown more times than I can keep track of and somewhere in those miles across the Atlantic, I've picked up some tricks to share with you. Now obviously I know that there are millions of tips out there on the internet, so these are just the things I've adopted, some may be new to you and some you may already do!
Let me guess, your luggage is black, or navy, or brown, or forest green or some dark shade of a color. Well, guess what? So is everyone else's! Now I'm not saying toss out your luggage and go buy a new set in the latest construction cone orange BUT I am telling you to save yourself the panic attack at baggage claim and find a way to mark your bag so that when it's coming around the carousel and your little eyes are puffy and fatigued, you'll be able to pick it from the bunch. Even more importantly, no one else will pick your bag from the bunch by accident!
TIPS: In the event that your bag doesn't arrive at your final destination at the same time you do (it happens, especially on flights with short layovers) be sure to know the color and brand of your bags as well as a few items that can be located inside for identification purposes. This is also why it's a good idea to pack a couple days worth of clothes in your carry-on as well as any day-to-day necessities.
You don't have to be fancy about HOW you mark your bag. I've been known to just grab a strip of pink ribbon from a junk drawer at the last minute just to have something around the handle that I could easily spot. If you do however want to be a little fancier than that, there are plenty of travel brands out there to help you with your needs. Photos to come....
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
No, not in the security line in a last ditch effort to consume your water before it's your turn! Humidity in an aircraft falls below your body's comfortable level (from about 40%-70% down to 20%!) So start drinking water before you even leave for the airport. To save you from having to toss that beloved full bottle of Smart Water only to then pay $3 for another one on the other side, get yourself a refillable bottle like the ones from Swell (these can vary in price slightly but for the 17 oz. they hang around the $42 mark). If you want to play with one in person, you can check them out at Urban Outfitters or see their "Sip" collection at your nearest Target (bonus, these ones are slightly slimmer and half the price!) Or if you have Amazon prime and just don't want to wait then buy here!
TIPS: Try and ditch the booze and coffee as well as these are also fluids that dehydrate the body. These bottles aren't just a pretty face, they also keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 as well as being partnered with charities around the world for better environments and clean water for children. Learn more on their site and do not leave this blog without adding them to your insta-reel because it's just too gorgeous to pass up @swellbottle
Long flight or short , you still need something to keep yourself occupied. If you're into reading and like to do so the old fashioned way, just be sure to pick a book before hand that is going to hold your attention (I can't tell you how many times I have picked up a book in the airport only to get 5 pages in and realize it sucks) Alternatively, for those of you who are a bit more modern, be sure to download your books BEFORE you leave the house, as most airports do not have free wifi. This applies to really any inflight entertainment you plan on bringing on your iPad, Kindle, tablet or laptop (it may seem obvious, but don't forget to check that you have a full charge!)
Luckily, on MOST international flights you will have the luxury of free in-flight entertainment with loads of movies, tv shows, games and music. However, if you aren't sure and this is what you are relying on to keep you and your children sane for 9 hours, then be sure to check on the airlines website. I once had a 9 hour flight with American Airlines with no in-flight entertainment and after about 30 minutes I was ready to stab by eyes out. Shout out to Virgin Airlines for having amazing entertainment options!
TIPS: Bring your own headphones, as the ones handed out on-flight aren't the best quality, however, they'll do in a pinch! My favorite headphones? You'll find those here. And yes, they are gold.
Looking for a good book to read? Did you love Gone Girl? The writer, Gillian Flynn, has 2 other books that are just as good, if not better and I highly recommend. Check out Dark Places and Sharp Objects!
Comfy before Cute
I have never, and will never understand the woman in heels juggling all her belongings, coffee and jewelry in the security line. Maybe some people find love in an airport (seems romantic) but if you can't love me at my travel "not-so-chic" then you don't deserve me (and I'm taken anyway so oh well) Chances are for the next too many hours you're going to be sitting next to a guy picking his nose and wiping it on the back of the seat in front of him (sounds gross? well, that's a true story) so unless you're trying to impress him, don't bother getting all dolled up, because no one is looking (is that harsh?)
