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When a Private Jet Is Not an Option

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Now that you've taken advantage of Cara's incredible tips and booked a flight with your budget intact, it's time to jet set! After taking 50 flights this year for work and play, I've finally learned the secret to flying like a pro and actually enjoying it: Befriend someone with a PJ (i.e., a private jet). But knowing that's as rare as finding a unicorn, I'll share my tricks that make the economy cabin more bearable, no matter how many smelly people and crying babies are sitting near you. Bon voyage!



Like many things in life, preparation is everything when traveling. Since packing is so crucial, I follow a regimented schedule with it. One week before my trip, I review my itinerary and take notes on my phone on types of outfits, accessories, and extra items I want to bring. I begin packing a few days before my trip, laying out outfits on my bed and seeing where I can mix, match, and eliminate. To keep things light, I stick with clothes that instantly boost my spirits, and set limits around accessories (max one clutch, three shoes, one toiletry bag, etc.). I use the rolling method to save space, and before zipping up my suitcase, I'll place a few dryer sheets on top of my clothes to keep everything smelling fresh!

The best part about taking the time to pack thoughtfully means I never have to check a bag. Even on my longest trips last year (I had a few that stretched 2-3 weeks), I made it work with my carry-on-sized roller suitcase and Everyday backpackThe Everyday is a phenom travel companion, and even though it can fit A LOT, I try to keep my main carry-on items simple: laptop/tablet (I always download some Netflix movies or shows in advance), Kindle, phone, chargers, passport, wallet, noise-cancelling headphones, eye-mask, compression socks, and a scarf. The fewer basics I bring, the more room I have for fun travel-sized beauty products for my in-flight skincare ritual (keep reading)!  


Sure, that whole swimming in the sky thing is cool, but flying can be brutal, especially on your skin. The air in airplanes has less than 10% humidity, which is drier than a desert. So needless to say, my in-flight beauty routine focuses mostly on hydration. Not only does my beauty routine help my skin feel plump and fresh upon landing, but it's a relaxing ritual for me -- I look forward to it, and it helps pass the time during longer flights. For overnight flights, here's my routine once I've boarded: 
  • Get situated: I like to start by making sure I have everything I'll need for my flight in my bag underneath the seat, and anything I don't need safely stowed away. Depending on the length of the flight and time zone change, I mentally plan out when I should sleep to get a head start on jet lag. Ideally, I'd sleep most of the flight, but I'm not the best at sleeping on planes, so I like to plan other activities (beauty routine, movies, work, etc.) to keep myself entertained. 
  • Wipes on wipes: I start with antibacterial wipes for my seat belt, tray table, and armrest to kill germs. The Today Show recently found that seat belts, armrests, and tray tables contain waaay more germs than the airplane toilet; so gross! Sometimes I'll follow with essential oil wipes to provide a fresh, spa-like smell. Now it's on to my beauty routine, which starts with makeup removing wipes for my face to get rid of any residual makeup or dirt -- flying is a great time to let my skin breathe makeup free! 
  • Sheet mask: At 35,000 feet in the air, I love masks that tout hydration, like this Dr. Jart one. Will I get weird looks wearing a sheet mask on a flight? Absolutely. But will it keep chatty passengers away and help me avoid looking like a decayed zombie upon landing? Yes and yes -- so worth it. After you take the mask off, gently pat the extra product into your skin.
  • Moisturize face, eyes, and lips: On an ongoing basis, I'll try to collect travel-sized samples of heavy facial moisturizers and eye creams from Sephora or my facialist, and I bring whatever I have on hand. My favorite moisturizing lip balm is Paw Paw ointment from Australia, which is never far from me on a flight. 
  • Water: In addition to hydrating your face, it's important to hydrate your body. I once heard that Gwyneth Paltrow recommends drinking 8 oz. water for each hour in the air, so that's the goal (within reason). I like to buy the biggest bottle of water I can find before boarding the plane and will ask flight attendants for a refill if it's a longer flight. 
  • Relax: Now it's time to watch some movies, listen to a podcast, or try to doze off! With the right packing and a mini-spa at your fingertips, your flight will breeze by.  
Pro-tip: If you forget to bring travel-sized products, walk through a duty-free before takeoff and/or after landing and get a quick slather of that $$$ La Mer.

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