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Have a Smooth Flight: The Minute-by-Minute Guide to Easy Air Travel

We’re convinced that the most difficult part of traveling is achieving the perfect pre- and post-boarding routine—no matter where you’re headed, be it Cleveland or Calcutta. Those golden hours before wheels up and just after takeoff are crucial for a smooth flight. Here, our step-by-step guide to in-air bliss, even if you’re flying coach. We’ve even created our own time scheme, B.B. (before boarding) and A.B. (after boarding)—trademark pending.

2 hours B.B. Your bags are packed, you’re ready to go. Now, sit down and eat a proper meal—one with loads of green vegetables and whole grains. Go easy on the salt.

1½ hours B.B. Before you leave, do a quick, but thorough scrub of your face and neck. Benta Berry Exfoliating Facial Cleanser uses apricot kernels to gently slough off dead skin—and it’s travel-sized. Post-cleanse, apply moisturizer, lip balm, and hand cream.

Note: Home departure times may vary depending on how long your trip to the airport takes.

1 hours B.B. Arrive at the airport. Breeze through check in and security because you’ve already checked in online, emailed yourself a copy of your ticket, and you’re on the TSA Pre Check list.

45 minutes B.B. Stock up on healthy snacks (dried fruit and nuts, 18 Rabbits granola bars, and a turkey sandwich are our go-tos) and a big bottle of water (or two). Start hydrating now.

30 minutes B.B. Find a quiet corner and limber up. Shoulder poses, lunges, and neck rolls may earn you some weird looks, but they’ll stretch your muscles and calm any pre-flight anxiety.

15 minutes B.B. Make your way to your gate in preparation for boarding. And look sharp—while dressing the part won’t guarantee an upgrade, it definitely doesn’t hurt. We recommend Apolis’ linen scarf, which adds sophistication to your travel uniform and protect your neck against rogue plane AC. It also doesn’t hurt to ask the gate agent about rows with empty middle seats.

Now Boarding. Before you stow your carry-on beneath your seat, turn off your phone, grab your water bottle, and something non-electronic to occupy yourself. You don’t want to be the guy the flight attendant has to ask three times to power down.

15 minutes A.B. Now that you’re settled, set your watch to the time zone of your destination. Vacation starts now.

1 hour A.B. The plane has reached its cruising altitude and food service has started. Have a drink, but just one. And skip the salty plane food in favor of the good-for-you snacks you picked up.

1½ hours A.B. Hit the bathroom. Wipe any airport grit off your face with Herban Essentials Towelettes and apply a seriously hydrating cream, like Kiehl’s Heavy Lifting Cream, and VITAMAN i-zone to prevent puffy eyes and cracked lips.

2 hours A.B. Get comfortable. Put your seat back, take your shoes off (here’s hoping you wore some comfy socks. Drink some more water, then try to get some shuteye. Can’t sleep? Put on your headphones and tune out your seatmate’s snores.

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