My Airplane Routine in 8 Steps

My Airplane Routine
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I love traveling by airplane. It’s one of the few opportunities I have to be in my own world. If I’m traveling for fun, I can use the time to catch-up on reading or watch a movie I meant to see in theaters. And when I’m traveling for work, it’s an opportunity to decline meetings and actually tackle long-term projects or knock-out overdue tasks. I have a fastidious airplane routine that helps me get settled in and comfortable before take-off.

  1. Clean the tray table. Airplane turnover is notoriously under-staffed and done at a bare minimum. While I’m not a germaphobe, I do wipe down my tray table of any leftover stickiness. I especially like to travel with these Herban Essentials wipes for cleaning tray tables and my hands.
  2. Put essentials in the seat-back pocket. With the exception of my laptop (which has to stay stowed for takeoff), I like to pull out anything I might want during the flight and place it into the seatback pocket. I don’t like having to repeatedly rummage through my bag throughout the flight, especially once my seatmates arrive.
  3. Braid my hair. Seriously! If I put my hair up in a French braid, it’s more comfortable to sleep in than a ponytail and it gives my hair a little texture upon landing.
  4. Moisturize. The interior of an airplane is arid. I’m prone to dry skin, so I make sure to put on facial moisturizer and hand lotion before takeoff and again before landing.
  5. Layer. I’m always cold so being on an airplane is no exception. Depending on where you’re traveling to or from, your clothes might not match the plane’s interior temp. Before taking off, I layer. My go-to plane outfit is a jacket over a sweater over a tee + pants or a maxi skirt + a wrap scarf.
  6. Keep my shoes on. For red eyes, I do like to switch out my shoes for slippers, but I wait until after take-off. Why keep my shoes on? In case of emergency. Should you need to de-plane, you don’t want to be barefoot and running across the tarmac. Similarly, if you in heels, consider switching into flats during boarding – you cannot wear heels on the emergency slide.
  7. Drink water. Most of my flights are long haul so I try to stay hydrated by drinking a liter of water throughout the flight. It also forces me to get up and walk around. I like to bring my own (empty) bottle to fill-up post-security screening.
  8. Introduce myself. Finally, I like to say hello to my fellow seatmates. And since I have to have an aisle seat, I let the other people in my row know that I’m happy to get up whenever they need to move about, too. #karma

Interested in other in-flight tips? Check out How to Avoid Jet Lag and Surviving a Red Eye from the archives.

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