As a woman who’s always on the go, it can be hard to feel pretty, clean, fresh and put-together. Anyone who’s been on a long plane ride will agree it takes a lot out of you, both mentally and physically. Not only are you sitting in the plane for hours upon hours, but you also have to deal with the time-consuming airport obstacles.
It only took me a few instances of trying to freshen up in the airport bathroom — or worse, the back of my taxi — to say enough is enough. I don’t want you to have to go through the struggles I did, so I’ve put together a list of my favorite hacks for keeping myself fresh and hygienic, even on the longest of business trips.
Adopt a Minimalist Wardrobe
My wardrobe consists of mostly neutral colors — blacks, browns and greys — so I can pair just about any top with any pair of pants. This means I can literally pack one outfit for every day I’ll be gone and have tons of possible combinations. To add some color, I use accessories and jewelry. Don’t go overboard, either. I have approximately three pairs of earrings that I religiously rotate between.
Also, layering is always best practice when you’re traveling. Planes and cabs are typically a little chilly, but if you’re traveling in the summer you don’t want to be wearing a heavy sweater with nothing underneath.
Bring One Pair of Shoes
This is hard, I know. How are you supposed to travel for work and only bring one pair of shoes? The answer is to stop feeling like you need to wear heels to be dressed up. Toms, Sperry’s and similar brands are the perfect shoes to wear on the go. Not only are the comfortable, but they look great with professional or classy clothes, too.
You’ll be amazed at the amount of space you can save by leaving the shoes at home. And when you save room in your bag, you have more room for hygiene products that will keep you feeling fresh.
You should always be moisturizing, but it’s especially important when you’re trying to maintain some cleanliness on the road. It’s easy to forget about using lotion while you’re traveling, but you should really be applying it at least once every five hours. If you need to head straight to a meeting from the airport and want to walk in with a glow, this tip is crucial.
While I’m sure you wouldn’t be enjoying a glass of wine on a work trip (hehe), it’s especially important to restrain from drinking if you’re trying to keep yourself looking, smelling and feeling good while traveling. When you drink, not only does your body temperature increase — therefore making you sweat more — but your face also becomes slightly flushed. You don’t want any of this when you’re heading into a meeting.
Not to mention, alcohol does the opposite of hydrate you. Instead of having a beer while you wait to start boarding, grab a bottle of water and a piece of fruit to keep your electrolytes in check.
Keep Your Carry-On Stocked
Ideally, you aren’t checking any bags — if it doesn’t fit in your carry-on, you aren’t taking it with you. But of course, for longer trips that’s difficult to avoid. If you absolutely must check a bag, you need to make sure your carry-on is fully stocked with anything you could possibly need before your first work commitment. If your luggage is lost, you might not get it back for multiple days (or ever). Just remember — no liquids in bottles over 3 ounces.
A few things you should be sure to pack are:
Wishing You Safe, Fresh and Happy Travels
It takes eight subsequent positive interactions with a person to undo a bad first impression, and in the business world that’s eight too many. Don’t let your travel stench ruin a great opportunity or give a potential business partner the wrong impression of you. Keep yourself fresh using these tips, and you’ll have no problem winning them over.