As a busy, busy college student (and as such, I haven’t written in a long time; I profusely apologize), I am becoming an expert at airports. Over the past six months, I have flown on a plane approximately seven times, which is probably up there with Ryan Seacrest or the Bachelor or something. Traveling is a hassle, and comfort is important, but at the cost of style? In order to navigate the many pitfalls of air travel, I have compiled a Guide to Airport Chic so that you can always travel in style–enjoy!
- Neck(lace) Pillow
This is probably the most important, and therefore the first, piece of advice. We all know about neck pillows–those glorious circular poofs most often found on airplanes. Take it from me: invest in a neck pillow. Granted, you don’t even need to really “invest”, as they are generally under $20. I used to scoff, but when you nap on a plane (or try to, since I am awful at sleeping on planes) with a neck pillow, you never look back. When you buy one, however, I highly recommend ones that snap or button in front. Not only is this convenient to snap around the strap of your purse/backpack when not in use, but it is convenient to snap around your neck! That’s right, don’t believe what those fashion magazines tell you about never wearing your neck pillow around the airport as a necklace. Hands-free is key and the neckless look is in.
At any given time, you may be flying somewhere with a very different climate than where you came from, and everyone knows that it can get chilly at 30,000 feet. Therefore, layering is your friend. That can mean layers upon layers…upon layers…upon layers. Start with a clean base: long underwear is nice, or perhaps a lightweight tank top and shorts in case you get realllyyy hot. And then just start moving up from there! You can go from cardigans to vests to scarves to coats and even parkas for the truly faint of heart. The bonus is that your jacket can become a blanket on the plane. Furthermore, other fliers love it when you share your coat blanket with them! Your seat is 17A? What better way to befriend the guy in 17B than to cover him with half a blanket, or maybe just a sleeve if he seems cold?
- …Or Just the Top Layer
Layering not for you? Skip all of those steps with a simple onesie! Comfort is key, and footie pajamas are a super warm and eye-catching option that also offer a streamlined silhouette. Plus, they come in fun patterns or animal designs! Totally a conversation starter if you’re feeling friendly on the plane, or a conversation repeller if you’re not. After all, would you want to talk to the crazy grown man/woman in the footie pajamas?
- Carry-on Queen (or King)
These last two tidbits are only semi-fashion related but will definitely help you with your airport experience! If you are an over packer like me and you find the two-carry-ons-per-person rule stifling, cheat the system! Here’s how. For “one” of your carry-ons, put things in multiple bags of varying sizes (think anywhere from mid-size purse to large tote). There should be a bit of room at the top so that you can stack them in each other. Hold all of the handles as one bag, and voilá! You’ve fooled TSA!
- Rollin’ Into a Window Seat
Today as I waited in Boarding Group B for Family Boarding to finish, I saw a man with two small suitcases that looked like smiling monkey faces jog hastily towards the line of families. It turns out he was just meeting his family in line with his children’s bags, but at first I thought, “Genius! He’s pretending to be with children so he can get on the plane sooner!” So why not steal this fake idea? Simply bring along a backpack that looks like an animal or is graced with the faces of superheroes or Frozen characters. Wait a moment for the line of families with children six and under to establish and begin moving before running into line and standing near (but not too near) a one-parent group. Remember to bring your own grown-up looking carry-on so it looks realistic, and be sure to make the small one a rolling backpack. Kids. Love. Rolling backpacks.
So there you have it. I hope you never again find yourself wondering how to stay both fashionable and functional while flying. Safe travels, and remember never to let TSA keep you down.
Submitted with undying love for,
neck pillows, footie pajamas, and being back at Tulane,
I remain Madilyn Jayne Turken