• Whitney

Travel Hacks To Live By

Updated: Jun 30, 2018

I have flown an exorbitant amount in my life and along the way I've picked up some pretty useful travel hacks. 


Food 

                 Did you know that you can bring your own food from home on a plane? That's right! You can bring snacks through security (yes, you will have to send them through the scanner), on your flight, and even to your destination. You want to bring your boyfriend a slice of New York pizza? You go right ahead and do it. You want to take your girlfriends a box of Magnolia Bakery cupcakes (my personal favorite)? That's no problem! You do need to keep in mind that liquid foods (like soup & hummus) are still no-nos, but anything solid is completely fine. Also, remember that these items are carry-ons so make sure you aren't bringing too many bags or you'll be forced to check one. Also, food that you want to arrive pretty will have to be stored carefully, beneath the seat in front of you.


When I fly, especially on long international flights, I pack an entire carry-on of food including, but not limited to: chips, dry soup (just get hot water from the flight attendant), cheese, crackers, fruit, gushers, dried mango slices, oreos, sandwiches, etc. Now that I'm vegan, I don't bring cheese and sub vegan jerky, but it's still a suitcase overflowing with food. One thing that I never want to be when trapped in a tin can at 33,000 feet is hangry. That scenario doesn't end well for anyone on board! Also, if you're traveling to an international destination, your fruit and vegetables must be consumed before you arrive. Even if the flight attendant gave you a side of fruit with your meal, do not bring it through customs because you will be detained, and yes, I know this from personal experience. Airport food is ridiculously expensive, the staff is usually extremely rude (I would be too if I had to deal with people who just missed their flights all day), and the quality is sub par at best. Bring your own food to save money, eat healthier choices, and never risk being hangry in an already hostile environment! 

Water

         My best advice on water is to pack your own water bottle or water pouch. You need to drink a lot of water when you fly, but water is expensive and the water you get on the plane comes in tiny cups. Plus, its origin is questionable. I used to buy two bottles of water as soon as I got through security, but one time, my layover to London was in Chicago, less than an hour flight away. Once we landed in Chicago, we were forced to exit and come back in through another gate. I was forced to go back through security and therefore forced to throw my ten dollars worth of water away. I was feeling sorry for myself too until I realized that the guy behind me had purchased a bottle of Johnnie Walker duty-free and he was also being forced to dump it out. Fucked up, I know. Anyways, I now bring an empty water holding container, even an old water bottle will do. Once you get through security, fill it up at a water fountain and you're all set for free!  

Packing

You will not believe this, but I never pack more than one small bag to go anywhere. Even when I moved to London, I brought a carry-on of snacks, and a roller carry-on with clothes and whatnot. My secret? I wear black all of the time. Black always matches, looks slimming, fashionable, proffesional. You can never go wrong with black. I wear my boots and any coats that I need so that I don't have to pack them.


Styling tools don't work the same in other countries, even with an adapter, so there's really no point in packing them. (Once, I plugged in my curling iron and the voltage was different so it burnt off the first curl I tried to do. Bye, Felicia!). Plus, most countries don't put nearly as much into getting ready as we do in America. They rock naturally dried hair and they look amazing so, you might as well skip it too! It will give you a chance to appreciate your genetic gifts. ;-) Also, packing is one of those astronomical expenses that airlines like to tack on. Even if you only check one bag, they are going to weigh it and if it's over, you're looking at paying an additional $50-$100 bucks! Fuck that shit. And yes, perhaps I pack this way because I'm stubborn and I hate that after spending a thousand dollars on a flight, the airline would still try to corner you and force you into paying extra, but it's an amazing habit. Even when you land at your destination, can you just take public transit from the airport? Not if you have a bunch of bags, you can't! Which means that you are now committing to taking a cab ride that will be somewhere around $100 too. And why? Fashion is a form of self-expression, but all it really does is take away from your actual beauty. One of the first things models are taught is how to dress when meeting potential clients and it's always the most basic way. Jeans or black pants with a white or black v-neck or tank top. Nude or black heels with your hair pulled out of your face. So, leave that shit at home and when you travel, just focus on you. 

Booking

My favorite booking sights for flights are SkyScanner.com , Kiwi.com, or Google.com/flights . On Skyscanner, they have an option where you put in where you're flying from and then in the destination, put everywhere, and they will check every flight, all over the world! At the very least, it's great for travel inspiration and daydreaming. 

