Airplanes are basically small, airtight containers designed to cram in as many humans as possible.
Anyone who has traveled in tight quarters knows the struggle of being sandwiched between someone who likes to play fast and loose with their personal hygiene.
Each individual is subject to their own standards of cleanliness, although some are less stringent than others.
So check out these few simple tips to make sure it’s not you they smell.
1. Dress for the long-haul
Traveling is no easy feat.
There’s packing the suitcase, packing the car, driving to the airport, getting everybody into the airport, standing in the check-in lines, passing through security, and let’s not forget running to the terminal so you don’t miss your flight.
The stress alone can cause someone to sweat.
So wear athletic clothing for your flight. These are made to keep moisture off your body and allow your skin to breathe.
You definitely want to be comfortable during your journey, and what better way to do that than wearing a pair of joggers and a t-shirt?
Make sure to pack a clean pair of athletic clothes for the trip home as well.
Thither.com recommends merino wool t-shirts, because they are “soft, comfortable and made of 100% merino wool, a material of near-mystic qualities. Merino wool is warm, not as scratchy as normal wool, and has natural anti-odor properties.”
2. Don’t try to mask your natural scent
Fellow travelers, wearing loads of perfume or cologne to mask the smell of body odor does not work, it only creates a nauseating blend of aromas no one can escape—like Dior had a fight with an onion.
Going clean and fresh is the safest bet, putting on freshly laundered clothes after a nice long shower.
And if you are one of those people who don’t feel comfortable unless you have a little spritz on, reach for a natural scent that is universally pleasing. And please, use it sparingly. No one wants to taste your body spray for three hours.
Gardenia, lavender, and vanilla are all in the top five scents loved by all, according to HowStuffWorks.
3. Freshen up throughout the trip
Some flights are a tortuous full day or more, and a quick shower before heading out is just not going to keep you smelling fresh throughout the whole journey.
This doesn’t mean you have to take a bird bath in the tiny cubicle of a bathroom on the plane or soak your armpits in paper towels at the airport restrooms, but packing a new outfit for your layover would be wise.
There are also convenient hygiene items like a travel toothbrush, facial wipes, and mini deodorant that can be used mid-flight to keep you smelling and feeling like a cool summer day.
4. Drink it up
We don’t mean vodka and tonics.
Drinking water at least a couple of times an hour will help keep your breath from reeking, reports MSN.
If the lady next to you offers you a mint more than once, better get that bottle of water and start chugging.
Staying hydrated also flushes out toxins, which in case you didn’t know, toxins stink.
Also, while you were rushing around to make your flight on time, you were most likely sweating. The loss of fluid needs to be replaced in order for your body to function properly.
You don’t want to show up in New York City for your big presentation half asleep and smelling odiferous.
5. Avoid stinky foods
Foods that have a strong odor going in usually have a strong odor coming out. This is especially true for onions and garlic.
Fox News reports:
“Garlic stink oozes from your skin because allicin, within another sulfur compound called allin, is released when garlic is cut or crushed. Allicin breaks down quickly after consumption and converts to other substances, which cause bacteria to mix with sweat and results in a strong odor.”
Strong spices are also known to excrete its odors through our pores. So if you have the option between curry or a nice salad, choose the salad.
6. Bring plastic bags
If you change your outfit during your layover and stuff your stinky clothes in your backpack, the smell will still permeate through the crammed corridors of fuselage.
Bring a plastic bag to put dirty clothes, dirty socks and used hygiene products, keeping all your various smells properly contained.
And since not everybody’s stomach can handle flying with grace and ease, you are going to want a plastic bag for any compromised items or clothing.
This will prevent the whole row of passengers from vomiting up their complementary pretzels.
With a little planning and preparation, you can make sure you’re not the person in the negative flight review who offended everyone with smelly body odor.
Please tell us if you ever had to fly next to a stinky passenger or if you have any tips on keeping things smelling like a bed of roses.
And feel free to share these fresh survival tips with your friends, family, and social media. Together, we can end the dreaded funky flyer.