Before I came to Italy, I only needed two hands to count the number of times I rode on an airplane. Now, it’s a different story. In the past three months, I’ve flown on an airplane 11 times. I’ve flown more in the past three months than I have in my entire life! Flying around in Europe isn’t nearly as expensive as it is in the states. Example: I flew to Barcelona last week for only 8 euros! Flying is, also, not nearly as glamorous as I imagined it to be beforehand. It’s exhausting and tedious and always leaves horrendous blotches on my skin. Given, I do fly through really low-budget airlines, (curse you, Ryanair), so customer service tends to be awful and the restrictions are short of not letting the passengers on the plane — but hey, it’s all part of the experience right? Anyway, maybe flying really is glamorous when you’re doing it first class. Wouldn’t know.
Along the way, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks to minimize some of the awfulness that unavoidably follows when flying.
1. BIG SUNGLASSES | Often departure times are at absurd hours and makeup is the last thing on your mind. To not scare off the entire airport with under-eye bags and dry skin, I cover half of it up with sunglasses! This also lets me keep a little bit of my dignity when I doze off on the plane with mouth wide open.
2. SWEATER, TANK, & SCARF | Airplane temperature is SO unpredictable. Sometimes you’re in an ice box, others you’re in a tanning bed. You never know until you’re already high in the air and it’s too late to jump. I always come prepared ready to take off layers if the ride starts to get stuffy, or use the sweater and scarf as a blanket if the temperatures lowers.
3. MINIMAL JEWELRY | I keep my earrings on but other than that, everything stays in my carry-on to avoid any hassle during security. I hate when a piece accidentally makes the metal detector go off and I have to awkwardly get felt up by a stranger in front of everyone. Oh, don’t forget to take the belt off and leave the bra with underwire at home. (I learned the hard way.) No, I don’t have any bombs or knives hidden inside my pants.
4. LONGCHAMP | Now, I don’t have a longchamp tote but I do think it would make for the perfect carry-on bag. Any bag large enough to fit everything works, and a long strap to free your arms for balancing other luggage is a plus. Inside the bag? Headphones, tylenol, a good read, hand sanitizer, lip balm, tissues, body spray, makeup, a journal and pen, wallet, passport, and fuzzy socks (in case the plane gets really cold.)
5. FLATS | Usually when you wear flat shoes, they don’t make you take it off to go through security. And even if they do, slipping them on and off is painless. It’s always annoying having to take your boots off, go through, lug them to a nearby bench, and then put them back on.
6. BLACK LEGGINGS | Because it’s comfortable and lets you pretend you’re wearing no pants at all. No one likes to sit through a flight in stiff denim. No one. Sticking to black, specifically, is a good choice because its chicness can be dressy enough if you have somewhere to be right after with no time to change.
OTHER THINGS | If you fall asleep on the plane, be sure to keep your belongings wrapped around you so no one nearby can steal your things. Better yet, sit on them if you can! Better safe than sorry. Pack a snack and fill your water bottle before you get on the plane because all the prices get jacked up the second you step on. A cup of water? 4 euros.
Unfortunately, I can’t get rid of screaming babies, rude employees, or the long lines at security — if it were up to me though, I would in a heartbeat — but hopefully some of these will make your next plane ride more enjoyable. (: I’d love to hear any other travel essentials or tips I didn’t mention! xo.