As you may have noticed, I'm a huge proponent of curating your life. Every facet! That even means curating your experience on airplanes. I love traveling and, even though I hate sitting down for long periods of time, I still actually enjoy flying. Granted, that's probably because I've been doing it since I was a newborn which has given me a lot of time to perfect my process.
Aside from a Global Entry membership, here are my top twelve essentials for your next flight...
Headphones | For music and podcasts. Be sure to download a playlist of podcasts prior to boarding so that you're able to listen in airplane mode. My long flight favorites are the Rich Roll podcast and Mischief Managed.
Sunglasses | To wear from take-off to landing. Even if the window is closed, I like to wear my sunglasses for a false sense of privacy.
Passport Case | To make everything cuter. I tend to take my passport with me even on domestic flights because I find it easier to keep track of. I don't like the idea of taking my driver's license out and potentially dropping it, so I just put my Kate Spade passport case in my Truffle pouch (see below) and use that for peace of mind.
Truffle Pouches | For easy access and to make you feel cute. I currently use two of these clear pouches---one to store my travel documents and the other to store my in-flight beauty products. I'll keep both pouches in my tote bag so that everything is organized and easily accessible when needed.
Cozy Socks | To feel at home. On longer flights or ones in the early morning, I like to put on a pair of warm socks to feel more cozy. Typically, I look ridiculous because I put on cute socks along with compression socks for my calves (try putting compression socks on in a tight space, you will look ridiculous). I don't have any pre-existing conditions that require compression socks to be worn, they simply just make my legs feel better when sitting for long periods of time in an air-compressed environment. At the very minimum, have some cozy socks for your cold feet!
Water Bottle | To stay hydrated and avoid sketchy airplane water. The cleanliness of airplane water has been brought in to question many times, so I like to err on the side of safety and bring my own water bottle. Plus, I drink a lot of water so I don't want to wait for the flight attendants to provide a refill. I recommend a slim, relatively lightweight bottle that you can keep in your bag.
Hand Cream | To keep your skin moisturized. We all know how drying airplane cabins can be which is why I suggest bringing along a face moisturizer as well as a good hand cream. Not only will this keep your skin hydrated, but the smell will make your trip feel a little more luxurious.
Sunscreen | Because you are closer to the sun. If wearing sunscreen while your feet are on the ground is important, it's even more important when you are 36,000 feet closer to the sun. For quick flights, I apply when I'm getting ready at home and then again after boarding the plane. For longer flights, follow the basic guidelines of reapplying every two hours.
Sanitizing Wipes | To protect from germs. For me, cleanliness is my number one priority on flights. As soon as I get to my seat, I wipe the entire space down with sanitizer from the seat and the armrests to the tray the window. Before and after eating, I sanitize with EO hand sanitizer as well. Honestly, I'm surprised I haven't started wearing a surgical mask.
Facial Mist | To keep your face feeling fresh. Along with moisturizer, I like to pack a travel sized facial spray to spritz my face a few times during the flight. Typically, I'll spritz after moisturizing, anytime during the flight when I start to feel gross, and then in the airport bathroom when I'm reapplying my makeup. I recommend choosing a small spray bottle rather than an aerosol because the small bottles have more control and won't cause you to spray your seatmate.
Healthy Snacks | To avoid plane food. Plane food and typical airport snacks may be gradually improving, but for the most part you are still met with processed, heavily salted and sugared food that isn't going to do any favors for your nutrition goals or your skin. If there's a juice bar in the airport, I'll get a protein shake or a green juice but other than that, I bring a good snack bar (from Sakara or Lara), a piece of fruit, and maybe a little bag of crackers or popcorn.
Reading Material | For obvious reasons. On flights, are you a magazine person or a book person? I'm often both so I bring one of each. My typical modus operandus is to read a magazine first and a book later. My favorite magazines for airplanes are Town & Country, Real Simple, Vogue, and W. As for books, I choose something of moderate length because I aim to start and finish it between my flights to and from. It also has to be engaging and not too intellectually dense since the reading conditions aren't optimal. Right now, my picks would be contemporary novels like Elif Batuman 's The Idiot, Noah Hawley's The Good Father, and Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.
What are your in-flight essentials? Do you like flying or do you dread it?