Ok I'm also not saying roll out of bed and turn up in your PJ's, you should have a little more dignity than that! Instead, grab a comfy pair of leggings and an oversized sweater or t-shirt. This makes sitting in those tiny seats less restrictive and far more comfortable.
TIPS: Wear shoes that are easy to slide off and on as this will not only make things easier at security but will also help with comfort in-flight. Try not to lace or buckle anything to tightly, as your feet tend to swell on long flights. Check out Brandy Melville for cute, casual, comfy and "one-size fits most" tops and bottoms at reasonable prices and J-Slides for trendy and comfortable slide-on shoes!
Wipe it Down!
Oh, so about that guy picking his nose next to you. This is real life, it happens, I've seen it with my own two eyes. Whether it's happening next to you, before you or after you, it's happening. So protect yourself by being prepared. Have hand-sanitizer in your purse or carry-on bag as well as anti-bacterial wipes. Want to know the hot spots? Let's start with that belt buckle, then move to that tray, any remotes or buttons you plan on touching and if you really want to feel a little better about the situation, maybe a quick wipe of the head rest. Now before you hold up boarding, don't start your decontamination process at a time when others are trying to get to their seats. Be respectful of your fellow passengers and do this once you're fully in your seat. Also, pay it forward if you see a fellow passenger wishing they'd brought the same supplies.
Hand Sanitizer: I recommend The Honest Co. for its moisturizing properties as well as lack of harsh chemicals. ($6-$7)
last but not least...
I know its been a minute since I talked about hydration, but HYDRATION. You can do more than just drink water before and during your flight. I always travel with a bare face so that I can easily spritz myself with rose water, apply face masks, eye creams or lotion. I know all of that sounds maybe a little too intense for you so let me explain because it's not as dramatic as it sounds.
ROSE WATER: What is it you ask? Oh boy... Rose water hydrates, revitalizes and moisturizes the skin, and makes it smooth as well as many other benefits so you can see why it's ideal and essential for those long distance and super drying flights! Keep a SMALL spray bottle in your carry-on or hand bag thats under the liquid limit of 1.7oz (I'd probably cry if TSA made me toss that). Periodically spritz your face throughout your flight while being mindful not to spray your neighbors. I'll share with you two of my favorites that are both great and similar in price but have slightly different perks. Olivine Atelier "Love+Roses" is simply beautiful and only $16 for their 2oz. bottle (don't forget this is slightly over the TSA limit so be sure to pour out a little into a bottle that meets the regulations). PRO: It's made in the USA . Next is Herbivore Rose Hibiscus and is also $16 for their 2oz. bottle (also comes in 4oz.). PRO: This one has Witch Hazel, Aloe Vera, and Coconut water which are all amazing ingredients for hydrating the skin. Both of these can be ordered online or tested out at an Anthropologie near you.
Both have beautiful instagrams so be sure to follow them @olivineatelier and @herbivorebotanicals
LOTION: Ya know those tiny little sample packets you're constantly getting with your Origins orders and you're not exactly sure what to do with them? This is the time to bust those bad boys out. You can typically pre-select which samples are included in your order so go for the "Gin-Zing refreshing eye cream" to hydrate and depuff the eyes ($30 for 15ml). All I'm saying is that at some point during this flight, apply a little lotion to your eyes but while your at it, your whole face with the "Gin-Zing boosting moisturizer". ($27.50 for 50ml) PS: don't forget your neck!
FACE MASKS: So you're at that part in your flight where you need a little Spa in your life to get you through this, huh? This isn't for the easily embarrassed so if you're afraid to look a little silly, just stick with the rose water and lotion. But if you're hard core and have a #facemaskdontask attitude, then here you go! This is where Sephora comes in for the win with their many self-branded face and eye sheet masks that are easy to pack, use, and dispose of and only $6. Just open and lay over your face mid-flight for a little relaxation. Follow the directions of your mask to determine how long it should be left on for. I guarantee you'll feel fresher for it! I recommend the "rose" face mask as it provides deep moisture and brightening properties through natural rose extract.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg on travel tips and ideas so i'll post a 2.0 version in 3 weeks when I fly back to New York with Norwegian Air for the first time! I hope these ideas helped! Feel free to love, hate, comment and debate!