How to Look and Feel Flawless When You Get Off the Plane
Landing after a long flight should feel like a moment of triumph—you’re about to begin a new adventure, or are finally home after a great trip. But most of us are more apt to feel … dirty and exhausted. Sitting in a dry, cramped plane cabin for hours isn’t exactly luxurious, but there’s a method to end every flight looking and feeling like your best self. Here’s how.
Employ Hidden Comforts
For some people, comfort isn’t just wearing cozy clothes—it’s also about feeling like you look good. Comfort and fashion aren’t mutually exclusive, which is why it’s a good idea to take advantage of subtle comforts.
Throwing some gel insoles in your favorite pair of chic boots and wearing packable slippers on the plane are easy alternatives to those running sneakers that scream “tourist.” Try short boots that are easy to walk in, like this sleek Steve Madden pair you can wear virtually everywhere, and add some massaging insoles. The same trick works just as well for men’s shoes.
Eat and Drink Wisely
You’re bound to feel jetlagged and bloated upon arrival if you indulge in unhealthy food and drink on your flight. Drink water or tea instead of soda, juice, or alcoholic beverages—alcohol will upset your sleep cycle. When you’re making food choices, remember that salt and sugar will dehydrate you, making jetlag worse and weakening your immune system. Nuts are typically a better option than the chips, cookies, or pretzels typically available. Or, avoid inflight offerings altogether and bring your own healthy snacks.
Don’t forget to brush—your teeth and your hair. Bad breath and bed head are easily avoidable if you plan ahead. Plane lavatories are covered with germs, so use a pre-pasted, disposable toothbrush that you can just toss after using. And there’s no underestimating the reviving power of floss and mouthwash. As the final touch, run a comb through your hair (unless you’ve got curly hair, then, don’t). If you’re not ecstatic about buying all those travel-sized toiletries, try ordering a pre-packed toiletry kit.
It’s not easy to wash your face in a plane lavatory, so instead, opt for calming facial pads or blotting papers right at your seat. Cleansing cucumber wipes can wash away that stale, post-flight feeling. If you don’t want to wipe off existing makeup, try blotting papers to soak up the excess oil that makes your face feel dirty and look shiny.
On long flights, makeup tends to wear off and flake. Give yourself a quick touchup with travel-sized tools like make-up removing wipes and the Stowaway Kit. Pick the perfect palette of colors and touch up right at your seat with the compact’s built-in mirror.
Everything you need to smell great can fit perfectly in your carry-on, so there’s no excuse to be that passenger. Dry shampoo, deodorant, and mints make up the perfect freshening kit. Your seatmates will thank you.
Change Your Clothes
Who says your plane outfit has to be your arrival outfit? Packing a change of clothes can mean being prepared for lost baggage, accommodating a weather change, avoiding wrinkles, or just getting out of whatever you might have sweat in on a speedy quest through the terminal. Easy outfits like travel dresses are a comfortable and stylish option that won’t mean hopping around in the bathroom to accomplish your costume change. For guys—simply changing into a fresh, breathable shirt can make all the difference.
Folding up your tray table and repositioning your seat back shouldn’t be the only thing you do before landing. You might be surprised how many yoga stretches can be done right at your seat or in the line for the bathroom. There are plenty of discreet stretches that aren’t totally embarrassing—don’t underestimate the power of a good set of shoulder rolls or spinal twists. You can also carry small, hard tension balls like Rad Rounds to firmly and easily massage your neck and back when pesky knots pop up.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Travel-Sized Hair Tools to Make Every Day a Good Hair Day
- Tiny But Might Travel Makeup Kits
- Gadgets That Will Help You Sleep on the Plane
Associate Editor Shannon McMahon believes in traveling comfortably and fashionably. Follow her on Twitter @shanmcmahon_.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.