Monday, December 12, 2016

4 TIPS FOR SURVIVING HOLIDAY TRAVEL

It's that time of year again! Celebrations and joy and all that—but also really fun things like airports and taxi lines and flight delays... Oh yes, it's holiday travel time. On Sunday I'm embarking on the long journey back to Idaho to spend Christmas and New Years with my family and I can't wait to be there. Wanna know something fun? If everything goes smoothly, it should only take me about 10 hours to get there. Woof.

I realize most of you probably won't be traveling for quite that long (I hope!), but even Metro North can be a nightmare this time of year. Hence, I've compiled some of my best tips, tricks and stay-distracted ideas for travel—as well as my favorite packing strategies and stay-comfortable-for-10-hours apparel.

1. PRACTICE MANAGING YOUR ANXIETY AHEAD OF TIME.
I certainly don't talk about this to many people besides my friends, but I have become, in the last five years or so, a very anxious flier. I love traveling, I don't mind the airport, and when things are smooth, I am not particularly bothered by spending long stretches inside an airplane. However, turbulence—which I seem to experience on almost every flight lately—has on occasion brought me to tears. I've had strangers offer to hold my hand on multiple trips (which melts my heart when I think back on it). Even if you're fine in the sky—plenty of elements of holiday travel—like long lines, angry seat-mates, delays and crowds can make even the most zen traveler feel a bit frazzled.

On that note, I want to do what I can to try and curb my anxiety before my trip even starts. Apps like Sattva and Calm are full of meditation programs—my plan is to practice getting calm and mindful during the week leading up to my trip, and then (hopefully) it's easier to be calm on the plane. The idea is that you learn to meditate (or just relax) ahead of time, so when you actually do start to feel anxious, you know what to do to bring yourself back to that headspace.

Have you guys tried meditating before? Any other nervous fliers out there? Share your tips with me in the comments, please!

2. CARRY-ON LIKE THE JET-SETTER YOU WISH YOU WERE
There are so many stories on the internet about how to look and feel glamorous while you're traveling. I read them, I become convinced I can do it myself and then I've somehow poured the entire contents of my life onto the security belt at TSA... And then spilled it all over again once I've reached my seat. Not to mention I inevitably touch down at my final destination feeling like a total greaseball.

First solve? Bags with zippers. Madewell makes a version of their wildly popular Transport Tote that has both handles and a long shoulder strap as well as a zippered top—making it much more practical for stowing under your seat. I also like to store my cords and chargers in a zipped pouch to keep them away from all my other junk (Cheeze-Its and Swedish Fish, anyone?)—this one from Everlane is chic enough to double as a clutch at holiday parties, so that's a win-win.

As far as not ending up like a greaser? I'll be packing a jar of R+Co dry shampoo paste that is TSA-approved and perfect for touching up my roots during a layover. And since I don't like to fly long distances with a full face of makeup, a BB cream is great for playing down imperfections and touching up a bit, ensuring I look relatively presentable by the time my parents pick me up in Idaho.


*I love Away luggage—their carry-on is only $225. Use this link and save $20 on your order!

3. DISTRACT YOURSELF WITH... A DATING APP?
Oh, yes. AirDate is a dating app designed especially for travel—you can even use it offline in the air. I find this idea especially intriguing for flying home for the holidays or any flights to exotic travel locations. How cool would it be to meet a fellow adventurer on your way to Tulum? Or a cutie from your hometown who also happens to be looking for a reason to have an evening away from their family over the break? The app has settings for networking, partying, dating and socializing. If nothing else, maybe you can meet someone with whom to share an Uber from the airport.

What's that you say, you're not in any kind of mood to date while flying? Me either, if I'm being honest. In that case, might I recommend downloading an entire season of a podcast or praying that your seat comes with a personal screen so you can watch movies for the next six hours. I also try to pack a book every time I fly because you just never know when you're going to be trapped on a plane where all the personal electronics are broken and the outlets don't work and there's no wifi...

4. TRAVEL IN AN OUTFIT THAT'S COOL & TRULY COMFORTABLE
We all know the basics of travel style—you need to be warm, your shoes need to slip on and off easily, socks are a must and your scarf has to double as a pillow. I also like to "hide from the paps" in a hat and big sunglasses, but that's just me. And since my travel day is set to be quite long, I need pants that won't stretch out completely and a jacket I can wear when I need it, drape over my lap as a blanket and stash into my bag when I'm dashing between terminals.

To survive this 10 hour travel day (not including taxi rides and the security line at JFK) I'll be layering my Uniqlo cable knit men's sweater under my Uniqlo Ultra Light down jacket (it's really light and can be packed into its own bag the size of a soda can). To make it a seriously color-coordinated look—which is obviously important to me—black velvet sneakers from Superga, a burgundy embroidered scarf from Madewell and wine-colored J. Crew socks complete the in-flight fashunz.  


Image credit: The lovely and brilliant Wit & Whimsy

5 comments:

  1. Re: flight anxiety: go see your doctor and get some Xanax. It took me a long time to figure out the proper dosage but now that I finally have it makes a world of difference. It doesn't knock me out -- I still rarely sleep on planes -- but it really takes the edge off. And I have confirmation from a doctor that I can take a small dosage AND have a drink which is really the perfect combo.

    Please don't suffer if you don't have to! Every doctor I've talked to has said that flight anxiety is surprisingly common and that they frequently prescribe anti-anxiety meds for airplane travel.

    Good luck!

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