A Flight Attendant’s Tips to Looking Fresh While Traveling


We’ve all been there. Our hair’s a wreck, clothes wrinkled, makeup running, and all because of the inconveniences of travelling. Looking disheveled you try blotting your smudged make up and brush your hair with your fingers, when a flight attendant offers you a drink. Trying to avoid eye contact (even though there’s hardly a chance you’ll see her again), you quietly order your ginger ale and feel put to shame by her polished look and pressed clothes. She’s even in heels! How in the world does she keep it together after flying all day!?

As a flight attendant, I’m going to share with you a few secrets to save you from these travel pains. Long gone will be the days of tragic public appearances, and you can now travel feeling comfortable AND confident!

Check out my top 6 guidelines below:

  1. Dress with casual comfort
One flight attendant shares her best travel and fashion beauty tips and tricks with travelers -- like wearing comfortable tights with a flowy top.
Photo by Alex Temblador

First priority when traveling is to always remain comfortable, so that your mind is at ease. Lucky for you, there are plenty of athletic clothes and lounge wear out there to keep you cozy as well as cute. When I travel on my off days, I almost always wear a pair of yoga crops. I figure I don’t need to take the time to explain why yoga pants are comfortable, but they also provide simple and sleek style without sacrificing your dignity in wearing actual pajama pants. I also like wearing long flowy scoop-neck tops that are hassle-free (and I can wear a sports bra with it!). As far as shoes go, I typically avoid wearing sneakers and substitute a simple ballet flat instead, making sure to always avoid wearing anything opened-toed!

2. Bring along a pashmina or cardigan

A flight attendant shares her best travel beauty and fashion tips -- such as wearing a pashmina or cardigan while traveling.

I don’t care what time of the year it is, the airport and/or flight will always be cold! Adding a pashmina or cardigan to your simple outfit not only dresses it up a bit, but is super convenient as you travel. I typically wear a printed pashmina with the solid colors of my outfit, and use it as a blanket when I get on the flight. Both options also can roll up to make a great neck pillow if need be. Just remember with staying temperature-satisfied that you can always take layers off, but you can’t add them on. Always be prepared!

3. Try to keep it all in a carry-on

A flight attendant explains why its so important to use a carry on when flying as well as other beauty travel tips.

This is probably one of the most commonly known travel hacks, but always toughest to follow. I used to be terrible at putting all my things together in small luggage, but as a flight attendant I was left with no choice but to learn how. So I’m here to tell you, it’s possible! And you don’t have to sacrifice looking polished and put together either. The added benefits are so worth it when you travel, because you shave off the extra time it takes to retrieve your things at baggage claim. The probability of losing your luggage diminishes (unless you have one too many at the wine bar), and in case of emergencies, you have changes of clothes with you. I can’t tell you how many times a passenger has spilled on themselves, or a number of other unexpected things have happened. Packing in a carry-on is a sure win!

4. Give your hair body

Rather than going with a ponytail while flying, a flight attendant shares her beauty trip for travelers -- beachy hair. She also provides other tips for staying fresh while flying.

I always found it frustrating when I traveled to figure out what to do with my hair. It seemed the only way to keep it looking good was by tying it back, but then I was always uncomfortable leaning against my ponytail on the headrest. My solution has been to put lots of bouncy waves and body into my hair, creating a beachy laid back look. That way, I am able to relax comfortably in my seat and tousle my hair when I get up to leave. I also sometimes wear a hat or headband to conceal oily or extra unruly hair. Added bonus of wearing a hat, it doesn’t get smashed in your suitcase, and fits easily under the seat in front of you during the flight.

5. Keep a small beauty kit in your purse

A flight attendant shares her travel beauty tips with travelers, such as always having a beauty kit on hand.
Photo by Dee (Pearls, Lace and Ruffles) via Flickr

There are lots of ways to keep your makeup lasting all day, like using primer and applying translucent powders. However, when you’re traveling, it’s more likely you’ll have issues from resting and the pressurized air drying out your skin. First and foremost, moisturize before you fly! Secondly, I always wear a minimum amount of makeup (the less you wear the less there is to smudge!). In my purse, I carry along a small bag with a couple of my most important makeup items – powder, concealer, blush, mascara, chapstick, and a few q-tips. Having these few items at easy access is useful to freshen up before you land and go off on your adventure.

6. Hydrate!

A flight attendant shares her best beauty travel secrets -- and explains why it's important for your skin and health to remain hydrated while flying.

I can’t stress this enough. When you fly, it’s hard to notice how dehydrated you get. Of course, the longer the flight, the more important this becomes. Make sure to drink lots of water before your flight, and continue when you get on board (but not too much, no one likes using the lavatories more than they have to!). Try to avoid drinking just sodas and alcohol, because they advance dehydration, and in turn your skin gets dry and lips chapped. Looking fresh and put together starts on the inside, so never forget your H2O!


A flight attendant shares her best travel trips for women who want to stay fresh and cute while traveling by air.

Now that I’ve brought you in on some of my secrets, hopefully next time you look and feel as fabulous walking off the aircraft as you did walking on! When I look my best, I always feel my best, and you deserve to feel confident no matter where you’re off to. Besides, you never know who might be sitting next to you…

A flight attendant shares her best tips for staying fresh, beautiful, & stylish throughout an entire flight. From what to wear, to how to do your hair, to what to bring in your bag -- she's got you covered.


Kate Mitchell
Kate Mitchell, also known as Miss All Over the Place, is a NYC-based flight attendant and adventurer from Texas, currently residing in the Garden State. She can’t stay in one place for long, and is a lover of performance, art, food, travel, and trying all things new. To keep up, follow her lifestyle and travel blog!
Kate Mitchell

Kate Mitchell

Kate Mitchell, also known as Miss All Over the Place, is a NYC-based flight attendant and adventurer from Texas, currently residing in the Garden State. She can't stay in one place for long, and is a lover of performance, art, food, travel, and trying all things new. To keep up, follow her lifestyle and travel blog!

6 thoughts on “A Flight Attendant’s Tips to Looking Fresh While Traveling

    • Kate Mitchell
      August 25, 2016 at 10:22 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed – stay tuned for so much more from my career’s perspective!!

  • August 24, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Water is an in-flight essential. And the small cups they bring around during the food service are not enough. Plane air is very dry. Every passenger on the plane breathes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide.

    • Kate Mitchell
      August 25, 2016 at 10:24 am

      You’re so right! Although most airlines can’t give you an actual water bottle during flight without purchase, bring along your own empty water bottle and most of the time your Flight Attendant will be happy to give you extra! 😉 If you forget, don’t be afraid to ask for two cups during the service!

    • Kate Mitchell
      August 25, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Thank you Taylor! I hope to continue to help with travel-related and other advice from my Flight Attendant perspective. Thanks for reading!

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