MyDomaine Editors Share Their Tried-and-True Traveling Tips

Updated 05/08/19
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If you follow the #MyDomaineTravels hashtag on Instagram, then you know we're always on the lookout for wanderlust inspiration. While we tend to see the filtered versions of these trips, we know from experience that the journey behind snapping that perfect shot can be trying. Between contending with long security lines and hours-long flights, international travel comes with a particular set of challenges to navigate.

Here at MyDomaine, we're fortunate enough to jet-set to far-flung destinations from time to time (one of the perks of the job), and we've learned a thing or two about making international travel as easy as possible. Notably, what to wear to strike a balance between style and comfort and how to make the most of a long flight. Whether we're boarding a flight to the Caribbean or to the Iberian Penninsula, here are the items MyDomaine editors never board a flight abroad without.

Below, each MyDomaine editor shares their tried-and-true international traveling tips, including their go-to airport outfit, in-flight entertainment of choice, and carry-on essential.

Hadley Mendelsohn, associate editor

international traveling tips
Hadley Mendelsohn ; DESIGN: Viviana Duron

What's your airport style?

I hate wearing sneakers or anything with laces since they take so long to put on and take off in the TSA line. So I usually opt for booties with one simple zipper in the winter and slip-ons or flats in the summer. (I always throw a pair of socks in my carry-on in case it's cold on the plane.)

Carry-on essential?

Lip balm! Especially for an international flight when you're eight hours away from chapped-lip relief.

In-flight entertainment of choice?

Definitely a book. As of late, I've read The Girls, Ministry of Utmost Happiness, and Difficult Women, and I loved them all. Next up is Her Body and Other Parties. I also want to reread Play It as It Lays.

Do or don't—travel pillow?

If someone else is willing to carry it for me, yeah.

In-flight snack?

I try to plan ahead and bring something good, although it needs to be mild-smelling as to not disgust other passengers.

Sacha Strebe, editorial director

international flights travel tips
Sacha Strebe ; DESIGN: Viviana Duron

What's your airport style?

I typically wear slides, as they're easy to slip on and off during the TSA check, but don't forget to wear a sockette or something similar. I made the mistake once of not doing that, and I had to walk around barefoot on what is probably one of the most traversed sections of the airport. Gross. I also forgo most accessories such as belts and jewelry for the same reason. You just have to take it all off anyway. Loose and layered clothing is usually my go-to, as it gets cold on the plane.

Carry-on essential?

I never board an airplane without eye drops to soothe my tired retinas from the dry air conditioning and antibacterial cleansing towels to wipe down my seat and hands once I'm seated. Oh, and I always carry a sheet mask because my skin gets super dry on long-haul flights. I love the Dr. Jart Brightening Infusion Hydrogel Mask.
In-flight entertainment of choice?

I always kick off the flight with magazines from the trashy celeb gossip mags to my favorite fashion reads. I make sure I have a large range. I don't typically read on the plane even though I love books. There are too many distractions, so I stick to in-flight movies and typically ones that make me laugh, nothing too serious.

Sophie Miura, senior editor

international travel packing tips
Sophie Miura ; DESIGN: Viviana Duron

What's your airport style:

I cannot stand wearing anything tight on a plane—it's all about comfort for me. My go-to outfit is black tights, black Nike shoes, a basic tee, and a leather jacket. I also pack Parachute Merino Travel Kit—the merino wool throw makes any plane seat feel cozy, and the matching eye mask doesn't rub mascara off mid-flight.

Carry-on essential?

A good quality serum. If I slather my skin in La Mer or Lancome's serum, I always feel fresh when the plane touches down.

In-flight entertainment of choice?

I might be late to the game, but I just discovered that you can download select Netflix shows to watch offline, so I've saved the last season of Suits. I also download the BBC news podcast and TED Talks.

Do or don't—travel pillow?

Don't. I found something better: Stuff Parachute's wool travel case with a sweater, or use it as a cover for the plane pillow. It's so soft and doesn't take up extra space in your bag.

In-flight snack?

No favorite snacks, but I drink a ton of water throughout the flight.

Christie Calucchia, editorial assistant

traveling abroad checklist
Christie Calcucchia ; DESIGN: Viviana Duron

What's your airport style?

I usually go for comfortable, light layers, and I always wear shoes that are easy to get on and off when going through security. An exception to this is if I'm traveling in the winter with limited space in my suitcase. In that case, I'll wear my tallest boots and my biggest coat so I have room to pack other items (plus, a big coat makes for a cozy blanket on overnight flights).

Carry-on essential?

I'm never without a pack of mint gum. Chewing gum helps release pressure from the changing altitude, and the mint flavor ensures even the longest flight won't leave me with embarrassing bad breath after landing.

In-flight entertainment of choice?

Extended flights are a great time to catch up on forgotten reads. Right now I'm working through Joan Didion's collection of nonfiction essays Slouching Towards Bethlehem, but a captivating Girl on the Train kind of mystery always makes a long flight go by faster.

Do or don't—travel pillow?

Don't. I've found travel pillows are more of a hassle than a help. All I need is a good sleeping mask, and I'm out.

In-flight snack?

I'm a fan of packing some emergency Kind bars just in case.

Gabrielle Savoie, editor

long haul flights tips and tricks
Gabrielle Savoie ; DESIGN: Viviana Duron

What's your airport style?