Beauty

Living on an airplane and modeling can be really hard on your looks. Every time you fly, your body is dehydrated. It is imperative that you drink lots, and I mean a lot of water. Before you fly, during the flight, and once you land, you need to be drinking water. If you want to look attractive the day or two after you land, say no to those free international cocktails! Nothing dehydrates you faster or ages more than drinking alcohol. Just say no! Also, skip those free peanuts. Avoid anything salty, including the free airline meal, which has an astronomical amount of sodium in it. Instead, pack your own snacks and make sure they're healthy. I love fruit leathers, raw almonds, dark chocolate, fresh fruit (strawberries, bananas, and apples). Bring a salad and bread with low sodium too and eat as much as you want! Just skip the salt because it will put bags under your eyes and make your entire body swell. If you have a big shoot the following day, you may want to ask your doctor to proscribe a diuretic which will make you pee a million times during the flight, but will make sure you won't look puffy on set, even after a 19 hour flight. Just be sure to get that aisle seat so no one murders you on board.


As soon as you board the plane, and you feel comfortable (for me, it's once they lower the lights) take that makeup off. Even the best makeup is as good for your skin as no makeup and the last thing you need in all of your exotic travel pics is a blemish, right? Now, do not try to wash your face in the airplane bathroom. That water is not sanitary and there's no fucking room. Instead, bring your own face wipes. I use Obagi Acne Cleansing  Wipes but you can use any as long as they're cruelty free because we can't be friends if they aren't. As soon as you've wiped off all your makeup, apply either a heavy moisturizer (like Obagi Luxe Cream), or a hydrating mask. I prefer the Skinceuicals,  Phyto Corrective Masque because it goes on pretty much clear which means that no one notices you're wearing one. Inevitably, you will have to get up to use the restroom and you don't want to scare the children with an opaque masque!  The moisturizer is more convenient because you don't have to wipe it off, but the masque is more effective. It just depends on what you need. Leave the mask on until the pilot announces that you are landing. Then remove the mask and moisturize. If it' s daytime when you land, use another wipe to remove the heavy moisturizer, and apply a daily moisturizer to your face and neck. I always fly with To Go Spa eye treatments. They are individually packaged jellies that go right underneath your eyes and help with all kinds of issues, like dark circles, bags, dryness, etc. You can throw them in any bag and never worry about them getting damaged and they're disposable after the first use! Easy, breezy. My go-to is the water treatment. I put them on in the last hour of the light to hydrate the skin beneath my eyes, soothe them from being tired, and help with puffiness. They are naturally cool to the touch which helps eliminate bags, but if you have the option (like, when you aren't on an airplane), throw them in your refrigerator to chill them even more and you'll see dramatic results almost instantly. Perfect cure for post-party eyes. 

Body

I'm just going to mention this one more time: Drink plenty of water! No soda (Sprite or ginger ale is okay if you're feeling nauseous), no alcohol, not even juice (unless you bring your own and it's real juice instead of the concentrated canned crap that they serve).

Water!!!


Before the flight, do some stretching. For longer flights, make sure you stretch more. This gets your blood circulating, and actually has a calming effect on your brain. If you are a nervous flier, try this as well. I sit on the floor in butterfly position first, then make my legs into a V, leaning over both sides, down the middle, hands up, etc. You want to stretch your whole body, but your mid-section and legs are going to get the worst of the flight because you're in a seated position the entire time. You will look stupid and people will stare at you. That's cool. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life, you just shake it off... literally. During the flight, even if you remain seated, you will want to do some seated exercises like picking your foot off the floor and rolling your ankle 6 times in each direction. Then repeat with the other ankle. No one should notice that you're doing this and it will help your ankles not to swell, as well as increasing circulation in your legs. One of the biggest risk-factors when flying is pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot, usually in your legs. These can kill you so you want to be sure, especially if you're a plus size person that you are keeping that good circulation, even at 30,000 feet. Another seated exercise is some deep neck stretching. Try to tuck your neck down to your breastbone. You should feel the muscles in the back of your neck stretching. Then reach your ear towards your shoulder while keeping your shoulder still. It helps to use your hand to gently help this stretch along, but don't force it. Stretching should never be painful. You can also do some shoulder rolls. Again, all of these stretches calm your mind as well. Flying can be stressful for even the most traveled veterans. If you stand during your flight, you will also have the opportunity to do some stretches where you bend at the waist. I mostly do these while waiting in line for the bathroom because they do require more space. If you find the time to put your feet together and slowly roll down, letting your arms hang loosely, focusing on your breath, feeling that long stretch in your hamstrings, this is a really great one in flight. If not, at least grab your elbow with the opposite hand and pull it across your chest. Then, elbow over your head , one at a time, allowing the opposite hand to grasp that elbow and pull it towards your head. If you want to be a really big pain in the ass, do a couple lunges down the center aisle, but be warned that everyone will hate you and think you're a douche bag. Generally, any movement that you can do, particularly on long flights is going to help combat fatigue, stress, jet-lag, and blood clots. So, keep moving! 


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About Me

          My name is Whitney Lee Thompson Forrester. You may recognize me as the cycle 10 winner of America's Next Top Model (the plus-size winner), but I am also a restaurant owner, travel enthusiast, vegan, animal lover, & fashion fiend...

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