Published on November 24, 2019

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Imagery by Madeline Montoya, Photography by Getty Images

We spend a third of our lives asleep—that means our bedroom is the most lived-in space in our homes. It’s the room where we start and end our days, and that’s why the rituals that happen there are extra-important. In The Wind Down, we’ll be exploring the nighttime routines of people we admire and taking their advice to make the moments just before bed feel our best—even when we’re on the go.

When Elizabeth Olsen isn’t busy relocating for a movie shoot, hopping red-eyes, or filming a late-night show appearance, she still finds herself on the go more than the average person. The actress enjoys traveling for pleasure just as much as she does for work—especially if that means she’s headed in the direction of a restaurant she’s been wanting to try out. So as she’s racked up her miles (with the help of her Delta SkyMiles American Express Card), she’s also honed a travel routine that helps her arrive at her destination feeling well rested and totally zen.

And surprise: It’s nothing crazy. Here, she shares why packing a blanket is always worth it, her favorite plane snack, and what she wears to stay cozy thousands of feet in the air. 

Cleanup: The first thing I do when I board a flight is wipe down every single surface with alcohol wipes. If there’s a tray, I take it and I wipe it down. I wipe down the remote, the TV, and where I put my head.

Plug in: I was sick and I’ve gotten better, but my ears still feel a little off, so I’ve been swearing by EarPlanes. You put them in before takeoff and before descent, and they help your ears adjust to the altitude change. I think everyone should know about them.

Required reading—or listening: I’ve started listening to audiobooks. Right now, All the Light We Cannot See. When I recently listened to it on a plane, I don’t remember if I dozed off or not! I’m so interested in the story and I don’t like missing it, so I always end up having to go 15 minutes back. I also love Haruki Murakami—anytime I’m in the middle of one of his books, I don’t want to put it down.

Sound system: My go-to headphones are either the Bose noise-canceling ones or Beats. They’re very similar, except the Beats can get caught in my hair.

Skin saviors: I always use face wipes to wash my face and I remoisturize—that’s really it! I love Biologique Recherche—I use a lot of its products—and this Israeli brand called Future.

Cuddle up: On international flights I always bring my own blanket. I think I’m colder than everyone else on planes. I’m in a big sweater. Someone gave me a cashmere travel blanket that fits into a little pouch, so it’s really easy to carry along. 

Jet-lag strategy: I just power through the first day. That’s what I did today. I was like, Do I nap or do I exercise and stay awake? And I really feel okay!

Travel uniform: Allbirds is great because they’re very comfortable, and I usually bring a set of pajamas that I change into—I’m that person. I have a matching set from Barneys New York that I love.

Snack time: I really love warm mixed nuts. I’m not drinking right now because I’ve been sick and traveling a lot, but I also like a vodka and soda or red wine if they have one that seems halfway decent—which, sometimes, they really do!

Extra essentials: When I relocate for filming, I have a second set of knives that I  bring with me because usually the places you rent have pretty dull knives, and I cook all the time. Dull knives can be pretty dangerous. I also have a lot of doubles for my spice cabinet, so instead of spending money restocking, I just bring them. I also bring my Vitamix—sometimes I have one suitcase that’s all kitchen stuff.

Experience over souvenirs: I don’t like making my suitcase bigger, because it’s usually already too big to me. My favorite thing to do is try out restaurants. I’d been waiting for months for a reservation at N/Naka in Los Angeles. The chef was covered on Chef’s Table. It’s some of the most artistic, impressive expression of food, and she’s just such an ego-less chef. You’re allowed to ask for alterations—say, if you have allergies—she doesn’t mind. She just wants you to have a good experience. She’s brilliant. 

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