Sitting on a plane for 5+ hours can be excruciating, but it doesn’t have to be. You can feel like you’re right at home, from head to toe. I’ve used every single one of these methods and bruh, I felt so good. Read on.
1. Make sure your phone is charged and your portable charger is charged.
You DO have a portable charger, yes? They’re hella inexpensive, like this one from Best Buy, which currently retails at $7.99. That’s almost the same price as the fancy mochalatino you bought at Starbucks to use their outlets. The portable charger will take way longer to charge than your phone, so make sure you charge it from home before you even leave for the airport, like when you’re packing at 3 AM for your 7 AM flight. There are plenty of games and books you can read even if your phone is in airplane mode, and you don’t want to end up bored to death because your phone has died and the plane doesn’t have outlets.
2. Speaking of your phone, download all of your games and podcasts before your flight.
Long-haul flights are a great time to catch up on podcasts and while some flights do have in-flight wifi, remember that 1. sometimes you have to pay a fee and 2. well, not all flights will have in-flight wifi.
If you can’t sleep on a plane, you WILL get bored and having a podcast to listen to or a game to play will ease the boredom.
For games, I recommend Inspector Hector, a point-and-click adventure game from TellTale Games that will take you through your entire flight.
For podcasts, check out The Cinemabun Podcast, a weekly podcast with film news and reviews.
3. Bring a large empty water bottle with you, preferably reusable.
It must be EMPTY or the TSA will take it a-TS-way. I have this Brita Bottle with a filter so I’m not drinking any nasties. Refill your water bottle as soon as you get through security at your local water fountain.
And a general PSA: drink all the water you can, people, anytime you can. If you don’t like the taste of water, I don’t care, add some mint (peppermints are great for travel), lemon, lime, orange, Skittles, whatever you can to make it “taste good”.
4. Also bring…
The kind of tea YOU like to drink because the plane’s only got that one, generic kind. A few baggies will do you and they’re easy to slip into a side pocket of your carry-on bag. Ask a flight attendant for a cup of hot water as soon as you get on the plane. And what tea bags you don’t use on the plane, you’ll have for the hotel room. Again, they’ve got generic-ass tea in there and that’s about it.
5. Baby wipes will save your ass…
This was the best decision I ever made. I was traveling to London to shoot a film and I was sick as a dog beforehand. I have a thing about cleanliness and my hands in general and I knew I would be on a plane for hours and hours so I bought a package of 7th Generation Baby Wipes and oh my god, heaven-sent. I didn’t have to get up to use the bathroom a million times to wash my hands or blow my nose or wipe my face. These also came in handy because I was wearing a lot of make-up on set and it was easy to end the day with a quick face wipe before I was home to properly wash my face. I gave myself a baby-wiped-hand pat on the back for that one.
6. Layer, layer, layer.
I don’t care if you’re flying to Jamaica in July or Antigua in August, your plane is gonna be cold as fuck. Wear LAYERS (t-shirt, sweatshirt, jacket) and be in comfortable temperature-d plane bliss for the duration of your flight.
BONUS: You don’t have to BUY a blanket from your friendly airline attendant if you layer properly.
Also, bringing a large scarf that can cover your head and neck is a brilliant idea. Some people feel more grounded having their head covered during a flight, and it will keep you warm as well.
7. Bring snacks in the form of bars and other non-smelly foods.
Cut-up apples or pears in a reusable bag
Luna bars, Kind bars, Lara bars
Dried fruit (drink plenty of water!)
Trader Joe’s has a fun variety of snacky things and you can find all of the above there.
Buy a box of your favorite protein bar and bring them on the trip with you. Usually soft, so you can squeeze them into your suitcase and into your carry-on bag. You’ll be glad you have them if you’re trying to save money on food while you travel, too.
Another favorite tip, lord Jesus. Bring a pair of house slippers with you and get comfortable! Slide these babies on as soon as you get on the plane and you’re good to go. Slippers are also good for your friend’s house you’re crashing at, the air bnb you’re sleeping in, or the hotel you’ve rented for the week.
9. Masks. Masks. Masks.
Those Korean face masks are really popular right now. Whether they actually do anything for your skin over time, who knows, but at least they will keep your skin moist as the circulating airplane air can make your skin dry out like Spongebob on land. Or, you can carry an approved-sized bottle of alcohol-free toner water than you can spritz onto your face and hands to add some moisture. I love this one from Lush.
10. And don’t forget the rest of your bod!
Spray some of that Eau Roma Toner Water into your hair as well! My hair is curly and dry dry dry and airplane air doesn’t help. Throw your favorite leave-in hair moisturizer (like Lush’s R&B Leave-In Hair Moisturizer) in your locs, throw on a satin or silk scarf and snuggle down. And what about your hands? Pack a TSA-regulated size of lotion into your carry-on so your hands stay nice and moisturized your entire trip.
11. Bring a pen.
If you’re flying internationally, you’ll need to fill out a customs form. The person sitting next to you didn’t bring a pen, either, so be that person that did!
I’m an actor, writer, and avid traveler based in NYC.