We’ve all fretted over whether or not we’d make a super early flight/train/bus. Here are some tips to make things easier.

1. Reconsider early morning flights or trains if you are departing from a foreign or unfamiliar city. The airport or the train/bus station might only be 45 minutes away from your hostel by public transportation, but remember that this transportation can be surprisingly difficult to navigate, especially if there’s a language barrier.

2. Try to get on the right schedule a few days beforehand. It might be tempting to go out drinking all night (or to stay up binge watching netflix if you’re like me), but unless you’re great at shifting your schedule, it will benefit you to try to start the shift a few days before your trip.

stock photo of woman sleeping
There’s nothing weird about going to bed with this much makeup on.

3. Consider doing a practice at the time of day you plan to leave about two days before (note that public transport schedules might vary on weekends and weekdays). If you need to catch a subway train or two to get to the airport at 7:00 am on Friday, then on Wednesday you might want to wake up early to catch those exact subway trains. Make sure there are no surprises (ie the metro station is super confusing, the train schedule on the website is outdated). This might seem like a waste of money, time, and sleep, but it can save you a lot later on.

4. Buy breakfast ahead of time to eat on the go. Put a few granola bars and a bottle of iced tea (if you need caffeine) somewhere in your bag where you’ll have easy access. This will save you the time you might spend eating at home or purchasing something at Starbucks.

5. Pack everything except last minute necessities beforehand. Try not to leave this to the night before, or else you might get tempted to go to sleep and tell yourself you’ll be able to wake up early to finish the last bit of packing.

6. Make a list of everything you need to do in morning and hang it up. If you’ve followed the tips there should only be one or two items (brush teeth, pack toothbrush and tooth paste, ect.)

7. Know what shoes you plan to wear and set them out with a pair of socks right by the door.

8. Shower the night before instead of in the morning. You’ll definitely want to try to get into this routine a few days beforehand to make sure that showering at night doesn’t wake you up and make it hard to sleep.

This random model seems to think #8 is a good idea.

9. Consider sleeping with your hair in a bun or braids if you normally spend a lot of time brushing or styling your hair. Think about whether you sleep on your stomach, side, or back when you decide what to do with your hair. You can do a touch up once you get to the airport or train/bus station.

What you’re trying to avoid (although in a real rush this could be savaged with a ponytail).

10. Set a back-up alarm. If you usually use your phone, consider using a battery-operated alarm clock as your backup plan.

11. Sleep in the clothes you plan to wear the next day. You might want to pick something that doesn’t wrinkle too easily.

12. Save your lengthy skin care regiment for the airport/bus-train station restroom. You won’t have an unsightly breakout just because you waited an extra half hour to exfoliate. Just make sure your toiletry bag is somewhere accessible.

Instead of washing your face like a normal person, I recommend splashing yourself with water in slow motion. Don’t worry, the water totally won’t to all over the bathroom floor!

13. Same goes for makeup. You don’t need contoured cheekbones to ride the subway at 6:30 AM. You’re beautiful just the way you are! And by that I mean that I have no idea what most of you look like, but at that hour most people will be way too tired to judge.