Friday, April 20, 2012

How to Look and Feel Great on a Very Long Flight



With summer approaching, I know many of you are bursting with excitement about the various trips and vacations you have planned. Some of these trips, I assume, may include a very long flight or series of flights (layovers, anyone?) to get you to to and from your destination. I’ve been on a lot of planes, and it didn’t take long for me to wonder why I came to look like such a hot mess after just a few hours. I did the research and made a plan to help myself look and feel fresh, clean, and put together throughout my trans-atlantic flights…and, well, theory proven! I thought I’d take the time to share my newfound wisdom with you. Follow these steps and you’ll walk out of the airport feeling top notch.

Step One: Stay Hydrated

  • This is THE most important thing you can do. I can not stress this enough. Flights are long, the air is dry, and in most cases you are only served drinks two or three times, in tiny plastic cups smaller than any normal glass. Not only will staying hydrated make you feel better, it will help keep your skin more vibrant and prevent it from drying out too quickly. Being hydrated is also the number one way to combat jetlag. Your body works better when there is water in it! I drink a huge bottle of water on my way to the airport and then buy an even bigger one there (1.5 liters) once I’m past security. Then I have something to drink during the entire duration of the flight, even when the flight attendants aren’t around.

Step Two: Clothing

  • Dress Comfortably. For flights over five hours, I would recommend avoiding denim at all costs. My go-to outfit for traveling is a pair of cotton trousers and a cute-but-loose tee. Other great options would be thick leggings (or jeggings) paired with a long cotton top (I’m serious about the “long” part, no one wants to see your pantyline) or even a linen jumper.
  • Layers. From what I’ve learned, airplanes are too cold and airports are too hot. Dress in layers to prevent discomfort both on the ground and in the air. Wise layering also can increase the overall “cuteness” of any outfit.
  • Comfy shoes. I like wearing flats, because they’re easy to slip on and off. I always pack a pair of fuzzy socks to slip on during the plane ride because my feet get so dang cold.

Step Three: Hair

  • Before you leave for the airport, work a pump or two of leave-in-conditioner through your hair and pull it into a casual but flattering low bun. This will keep your hair out of the way and prevent frizzing, tangling, and other annoyances.

Step Four: Pack a Survival Kit


The dry, recycled air on a plane is your skin’s worst nightmare. Put together a small pouch with the above items and you’ll be grateful for it later. The above picture is a peek at mine.

  • Face Wipes. A typical trans-Atlantic flight will involve about twenty four hours of traveling if you include layovers and driving time. If you were at home, I’m assuming you’d wash your face at least once in twenty four hours, so the same logic applies when you’re traveling. The great thing about face wipes is that, when that fasten seatbelt sign is on,  you don’t even have to get up to rid your skin of unwanted impurities.
  • Moisturizer, Hand Cream, Lip Balm. As stated before, airplane air is DRY. Apply the mentioned moisturizers to keep your skin from getting gross and dry and flaky. A tinted moisturizer for your face will also keep your skin tone looking even.
  • Powder, Lip Gloss, Mascara. I don’t recommend wearing makeup during your flight, but I like to excuse myself to the lavatory near the end of the flight to apply these very basic cosmetics. This is optional, of course, but doing so helps me feel like I didn’t spend all day sitting on a plane, even though that’s exactly what I did.

Step Five: Get Your Beauty Sleep

  • Sleeping on the plane will help you feel refreshed and combat jetlag later on. I know, sleeping on an airplane can be difficult – especially in economy class! I highly recommend investing in a pair of earplugs (or better yet, noise cancelling headphones), a neck pillow, and a sleeping mask. I can’t stress to you how much they help. I take sleeping pills on trans-Atlantic flights because, let’s be real, it’s never going to be easy sleeping sitting up with people all around you talking and moving and eating. This is of course completely optional, but I must say I walked off of yesterday’s flight feeling pretty darn good having slept eight of the ten hours in the air.

I hope someone finds these at least a bit helpful. If you have any other tips you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments!


