You checked your bag, sailed through security and got to your gate on time.
Now the only thing standing in the way of you and fabulous Helsinki is seat 21B, wedged right between chatty Cathy and the dude eating pickled herring. Good thing you’ve only got nine hours of flight time.
Here, 12 ways to upgrade the experience so you feel less cramped and more comfy.
WEAR LOOSELY-FITTED LAYERS
Restrictive clothing is the fastest way to feel extra claustrophobic in-flight. Instead, opt for pieces that are roomy and relaxed–think jogger pants, a tank top, a light sweater and a scarf. Plus, there’s a medical reason to keep things flowy: DVT (short for deep vein thrombosis) is a condition caused by restricted blood flow…aka your skinny jeans.
AND SLIP-ON SHOES
So you can breeze through airport security and then take off your shoes right in your seat. Worried about smelly feet? Sprinkle a little baby powder in your kicks before leaving for the airport.
STOW ALL YOUR STUFF IN THE OVERHEAD (EVEN YOUR PURSE)
Trust us, those extra inches of legroom do make a difference. Plus, after you’ve removed the essentials (your book, ear buds and lip balm), what else do you really need?
PAD YOUR NECK WITH AN OSTRICH PILLOW
Or, you know… a regular pillow.
AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR BACK
C-shaped airline seats make your lower back work overtime. The fix: Request a complimentary pillow or blanket from the flight attendant (a rolled-up scarf or sweater also works), then tuck it above your behind to support your natural arch.
REMOVE YOUR MAKEUP
Did you know that flying with a full face of makeup is terribly dehydrating? (Blame the low humidity of recycled air.) Wearing makeup agitates the situation, leaving you with a dry and flaky face, which feels meh. The solution: Pack makeup remover towelettes in your carry-on and give yourself a wipe-down when you get to your seat.
APPLY A FACE MASK
We can’t say this enough: If you’re up in the air, you should be hydrating your face. Just be sure to pick a moisturizing mask you won’t have to remove after you slather it on, like this clear one from Caudalíe.
SCENT YOUR SPACE WITH PERFUME SAMPLES
“Wow, this airplane air smells so good,” said no one ever. If you don’t have your signature perfume at the ready, scour the magazines you bought at the airport for a fragrance you like, then rub it on your neck, your wrists…the headrest. Whatever it takes to freshen up the area around your seat.
OR RELAX WITH AROMATHERAPY
Chill out on board by dabbing calming scents like lavender, sandalwood or chamomile on your wrists and under your nose. Want to save space? Before you board, douse a cotton ball with the oil and carry it in a plastic baggy.
PACK YOUR OWN SNACKS
Instead of waiting for the flight attendant to roll by with the cart, plan ahead. We love clementines, which are sweet, hydrating and come in their own perfect packaging.
Those teeny-tiny bottles they give out on board just aren’t going to cut it. Save yourself the trouble of flagging for another…and another…by carrying your own. Don’t want to pay airport prices? It’s totally OK to carry an empty water bottle through airport security, then fill it once you get to your gate.
DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO SIGNAL “DO NOT DISTURB”