How Lupita Nyong'o Makes Flying a Spa-Like Experience

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Lucky for us, the actress opened up to Departures about all things travel—including her packing tips.

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Lupita Nyong'o is no stranger to travel. Between her frequent childhood trips while living in Kenya to her busy filming and promotional schedule, being on the road is the norm for the actress. So, as you can imagine, along the way, the Oscar winner has picked up a few tips to make traveling a little more relaxing. The 36-year-old revealed some of those hacks at the official relaunch party for the Delta SkyMiles American Express Cards, which feature quicker ways to earn miles. 


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Here's what the Us star and American Express Platinum Card Member had to say.

Departures: What's something you always have in your carry-on?

Lupita Nyong'o: "I use compression socks, which are amazing, and they're really helpful to keep your circulation going. It's just helpful to get back into the speed of things when you land. I use moisturizing masks, which are great as well. And I carry my own hibiscus tea to reduce water retention. I also have these shoes that are foldable that are great for travel. They just slip on, and you can wear them on the airplane. Plus, they come in all sorts of colors. Those are a must-have for me."

What color is yours?

"I have some conservative black ones. But then I also have my sparkly pink ones and metallic silver ones. I love them." 

Sounds like you have quite the routine on the plane.

"I never thought of it like that. But yes, I do. The first thing I'll do is put those shoes on then do a nice wipe off my seat. I like to use witch hazel because it's antibacterial and smells really nice. And I also have a passion fruit flower-based homeopathic remedy that I'll use to calm down."

You make flying sound like a spa!  

"I try to get it as close as possible."

What's the first thing you do when you land in a new destination? 

"I lay down with my legs at a 90-degree angle. That again is about allowing for circulation. It's a great way just to rejuvenate really quickly. It's also important to stretch. I also always have balls that I use to massage the bottoms of my feet because I have a lot of trouble with swelling feet after travel."

What are some of your packing hacks?

"I am an over-packer. I'm not practical whatsoever. I need moral support when I'm packing, and it takes a long time. My tip is to start early. Also, because I travel so much, I have double of everything in my toiletry bag so that I never have to pack my toiletries. That takes so long to pack. So I have a ready-to-go toiletry bag at all times. The same is true for basics things like underwear and socks. My last packing hack is I determine a color scheme for my trip. That way, it narrows down what clothes I can take."

That's a good tip! Now, you've obviously stayed in a lot of hotels. But do you have a favorite?

"Yes. I went to this hotel in Mexico called Hotel Esencia (an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property). It's a small boutique with probably 40 rooms right on the beach, and it's exquisite. And they have this crab guacamole that will cross your eyes. It's a wonderful place to go for rest and relaxation to get away from things. And at certain times of the year, these huge turtles come and, and lay their eggs in the sand. So if you go out at night with these infrared flashlights, you can witness this incredible natural experience."

You seem like a huge nature fan. Is there nature experience you're dying to have?

"I really want to visit the Amazon before we would destroy it all. But I'm also really terrified of visiting the Amazon because it comes with a lot of scary things like tarantulas that I don't think I'm ready to meet."