There's lots of things I'm not savvy with: website building, navigating without a map, chopping garlic, drawing (any arts & craft really.) But there are a few things I'm working on mastering. One of which is long haul travel. With every new flight, I seem to get better and better and it all comes down to the fact that I love to organise myself for them. I enjoy packing a carry on bag, in fact I look forward to it.
It's no secret that long haul travel can be an absolute nightmare but I swear to you, if you look after yourself during those hours in the air, you will feel so much better for it. And that comes down to what you bring with you. So, my friends, I'm going to share my list of "must packs."
1. Lip cream.
This one is my favourite. The aircraft is going to suck all moisture out of your every pore, and this means you gotta work hard to keep everything hydrated. Start with your lips - keep them hydrated by using a thick lip cream every couple of hours.
2. Thick facial moisturiser.
On my last trip to Paris, I finally gave up the QV and invested a decent amount of money in this cream. It paid itself off in two ways: my face was luxuriously moisturised the entire flight (meaning it looked far nicer when we landed) and the insanely beautiful, like-a-day-spa scent seriously tricked my body into feeling relaxed and less like I was confined to a metal tube for 20+ hours. Just make sure whatever you bring on is within the liquid limits. If you do use Aesop (you should) pop into one of their stores and ask to make up a travel kit full of sample size sachets of your regular skin care.
3. Thick socks & a cozy jumper.
I scored the exit row on my last flight from Dubai to Adelaide. And while my legs were practically beside themselves over the new found legroom, I absolutely froze to death. I always pack thick socks, but my jumper wasn't quite there. Bring a nice one, leave the one that scratches your neck at home. Indulge in that soft, comfortable one.
4. Eye Cover
Once when I was in LAX, a cheeky sales assistant convinced me that Qantas had stopped giving their passengers complimentary eye covers on overseas flight. As a result I purchased the softest eye cover (is that even what they're called, someone tell me) I could find. When I got on that flight two hours later I realised the assistant was indeed wrong and they do still provide them. However, silver lining is that the provided covers are pathetic. Yes, I'm sure they work but they feel similar to how I imagine cardboard being taped to your eyes for ten hours. I love, love, love my eye cover and use it every single flight. So handy for blocking out the light the guy next to you won't turn off because he doesn't believe in sleep.
5. An empty water bottle
Back to the hydration aspect of things. If you're not drinking 250ml of water for every hour you're in the air, you're doing it wrong (according to google.) This is what it takes to maintain hydrated. What puzzles me most, though, is if this is really the case then why do most airlines only hand out those pathetic 250ml bottles once and at the start of the flight? Bring on an empty water bottle (if it's filled, security will make you throw it out) and call the air hostess over when you need it filled up.
6. Sleep aid
Melatonin, Ambien - I don't mind. My weapon of choice is actually Dramamine which can't be bought here in Australia. It's a travel sickness pill which actually works better at knocking you into slumber. I'm not complaining. I've used this for a few years now because I personally have never been game enough to try an "actual" sleeping pill. But whatever works for you. I'd just highly recommend bringing something. Unless you can sleep sitting up in a very small chair?
Alright. Honestly. This was my most genius realisation of them all. I hate aeroplane breakfast. I once threw up when they started serving it. I don't mind other plane meals (ever since discovering the magic of ordering vegetarian meals,) but there's just something I just can't stomach with the fake eggs. And sausage. And beans. Kill me. But on the other side of things, I am one of those people that needs to eat breakfast. So I decided to bring my own on board. My favourite is the travel size Carman's Fruit & Nut muesli. The disposable bowl barely takes up any room in your bag and it's gone by the end of the flight. Just ask the attendant for some milk and you're good to go. Other options I've used are these muesli bars, and these quick oats. Carman's is my favourite though.
8. A piece of fresh fruit
And so this leads me onto my next point. I usually bring a banana or an apple. On my last flight I actually sliced the banana into the cereal and I died. My best idea yet. I felt like a real human being when I landed. And I put it down to the real food I ate (and the 6 hours sleep.) Fresh fruit is so good for you generally, but better 38,000ft in the air when everything else you'll be served is both processed and reheated. Just make sure you consume it before you disembark the aircraft. Or you'll get a big, fat fine.
9. Laptop or iPad or a book
Whichever is going to entertain you the most. Can you imagine being seated only to find out you're the one with the broken TV. I don't even want to know what that feels like. Hence why I always load my laptop with things that don't bore me to death. I'm also the type of person to work on the plane so laptop is the way I swing. Go with what will keep you entertained for the longest period of time and/or make you most productive.
10. Vitamin C and other Immunity Vitamins
Won't go anywhere without them. Ever. I always carry a few chewable vitamin C and these immunity tablets to take with my meal. I don't have a very good immune system so this is a big one for me. And even if you do, it really couldn't help. The goal for me with long haul travel, is to arrive feeling as good as possible. These will help.
So that's it, that's what I do and it works incredibly well for me. On my last few trips I've landed feeling remarkably good so it must be working. Do whatever you need to do to stay rested, hydrated, entertained & healthy and you will be good to go my friends.