Our honeymoon is on the horizon (did I mention we’re going to Thailand? Once, twice, maybe?) and I’m thinking frantically about how to plan for the journey. We’ve only got one stopover, in Abu Dhabi, so we’ve got two long flights ahead of us and for someone previously terrified of flying I’ve honed in my carry-on packing and in-flight routine to an absolute art form. I’m also an obsessive planner and know every detail of everything the week before we’re due to go, so right now I’m making lists of lists and writing down the things I don’t have so that I can head to the shops for them.
Let’s talk about that flying phobia for a second. I used to be so bitterly afraid to get on a plane that I’d end up hyperventilating as we took off, hands white-knuckling the arms of the seats and eyes screwed shut. It was awful. But since then I’ve decided to conquer that fear because I don’t want to be limited when it comes to the places I can travel to just because I’m scared of getting on a long tube with wings. It was on a flight to Turkey, after being so panicked I cried, that I decided to take control. I downloaded Podcasts, watched TED talks, and downloaded the Headspace app for my next flight so that I could meditate and try to break the cycle. And it’s worked, to an extent. I wouldn’t say I’m a confident flyer, but now I can distract myself and control my panic enough that it doesn’t reduce me to a tearful wreck every time I hear the engines.
So, let’s move on to the essential items that I think you should take with you to ensure a comfortable, relaxing flight that leaves you feeling refreshed when you land.
Here’s a travel tip from me to start off with: I always wear a sports bra on a long flight. I have fairly small boobs so I can get away with this, but I find them so much more comfortable and easy to move about in. Being comfortable while travelling is so important. Too-tight clothes, too warm, too cold, and I can guarantee you’ll have a miserable experience and will just want to get off the moment the plane levels out.
My other number one for travelling is to stay hydrated. I always drink a lot of water and continue to do so once landing since air travel can be extremely dehydrating. I always make sure I have my stash of multivitamins with me to try and ward off catching any coughs and colds from being in close contact with so many people for so long.
I’ve already touched on what you should pack in your carry-on bag, so let’s remind ourselves and add a few, since the flight is a bit longer:
Here are the things you should be packing in your carry-on:
- Headphones. Comfortable ones. I can’t wear earbuds on a plane because they hurt my ears after a while, so I generally take my over-ear ones or my Bose Soundsport wireless ones I use for the gym.
- A change of clothing. I like to dress nicely for the airport, but I also like to be comfy on a long flight. I always pack either leggings or joggers and cosy socks, and change into them on the plane.
- Kindle/magazines/laptop/etc. Something to keep you entertained, fully loaded with enough music/films/etc to get you through the flight. I always take my Kindle rather than a book, since I tend to read a couple of books across a 12-14 hour flight (I read fast, OK) and I don’t want to weigh my bag down with novels.
- Sleep mask. Essential for me if I want to nap on the plane. Make sure you find a comfortable one that fits properly, isn’t’ too tight, and blocks out all the light.
- Travel wallet. Always dipping in and out of your bag for first your passport, then your boarding pass, then your money? By a travel wallet that keeps everything together.
I always get extremely dry eyes and dry skin whenever I fly, especially if I’ve been asleep with my face smooshed against the window or J’s shoulder. So I’ve compiled a list of my favourite skincare items (all cruelty-free) to pack with you, all below the 100ml limit, that will help you feel fresh-faced when you land.
The travel beauty must-haves:
- Glasses/spare contacts & moisturising drops. I tend to wear my contact lenses to the airport, especially if I’m driving, then remove them on the plane and wear my glasses. The air on an aeroplane can really dry out your eyes so bring some eye drops with you if you can. Don’t forget your case or lens solution!
- A face mist. This is essential to help you feel refreshed before you land, one that you can spray on over your make-up is even better especially if you don’t have time or don’t feel like touching up.
- Face wipes. If you’re cleansing your make-up or don’t wear any and just want to feel refreshed, face wipes are a great way to go without breaking out your entire skincare routine in the bathroom.
- Eye gels. Dark circles and puffy eyes, anyone? An eye gel or an eye mask is something you can do on the plane and will reap the benefits of when you land.
- Hair ties and hair grips. An obvious one but one people tend to forget. I like to throw my hair up into a messy bun when I’m travelling especially if I want a nap. Invisibobble have aways been and will always be my go-to for hair ties since they don’t pull and don’t kink my hair.
- Hand and nail cream. Dry skin isn’t anyone’s cup of tea, so make sure you take your favourite moisturiser with you.
What are your must-have items for a long journey?