I try to always err somewhere between comfortable and polished. A good pair of jeans, a white tee, a pair of black slides, and a leather jacket is my go-to uniform. And sunglasses! They're a lifesaver when you feel tired after a long flight. I also always use the smallest handbag possible because long waits or airport sprints are never fun or comfortable with a heavy handbag. The rest is usually in my Away The Carry-On suitcase.

Carry-on essential?

I'm a minimalist when it comes to flying and only carry what fits in my tiny bag on board (see above). I hate to be the person who settles into their seat looking like they're setting up camp for a month. That said, I always carry a good pair of headphones, my Kindle, lip balm, gum, and a water bottle that I purchase after security. If I need to work on my flight, I have my laptop with me. And I always carry an extra portable charger to make sure my phone makes it through the flight.

In-flight entertainment of choice?

I'm a movie marathoner on long-haul flights, but on shorter ones, I swear by podcasts. I download a selection of my favorites (these days, it's Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It). They keep me busy before the in-flight entertainment kicks in (and they're lighter to carry than a pile of magazines). Because it's audio, I glance out the window during takeoff and landing or rest my eyes. I always find myself chuckling out loud because these guys are so funny. It makes traveling fly by.

Do or don't—travel pillow?

I don't travel with pillows, but I do have a Slip Silk Eye Mask I carry on overnight flights. It's blissful and so comfortable for shutting the world out for a few hours.

In-flight snack?

As for snacks, I pick up plenty of water and maybe a sandwich (if there is no in-flight meal) before I get on the plane. I'm not much of a snacker—I prefer sticking to meals.

Kelly Gallagher, social media editor

things to do before traveling abroad
Kelly Gallagher; DESIGN: Viviana Duron

What's your airport style?

I always wear my favorite pair of espadrilles with low hidden socks (I can't stand having bare feet going through security—yuck!), and black, stretchy pants for comfort. I have a wrap sweater from Oak that I never travel without—it's so cozy, but it still fits under my leather jacket and is perfect for chilly airplanes.

Carry-on essential?

A good magazine (or three). I've been known to go a little crazy at the newsstand in the airport and pick up as many magazines as my carry-on can manage. It's a bit of a ritual for me at this point. I know that planes have Wi-Fi these days so we can always be online, but taking a few hours to disconnect and indulge in reading a good magazine (something I don't make time to do on a regular day of the week) is always a treat.

In-flight entertainment of choice?

Like I mentioned above, I'm definitely a magazine girl on flights, but at the moment I'm reading The Perennials by Mandy Berman and am loving it. If I were to hop on a flight right now, I'd have this in tow.

Do or don't—travel pillow?

Generally speaking, I don't bring a travel pillow with me because I hate having to schlep around a million things through the airport. But if I'm on a long-haul flight (let's say 6-plus hours), I will try and sneak in my Muji Travel Pillow—it's so comfy and clamps onto the straps of my tote bag so it's not too cumbersome.

In-flight snack?

I usually pick up a bag of peanut M&Ms in the airport—not exactly healthy, I know. But after you've managed to get yourself to the airport, through security, etc., you deserve a treat, don't you think?

Kelsey Clark, lifestyle news editor

international travel packing checklist
Kelsey Clark ; DESIGN: Viviana Duron

What's your airport style?

The glamorous aspect of travel is lost on me—comfort is always my number one priority. I usually opt for black leggings, comfortable sneakers or slides, a long, comfortable vintage T-shirt, and a jean or leather jacket layered on top. I'll throw on a hat if I have an early flight and didn't find the time to do my hair.

Carry-on essential?

My headphones—I don't think I could survive a long flight without them. I have Skullcandy Hesh 3 Wireless Over-the-Ear Headphones in Black, and I love them. They essentially double as a sleep aid since the memory foam ear cushions mask any outside sounds (even when there's no music playing).

In-flight entertainment of choice?

In addition to a good Spotify playlist, I love flipping through magazines or getting lost in a good book to pass the time. I'm currently working through Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon.

Do or don't—travel pillow?

Don't—I'm more of a minimalist when I travel and typically just bring the bare essentials. If I do want to take an in-flight nap, I usually just get creative with whatever coat or sweater I'm wearing, but I can pretty much fall asleep anywhere (it's a gift).

In-flight snack?

I don't typically bring my own snacks, but I make sure to stay hydrated throughout the flight.

Megan Beauchamp, managing editor

travel tips for flying
Megan Beauchamp ; DESIGN: Viviana Duron

What's your airport style?

I usually opt for a pair of comfortable jeans, a lightweight sweater (I love this one), and shoes that are relatively easy to get on and off at security.

Carry-on essential?

Eyedrops. I swear by Rohto All-in-One 8 Symptom Relief Cooling Eye Drops, which are (as odd as this sounds) like breath mints for your eyes.

In-flight entertainment of choice?

A book. Although I consider myself a minimalist, I usually end up with two or three hardcover books in my carry-on. It's not at all practical (and I have an e-reader that would make packing so much easier), but I can't help it. I love flipping through paper pages.

Do or don't—travel pillow?

Don't. Honestly, I have yet to master the art of falling asleep on a plane, so a travel pillow seems like more trouble than it's worth to me.

In-flight snack?

I always intend to pack an airplane picnic spread like this one, but usually, I just end up picking up a sandwich before boarding. I actually like arriving hungry so I can make the most of all my meals.

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