Nikki @ The Ginger Diaries said...

This post comes in really handy! I'm leaving for the US in a few months too and I am already panicing about the 8 hour flight. I'm lucky I'm only flying to the East coast, but anyways haha. Thanks for the tips!

Alivia said...

This is awesome, and really, really spot-on. I would also add vitamins or some type of anti-germ stuff (like purell) because airplane air is recycled air...if someone on the other side of the place has a cold, you're immune system better be prepared because you are breathing the same air! Bleck!

Megan said...

would not add or change a thing to this post. spot on.

except i am so lazy that i dont even bother trying to keep myself from looking haggard. i look SCARY stepping off the flight from the UK to cali, let me tell ya.

Jenni Austria Germany said...

amen, sister.

Casey said...

Thanks for the tips! I'm planning on going over seas and KNEW the flight would be the worse. This gives me hope I won't walk off the plane a monster. Haha

Mo (New on U) said...

I'm headed to Europe this summer and alway emerge looking like I survived a train wreck. I'll have to force myself to drink more water, but I think it'll be worth it!

Thanks for the tips!

Laura said...

Thank you so much! I have to take long flights regularly because I love traveling..I have an especially long one coming up in Januray to Hong Kong. I like to do my hair before I it up with bobby pins and let it down at the end of the flight. I also pack a pretty outfit and heels for getting off the flight. Change of underwear is crucial!! you have an advice on keeping yourself occupied (besides the sleeping pills ;) )

Katrin said...

I can only agree to everything you said. Thanks for the post!

Elizabeth and Kyle @ Love Is the Adventure said...

Totally agree. Water has the added benefit of keeping your legs and ankles from swelling after sitting for 8+ hours!

I try to wear shoes I can slip on and off quickly going through security but with a closed toe and heel (in case I have to run for my next plane!)

Gaby said...

This is such a great and helpful post! I pretty much have an airplane uniform: leggings, a tunic, a pashmina (can double as a blanket) and boots that can be slipped on and off. I'm definitely going to come back to this post when I go to Canada this year, 20 hours on a plane here i come! x

Lauren said...

These are some really great tips! I've only been on a plane once (twice, if you count the trip back), and don't plan to any time soon. But i'll definitely be keeping these in mind. They're pretty good tips for any trip really! I could use plenty of them for a long drive!


The Adventurer said...

You are a TRAVELLING GURU! I am so thankful for all of your tips, and basically I just need to board a plane. NOW.

kimberly rae said...

agree with everything! i think for my birthday i'm going to ask for noise cancelling headphones because i read that one of the reasons that people have problems sleeping on flights (and i DEFINITELY have issues sleeping on flights!) is because your brain is still picking up on all the activity going on around you so it's harder to shut off!

Sophie @TheForgeStyle said...

those are some great tips Daryl! I really hate flying because I do it so much and I always dread it for days. Now even more that I travel with the little guy. Thanks so much for your uplifting comment on my blog. I appreciate you taking the time to make my day a great deal better :)


Sara Louise said...

Your hair tip is brilliant! I'm going to try it on my next long haul. Thanks for the tips :)

Alex Butts said...

So right on about hydration, but goodness do I hate having to pee on planes all the time, esp when I don't have an aisle seat.

hayley [] said...

This is great girl, and perfect timing! I just booked my flight to visit Germany in June and since I'll be seeing my German man for the first time in six months after stepping off that horrendous plane ride, I wanna look hot. Or at the very least, non repulsive. Thanks :)

hayley [] said...

p.s. this little gem is now forever saved in my pinterest, and i'll be sure to come back when i start packing!

Higher Fashion said...

I just saw this awesome article from pinterest - perfect! The only other thing I pack is Clinique's Moisture Surge Face Spray. It gives your face a little more moisture on the spot, don't have to rub it in and it's so refreshing when you're up in that dry air!

The one (potentially) annoying thing is I pour mine into a travel spritzer to get through security.

Hope this helps!


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