Now, this isn't to say I'm not grateful to have snagged what appeared to be one of the last 5 or so economy seats on this (blessedly) non-stop flight, but most often, I'm on my game enough to grab my preferred aisle seat. I've written before about my savvy traveling tips for flying in the summer, but let's be real: holiday flying and other time flying are not the same.
As the paparazzi have taught us, it's not about how you look on the plane, it's how you look when you step out of the airport. As per tradition, I'll be heading from the airport out to lunch and shopping with my mom downtown (at our favorite spot, Le Pichet). This means I'll want to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible, then pull off a quick change and refresh as soon as I deplane to be ready for a full day.
So, how exactly does a girl relax and have a decent flight in the middle seat? How can I arrive after six hours not looking and feeling like I've been in a war zone?
CLICK THROUGH FOR MORE...
CLICK THROUGH FOR MORE...
- A FRESH NOVEL: I am a huge proponent of buying a physical book to travel with. It makes traveling feel more like an occasion than a chore, for some reason. Do you have any suggestions? I am looking through NPR's Book Concierge and having a hard time choosing!
- NEW YORK MAGAZINE "Reasons To Love New York (Right Now)" issue: This is my holiday flight tradition. I always seem to fly the week this issue comes out, so I purchase the print edition to read as I travel home. In the midst of exhausting commutes, bad weather, long lines and people with short fuses, reading this always renews my love for all the idiosyncrasies, micro-trends and crazy characters that make NYC ours—for better and for worse.
- A GIANT, SOFT SCARF: This is an obvious one. It's nice to cozy up with a scarf as big as a blanket in case it's absolutely freezing on your flight. (I'm partial to my big Madewell plaid scarf, but wondering if I should splurge on this one, too. (It has arm holes!))
- ONE iTUNES MOVIE: Since you can't stream movies or shows on the plane's wifi and I never trust Seattle-bound flights to have TV screens or movies, I make sure to download a movie on my computer that I can cue up when my eyes get too tired to read. I'm thinking either Comet or Magic in the Moonlight.
- ...OR SERIAL: If you haven't already, a long flight is your perfect excuse to download ever y episode of Serial (the final one comes out Thursday!) and binge on the Podcast series instead of a show. You will not regret it.
- OVER-THE-EAR HEADPHONES: My life has changed dramatically since I started flying with giant headphones. Goodbye crying babies, goodbye inner-ear pain from those tiny buds—hello amazing sound, noise-canceling bliss and hours-on-end comfort. I have and love the Jabra REVO Bluetooth headphones (charge em up and go cordless, amazing!) but these HMDX ones are on sale for $50!
- H20: Don't be dumb. Your mom was right when she reminded you to hydrate on the plane. Nothing dries out (and subsequently oils up) my skin more ravenously than a 6-hour flight. I go makeup free, drink a lot of water and then splash my face with some cold water once I land and wait for my bags. This makes applying a little post-flight foundation and mascara in an airport bathroom just a bit easier.
- THAT EMBARRASSING NECK PILLOW: So not chic, so necessary. (Get an inflatable one so you can pack it away and hide your (super comfortable) shame at baggage claim.
- THE BAG THAT HOLDS IT ALL: I still defer to the amazingly convenient, simple and spacious Rebecca Minkoff MAB tote in black. I feel put-together and stylish carrying this—and it has room for all of the above, including my laptop.
- A BIG HAT: If all of the above fails and you arrive feeling like a refugee, just don a very large and perceivably glamorous chapeau and find your Uber, stat. (Something like this should do the trick nicely.)
What are your best tips for surviving a long flight in a terrible seat?
*Also, my girl Grace wrote a great post recently on red-eye flight tips, and it's definitely worth a read if you're headed for a long overnight flight this season.