How To Travel Like A Pro

Tips to maximize ease and comfort when you fly

Photo by Salman Hossain Saif on Unsplash

There’s no better time to ponder your existence than at 30,000 feet in a long metal tube going hundreds of miles an hour.

Nothing brings up more existential questions than being wedged in a tiny seat next to strangers with nowhere to go and no one to talk to for a prolonged period. Factor in low air pressure, less oxygen, and stress, and you’ve got the whole sha-bang.

It’s extra intense when you’re solo. Even with a companion, a full flight is not the best time to connect and have a long, intimate conversation. Not when you’re mindful of others.

So, you’re stuck with your own thoughts.

What can you do to make flying more pleasant?

Ask me.

I’ve traveled from the southernmost tip of Africa to the westernmost point of Europe, from Asia to the Caribbean, to Latin America, and across North America.

Lucky for you jet-setters, I’ve picked up tiny habits that make traveling easier and more pleasant. Without further ado, here are my insights.

Ear gear

Planes are loud. As much as you want to pretend it’s not a big deal, the constant roar of engines wears you out. You’ll get desensitized, but it’s still not peaceful. Nor is it good for your ears.

Invest in noise-canceling headphones. Extraordinary technology will protect your ear drums, even if you choose not to play music.


Please dear God, do not take off your shoes on a plane, especially without socks. What could be worse than strangers’ stinky feet? Nothing.

That’s why I wear closed-toe slippers (with socks) on international flights. It protects everyone around me and also relieves me from the tightness of my shoes. Even the airiest sneakers will start to constrain you when you’ve worn them for too long. You can also bring a fresh pair of socks to change into in private.


The most brow-raising shoe choice I’ve seen in airports include wedges and heels. Try not to roll your ankle on your way to your gate. Step counts add up quickly in terminals that last for miles. Opt for shoes that won’t give you pain.


People-watching can be fun as you wait to board your flight. When you know you could be noticed, you think twice about your outfit.

My go-to is black and white athleisure. The color combo is unnoticeable so I can bop around undetected in comfort and style. A monochrome black also works for me.

I recommend layers to adjust to planes’ unpredictable cabin temperatures. They’re either too hot or cold. Rarely will you find a middle ground.

Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on Unsplash


Nothing screams “I don’t travel much” than hauling around a duffel bag. Unless you’re an athlete and it’s part of your look, a duffel bag will weigh you down quick.

I love a solid four-wheel suitcase carry-on for the overhead compartment. Push more, haul less. The best part? Placing your backpack on the suitcase itself, so you free up your back and shoulders.

Basic Necessities

Eye mask, airplane pillow, hand sanitizer, breath mints, and fresh face masks.

Level up with tiger balm and Vick’s VapoRub

These are balms and ointments that relieve tense muscles and headaches. Traveling is stressful enough, so a gentle application near your nose and temples will soothe your nervous system and shield you from any unwanted odors from nearby passengers. Two birds, one stone.

Added bonus?

Hygiene products. Oral care, skincare, spritzes, and moisturizers can leave you feeling fresh and clean. Travel size only thanks to TSA. Nevertheless, it’s a game changer for when you reach your destination to minimize looking or feeling like a zombie.


In-flight entertainment does the trick.

Still, I always admire people who break out their iPads to watch their pre-downloaded Netflix shows and movies. I have not yet reached that level of mastery.

To pass the time, I sleep, scroll through my overly full iPhone Photo Album, and listen to albums that my brother downloads for me. Taylor Swift’s 1989 played on repeat on my flight from Atlanta to Tokyo. 

I can’t read on flights. The air pressure, loud noise, and lower oxygen levels heighten my emotions and make me want to sleep and contemplate.


The biggest key to friendly skies and smooth travels is your mindset. Nothing and no one can help you out more than yourself.

Expect the unexpected. Stay in the present moment. Ride out stressful moments in waves. Internalize your privilege to travel in the first place. And remember, it’s the journey — not the destination.

Oh, and “wherever you go, there you are.”

Safe travels!

Thanks for reading 

If you gained value from my piece, thank you in advance for showing me some financial love❤️

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