My Top Tips for Staying Stress-Free While Flying
Gone are the days where air travel was a glamorous, relaxing experience. I’m a lover of travel, and miserable on airplanes so I need a routine to keep the transit as stress-free as and pleasant as possible regardless of how long the flight is. These are the few products and routines that help air travel become a little more comfortable and pleasant until you get to your destination.
1 | A Carry-On, and Only a Carry-On
My first step for stress-free flying starts long before I step on the plane. Nowadays, I’m hard-pressed to be encouraged to pack anything more than a carry on. Not only does it bring me a little more comfort to have all my things right on my person, I loathe the waiting around process and playing luggage roulette, hoping my bag arrives in one piece, or even arrives at all. Packing only a carry on helps start me out stress free because I’m not worried about time spent at baggage check in or waiting around after for my things.
While pricey, the Away carry on is my suitcase of choice. The inner compression pocket really does make a difference, and the inside laundry bag and zipper are solid features. The hard side case travels well, however, it definitely is a little less convenient to get in and out of, so my second carry-on item of choice is a really well organized tote.
2 | A “Filing System” in Your Tote
My tote “filing system” is an essential piece of my travel feeling easy. As described, I prefer to treat my tote like a filing cabinet, meaning a like a tote that is horizontally oriented, and wide enough to stand up at the bottom so a series of small bags, my wallet, etc. can all sit like files inside of the bag alongside my laptop, and other electronics.
I try to organize by the rule that everything that goes in my bag, needs a bag — or some other container. There’s nothing worse than rooting around in the black hole of your tote while it’s stuck under the seat in front of you. I like small bags to group beauty products, and my various entertainment options. While chord organizers might be useful for some, I find that when I’m traveling with multiple electronics, I’d rather have that thing stored with the exact item it charges. For example, I’ll drop my kindle in a little pouch with it’s respective charger separate from where I pack my headphones, etc.
3 | The Accessible Beauty Bag
The accessible beauty bag I need to get to when I fly has to have in-flight essentials organized in one pouch. Once I’m settled in on a flight, I’ll dab on some of the stress-countering essential oil balms I travel with, and possibly pop on moisturizing eye patches under my eye mask for a quick nap. Trying to rest and relax through take-off is key way I tee up my flight to be more comfortable. My go-to check list for a well-stocked beauty back includes:
4 | Snacks
Pre-packaged snacks are essential in part because I always seem to find myself needing a little something either well before or after flight attendants have rolled around with options. I try for a sweet/salty something to keep my options open and always add a water bottle purchase before boarding to be sure that I can stay hydrated throughout the flight, again, without the stress of relying on whenever the offered options come around.
5 | Various Entertainment Options
A wide variety of entertainment options are key for me staying engaged and not focused on rough air or how long the flight is. I find I’m most stressed out on flights where I’ve only brought along a single book, or no other variety in my music or entertainment. I never count on WiFi working because it can be so unpredictable in different countries and across airlines.
Instead, I focus on a lot of pre-downloaded variety in my content entertainment options. For me that means a few different reads across genres on my kindle, a podcast or two through Overcast downloaded, a hard copy periodical, and a few meditations saved offline on Insight Timer. This is obviously especially essential for long flights, but I’ve found that having this much variety and ways to distract myself are helpful when conditions are feeling a little crowded or turbulence stresses you. With multiple options to switch between, I’m almost always guaranteed to find something stress soothing in that bunch.