1. With checkpoint alcohol allotment at a three-ounce max, you owe yourself at least that. Kaluha will suit your pre-beach mood, but if you’re feeling risky, try slipping a little extra into a plastic drugstore flask – they look exactly like the Flex shampoo bottles circa 1990 – or if all else fails, Bacardi 151 is the exact color of original Listerine (the brown kind).
2. Need a little sugar to cut the booze? Fruit Mentos, Fruit Stripe gum (with extra-fun zebra tattoos) or Watermelon Bubblicious are airport classics; and a hefty Cadbury bar will suffice for chocolate lovers. Bonus: Chewing gum will alleviate air-pressure induced ear pain.
3. No seasoned traveler would survive without adequate reading material, so go ahead and indulge your guilty pleasure – slide a trashy gossip mag between the pages of The New Yorker to avoid the belittling stares from fellow passengers.
4. Maybe you need a little more intellectual stimulation than Us Weekly can offer. Try Will Shortz’s puzzle cards, or, if you’re really hardcore, bring that LSAT prep book along.
5. Even we can’t live on simple carbs alone – give your insides a break with a loaded protein bar for the last leg of your trip. Something like a Kashi GoLean or Clif bar will hold you over if you pass on the beef stroganoff. (This mostly applies to Northwest flights.)
6. Just in case the airline loses your bag – those bastards – do yourself a favor and pack a quick-fix hangover cure in your carry-on: Two packets of Emergen-C is a surefire home remedy that also doubles as an anti-bug weapon when you get stuck sitting next to the sniffler on the plane.
7. There’s nothing like recycled airplane air to suck the moisture right out of your ready-to-tan skin. Some all-purpose handsalve should solve that; good for hands, elbows and feet, or a few dabs to add a little shine to wilted locks pre-landing.
8. Don’t sell yourself short on protection. Pack a few extra condoms for the plane – the Mile High Club beckons.
9. And finally, to protect your feet from that nasty airplane carpet (and bad circulation), pack a pair of socks, preferably the kind with rubber nubs on the bottom. Now you can do lunges in the aisles without slipping, and if you’ve been paying attention, that all-purpose salve will work on those rough winter toes. Really. It’s like an airplane pedi.