1. Prepare your mind. You will have to go through miserable airport security, you may sit next to an obnoxious drunk, your luggage might get lost. None of that you can control. But you can control your disposition to these challenges. You don’t have to enjoy plane rides, but preparing yourself to face the challenges and looking at the bright side will give you an edge to get started.
2. Prepare your tech. Have all your electronics fully charged. Entertainment is the best way to pass the dull time, if you need battery life to do that. Try a Mophie juice pack. Bring a good set of noise cancelling headphones. Then you don’t have to use the nasty provided ones, and you get some peace of mind. Save a couple movies just to watch on the plane. Save a good e-book just for your flight.
3. Wear loose fitting layers. Airplanes are like a see-saw with temperatures, spiking very high and dipping very low throughout the flight and runway time. Start with a comfortable bra that you can stand being in all day and night, especially if it is an overseas flight. Consider a shelf bra shirt. They come in a lot of cute colors and make a great base layer, for both temperature and fashion. Next, layer on a cute shirt. I like the button-up style business shirt for the classy look, and so I have the option to open it. Finally, pick a jacket that is soft and warm, not rigid and heavy. It will work well rolled up as a pillow or even a blanket. Many people are comfortable in jeans for a long haul, while others find them overly restricting. If you do decide to go with jeans, get loose fitting soft ones. Ones that are cut with spandex are perfect for this. A dark jean will look the classiest. Many airlines freely admit that they look for the nicest dressed passengers to bump up to empty first class seats. That is motivation enough to leave the sweatpants at home.
4. Get Moving: It is important to move around as much as you can to keep blood flowing and prevent cramping. Nabee Socks are super cute compression socks that keep blood circulating on long flights. They are comfortable and come in quite a few cute color options. Getting up and walking around on the plane isn’t always easy so this is a good way to keep things moving. The socks will help to prevent your feet from swelling.
5. Bring a Refresh Kit: Toothpaste, toothbrush, face wipes, moisturizer, body lotion, deodorant, brush, hair ties, eye drops, lip balm, and makeup. Even though the last thing you want to do is go into an airplane’s bathroom, the temporary personal space and the opportunity to wash your face and start anew is priceless. When morning comes, or the flight is almost over, a fresh breath, new application of makeup on a clean face, and non-frizzy brushed hair, will be so refreshing. It is a mental demarcation to beginning a new day, even though you are in the neverland of time zones.
6. Create a Personal Space. Settle into your seat and make it home. Get everything just right, and prepare your mind (see #1) to be there awhile. Earplugs allow you to block out the snoring and screaming children. A good neck pillow (not the inflatable kind) will let you slip into a time passing sleep. Pack the little things that will make you comfortable: your favorite tea, a sleep mask, a light blanket. The little comforts can really help you to settle in. And nothing is better for looks than a good night’s rest.
7. Eat Smart. Many airlines will allow you to schedule a meal ahead of time. So don’t leave things to chance if you need a specific option as do diabetics or vegetarians. Airline food is nuked with salt to compensate for high elevation’s effect on taste. If you are sensitive to salt, or just don’t like the idea of eating that much, pack some alternatives. Protein bars and trail mix will do the trick.
8. Watch your alcohol intake. Your body is going through enough stress thousands of feet in the air, awake at unusual times, and crammed into a tiny space, so adding in a lot of alcohol might exacerbate the misery. It dehydrates you. It can interrupt sleep. And both of those things lead to headaches. So maybe the free booze isn’t worth it after all. As an alternative to using alcohol as a sleep aid, try a natural sleep supplement.
Bonus tip: Get an audiobook. Having someone read to you is transporting and relaxing.