When someone says “I LOOOOOOVE to travel,” they’re probably not referring to their love of lying on an airport floor during half-day layovers. Or the bliss of catching a nap to the dulcet tones of a wailing baby. Or the calm of cramming their foot back in their shoes and as travelers wait patiently for you to clear the security belt.
No one likes the airport. But they’re a necessary evil for those of us who love the excitement of exploring new cities, countries, and terrains. The joy of travel is usually sandwiched by the fatigue of airports and all that comes with them.
But anxiety-stricken airports don’t have to set the tone for your trip. There is a way to make airports a peaceful, even comfortable place if you’ve got the right mindset–the Hygge mindset.
Hygge (n): (HUE-gah): A Danish word used to describe life’s simple pleasures; the art of creating a warm atmosphere.
Including but not limited to things that make you feel cozy.
- hot tea or coffee
- chunky, warm sweaters
- sitting around a table drinking with friends
After many years of airplane travel, I’ve perfected a travel style that reduces the discomfort of sitting in a metal chair for hours. The following picks are what I bring with me to create a warm atmosphere that makes me feel at home and at ease, no matter my surroundings. It sets the tone for an enriching trip and creates a bubble of coziness that even the discomfort of airports can’t penetrate.
Airport Comfort: What to Bring
Our sense of scent is very closely attached to the region of our brain that processes memory and emotion. Find a scent that you associate with calm, or a fond memory and bring a small roll-on with you in the air. I like scents of cedar, patchouli, and all things earthy. Rubbing a little on your neck or wrists will calm your nerves and mask the BO of your sweaty neighbor.
If you’re traveling to the Caribbean, a chunky sweater may not be the way to go. But if weather permits, traveling doesn’t get cozier than curling up in an oversized sweater.
No one likes that person with knee-high gladiator sandals blocking everyone from the security belt as they wrestle back into their poor choice. Don’t be that person. Find a good pair of slip on/off shoes that take you through security with ease…Or just get TSA pre-check.
Noise canceling headphones are a must for frequent travelers. Invest in a good quality pair with a warranty and a reliable reputation. Having my headphones glitch up (or catch fire!!! what?!) mid-flight sounds like a nightmare.
There are certain textures and scents that make me feel warm and cozy. The smell of paper and leather is one of them, so a thick leather journal is always in my bag. It’s there for mid-flight inspiration, and as a reminder of adventures to come.
I’m not sure what United’s deal was with the whole leggings thing, but I assure you I travel in nothing else. I make sure my leggings are in good shape, quality material, black, and not transparent. I also wear a top or sweater that goes to mid-thigh so that it doesn’t look like I’m going to Pilates class.
There’s nothing cozier than a cup of coffee or tea. Pinterest and Instagram will back me up on this with flatlays for days that romanticize a warm cup and thick book (Not hating. I love those fucking flatlays). So when you travel make sure to bring your favorite mug. This piece of home makes all the difference. I also bring bags of my favorite tea and ask the flight attendant for hot water. Sipping on my own custom drink and staring out the window is one of my favorite feelings.
I travel with over a hundred books…on my Kindle. But every now and then I spring for the hardcopy of a book which I find I’m more inclined to curl up with than my cold hard tablet. I’m pretty sure there’s science out there supporting my claim that hardcopy books are more satisfying to read than e-books, but I’m linking a Huffington Post article to support my statement instead; it’s easier to read than science journals. Looking for book recommendations? See what I’m reading now. Or go and grab this one by one of my favorite travel writers Geraldine DeRuiter, The Everywhereist. I literally can’t shut up about this book. Reading it will have you laughing so hard you wake your seat neighbor and feeling so empowered you give no fucks.
What comforts do you bring along you on your travels? How do you prevent yourself from strangling strangers in airports? Comment below.