Friday, May 29, 2015

Travel Guide: Airport Travel in Comfort and Style

Traveling is one of my biggest passions, and between going on new adventures and flying home to Ohio from school in California, I have spent my fair share of time in the airport weaving through crowds of passengers from one layover to the next. As convenient as flying is, there are still hours spent in the air that can be a lot more enjoyable if you are dressed well and packed correctly. 

I'm becoming somewhat of a "regular" at SFO and CLE, so I thought I would share what I tend to wear to the airport for warm weather travel along with what I usually carry in my "personal item" carry-on. (I'll save my larger carry-on for another day.)

What to wear:

1. Maxi: During the warmer months I like to wear a cotton maxi dress for air-travel. I posted recently about how maxi dresses and skirts basically feel like pajamas, which is so true. You always want to be comfy during your flight and there is no comfier way to fly in style. I own a versatile black maxi from Banana Republic that I typically choose, and this dress from Nordstrom is very similar.

2. Scarf: As comfortable as a maxi dress can be, they're often sleeveless which is not good on a cool plane. A pretty scarf is a great way to warm up the look and add a pop of color to the plain black dress. I have a plaid blanket scarf I love to use - I even bundle it up as a pillow during flights. This colorful patterned scarf from Zara is gorgeous!

3. Sweater: Like I said before, airplanes can be pretty chilly, so you definitely want to be sure to layer. I like to toss on a loose fitted cardigan over my maxi dress along with the scarf. Pairing the dress with a good scarf and sweater can tie together a great look while comfortably cruising to your departure gate. I like to wear a marled sweater I got from Nordstrom Rack, but it's older and sold out. This sweater from Nordstrom is a great alternative!

4. Shoes: Last, but certainly not least, you need a good pair of shoes. This is honestly the most important part of your outfit because you'll do a decent amount of walking through the airport (but I'm sure you already knew that). You want to be sure to remember to choose something comfortable that won't be a hassle to take off for security and on the plane. I've witnessed too many times a security line has taken ages to move because someone (myself included) forgot they'd need to take off their crazy strapped sandals or super tight laced sneakers. Do yourself and everyone a favor and be prepared. In winter, I usually wear a nice pair of riding boots, but for the summer time I stick to the easy choice of slip-on sandals. These Target sandals have been my go-to daily choice this season and were a great pair for my trip home to Ohio last weekend. (Oh, and if you're like me and worry about your feet getting cold, try packing a warm pair of socks in your purse to put on once you're seated in the plane.)

What to Carry:

1. Tote: A lot of passengers either don't realize or don't take advantage of the flexibility you're given with your personal item. When they suggest purse or laptop case, that doesn't mean you can't use a large tote that will hold your purse and laptop and other treats. It simply needs to fit under the seat in front of you - just don't be that passenger who tries to put a full size duffle in. When in doubt, check the measurements allotted online. How much leg room you desire may also impact how large you want your bag to be, but I find you're pretty much cramped either way. I use a large bag from Old Navy which is similar to this bag from Nordstrom and Target's version here.

2. Wallet: While you could definitely put your entire purse in the tote, I find it's a hastle to have to pull one bag from another and then a wallet from there. It's a little too much like Russian Nesting Dolls for me. I typically pack my normal purse away and toss my wallet near the top of the tote. It saves time and space. My wallet is from Target and I love all of the pockets it has.  

3. Laptop/Tablet: If I'm taking a trip where I know space is limited and I won't need to do work, I usually pack my iPad. It's smaller and lighter. However, if I plan to work from home, like I am while in Ohio, it's helpful to have my laptop computer. (I won't link the Mac because I think y'all know where to find one ;) ) Unless flying abroad, I don't buy the wifi but I will edit photos, organize files an watch a movie if there's time. Often my laptop doesn't get used during the flight, but I still like to have it under the seat near me just in case. 

4. Food/Drink: We all know airport and airplane food is a rip-off. They overprice everything and they can because you can't exactly go anywhere else - but you can bring your own food. I like to grab either a couple of granola bars or some granola (the pictured is from Costco and is delicious) that I know will tide me over. If it's a longer flight through a meal, I do usually cave and buy food (hey, it's a rare time that I actually eat fast food), but it would be easy enough to pack a sandwich. Drinks are trickier, but if you can hang in there until your flight for the free soda and coffee, a water bottle will do the trick. Just make sure it's empty before going through security (been there and it's not fun). Also, gum - it helps with ears popping and airplane breath. 

5. Reading Material: Whether it's a book, magazine, newspaper, etc. you'll likely want something to read while in the air. I don't purchase magazines all too often, but love to indulge and skim through them while in the air. It's also some of the only time I've gotten to read for fun since being in grad school (I finished Tina Fey's entire autobiography on one half of my trip to D.C. this November). Just sit back with a good read and enjoy the ride!

Well, that was a super long post! If you've made it to the end, I hope the list is somewhat helpful. It may seem obvious or simple if you travel via plane often, but I've had friends of mine who don't fly often ask me what I do and I thought I would share it here. Let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas!

Happy Traveling!


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