There’s nothing quite like the challenge of flying during the holiday season. A bustling airport suddenly looks more like a shopping mall on Black Friday. You can barely wheel your bag, let alone turn around to check the status of your flight. Even the most seasoned travelers may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of braving the airport during Christmastime.
That’s why it’s such a sweet relief to sink into your seat when you finally board the plane. You can breathe, relax, and unwind while en route to your destination. But you can make the journey even more nourishing and soothing by packing a few essentials that will help you feel more like yourself by the time you arrive. Here are some to keep in mind.
Yes, the flight attendant can provide you with a blanket if you ask. And yes, that blanket will probably be stuffed inside of a plastic bag and may or may not have been washed beforehand. It’s also possible that said blanket doesn’t feel so soft—more likely, it’s a little scratchy. While anything is better than nothing if you’re freezing onboard a chilly airplane, it’s always better to bring your own provisions if you can.
Enter the humble fleece blanket. It’s a travel essential so basic, it’s a wonder that not everyone brings it along when they’re flying. However, it’s also true that blankets can take up valuable space in your bag, so it’s important to plan ahead and test different weights and sizes to make sure that what you pack will actually fit comfortably without taking up space that you need for other belongings. You can then feel free to wrap yourself up in the total bliss and comfort of a cloud-like blanket that also happens to offer a little piece of home on the road.
Cozy winter scarves will never steer you wrong, especially if you tend to shiver on the plane as soon as you take off. If you can’t pack along a blanket, then a substantial scarf is definitely the next best thing. Don’t be afraid to experiment with options. You may, for example, want to bring along a heavy shawl or wrap in place of a traditional scarf silhouette if you think it will keep you warmer.
In many cases, a shawl or wrap is a more sensible choice if you’re headed somewhere cool but don’t necessarily need to wear a thick winter coat. It adds a little extra coverage and warmth when you’re wearing a cardigan, and it will keep you toasty en route. Moreover, scarves are super stylish and look great with everything from skinny jeans and suede booties to simple black trousers.
Shoes, of course, are essential. But when you’re actually seated, you may want to slip out of your clunky boots or sneakers and into something a little more comfortable for the duration of the flight. There are many options among soft shoes, ranging from slippers to ballet flats to moccasins. You aren’t limited by style, obviously, but your choice may depend on the length of the flight and how much room is available in your bag.
Heading overseas? You do not want to fly in a pair of hard-working winter snow boots—you’ll feel like tearing them off within an hour. Instead, pack along a pair of cozy comfort shoes that nestle your toes and feet in blanket-like warmth. There’s no shame in putting on slippers when you’re flying for hours—many airlines themselves provide them! But you don’t need to settle for anything less than perfection when you’re traveling. If you prefer something that looks a little less homey, another option is a pair of easy slip-ons that you can slide into your carry-on with ease. Look for features that promote enhanced comfort, like sturdy and flexible rubber outsoles and soft lining. Don’t forget to prioritize cushioning, as you’ll welcome that comfort when you settle in for the flight.
It’s easy to neglect comfort when you’re in flight, but it’s especially important to remember when you’re traveling during the busy holiday season. Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the chaos surrounding you. Fill your bag with comfortable finds that will nurture you during your journey. You’ll arrive refreshed, relaxed, and ready to celebrate the season with a smile—and you’ll be looking great, too.
Travel during the holiday season can leave you a bit frazzled, but with some must-have wardrobe essentials, you’ll be looking and feeling calm and stylish.