Between losing luggage, or getting sent to the back of the line at security because you forgot to empty your water bottle, the thought of flying could give anyone anxiety. But air travel doesn’t have to be all bad, says Juliane Camposano.
And she knows a thing or two about plane travel. Brought up in a seaside village in Germany, the outdoor adventure lover and founder of retro sportswear label ROSEL Wear (inspired by long flights to outdoor destinations) has spent the majority of her life ping-ponging around the world for both work and play.
Here are her best tips for traveling light and staying comfortable while racking up those frequent flyer miles.
Do the prep work
To cut down on baggage weight, Camposano focuses on narrowing down the number of shoes and clothing items she brings, both of which take up a lot of carry-on space. “I can be very creative with very little and create new outfit combinations that look new and different,” she says.
Pre-plan by only packing clothing of the same color family and opt for pieces that play double duty, like a scarf that unfolds to sub in for a blanket on the plane.
Take advantage of unclaimed space
Those sneakers in your suitcase are the perfect pockets for underwear and socks, while your empty purse could be just the place to stash delicate jewelry. Leave no stone unturned — or corner uncrammed — on your quest for more space.
Wheel and deal
You’ll get around the airport more quickly (and save yourself from sore arms) if you choose the right bags. “Wheeled duffels are my favorite,” says Camposano. “They generally don’t have much weight when they’re empty, and can be stuffed. Plus, they usually come in a good variety of different sizes.
Make sure your carry-on adheres to your airlines size and weight restrictions — otherwise you could be facing bag fees at the gate.
Embrace the free timeInstead of dreading six-hour jaunts around the sky, Camposano keeps her outlook positive. “It gives me a little bit of time to myself, to read a great book, watch a movie, or do a little bit of work,” she says. “Although, I try to minimize working, as I think it is important to catch a break in order to arrive to your destination refreshed.”
Pack a book you’ve always wanted to read or use the time to learn a new language. We suggest downloading the NPR app and catching up on some of the TED Radio Hour segments.
Stay clean and fresh
If you normally step off the plane with parched skin and a dry throat, you need to hydrate mid-flight. “I have sensitive and very dry skin, so I always have a variety of rich moisturizers and face oils with me,” she says.
Camposano suggests keeping a bottle of water by your side that you can sip on in the air, and stashing a pack of grime-removing towelettes in your carry-on so you don’t have to wash your face in the bathroom sink upon arrival.
Bring some creature comforts
In addition to moisturizers and water, Camposano suggests bringing along some comfort items to make you—almost—forget about the cramped leg room and that kid hitting the back of your seat. She likes stashing a pair of cozy socks and a travel eye mask in the back of the plane’s seat pocket. Bring your own healthy snacks, headphones and a warm shawl or scarf.
Stretch it outMany airports now offer more health-conscious layover options, like yoga rooms and walking paths, so seek out ways to build in fitness to your journey.
“My go-to exercise is yoga due to its meditative benefits of breath and movement,” says Camposano. “It’s so popular these days; it is so easy to fit in a session prior to traveling or even to do some stretches and poses at the airport.” On the plane, Camposano does breathing exercises to stay calm, and books a local yoga class as soon as she gets off the plane in a new place.
Don’t be “that guy”
There are some cardinal rules of the air that you definitely don’t want to break. For one, never use a carry-on that takes up more room than you’re allowed, and only place one bag in the overhead compartments — otherwise, other people on the flight will have to check their bags.
“I cannot stand rude people in general,” groans Camposano. “On a plane, in a small, crowded space, I have no tolerance for anyone’s rude behavior — especially toward the airplane crew. They are just trying to do their best job for all of us.”
And she’s seen it all: “I was once on a flight with a guy who was having a huge fight with his partner, and was more or less attacking anyone around him! I don’t remember if he was in any form intoxicated, but nonetheless, he was a ridiculous troublemaker.”
Focus more on taking care of yourself, and don’t let others’ frustration get you down. Happy Travels.