If you’re about to take a holiday and you’re going to be travelling by air, a little forethought and forward planning can make those long hours cooped up in the cabin a lot more enjoyable. Whether you’re flying long haul or short haul, our travel hacks will keep you amused, fed and watered, relaxed and give you an extra level of comfort during your flight.
Get on an earlier flight
If you have a long stopover or find yourself at the airport early for your flight, check the flight information screens to see if there’s a flight to your destination leaving earlier. If there is, ask an airline agent if it would be possible to snag a seat on the earlier flight. You can even try going directly to the gate agent of an earlier flight to your destination to ask if there are any extra seats. You just might find yourself getting to your destination ahead of schedule.
Make yourself more comfortable
We all know how difficult it can be to get some sleep in the limited space on a plane. If you don’t have one of those airline issue comfort packs (containing an inflatable pillow, blanket and eye mask), you can easily make your own. Use your hoodie or sweater as a pillow. Simply roll it up and position it between your head and the seat or window (if you’re lucky enough to have a window seat). Or, take a pillow slip with you and fill it with clothes. Pashminas or large scarves make a great lightweight but warm blanket substitute – plus you’ll look stylish while you’re travelling.
Protect from DVT
Don’t forget to pack a pair of compression socks in your hand luggage if you’re taking a long haul flight, and remember to move around and do some of the exercises suggested in the ‘in flight’ brochures.
Keep yourself entertained
If your flight doesn’t have the option of in-flight movies, it’s easy to provide your own tailor-made entertainment package, especially as the popularity of tablets and smart phones enables you to have all your favourite movies, music and games at your fingertips. Bring a sandwich bag with you, put your phone in it, and hang it from the seat in front of you using the tray table holder. Or why not use the time to listen an audiobook? After all, you’re a captive audience! Just remember to take a set of headphones and put your device onto flight mode, and try to refrain from laughing too loudly if you’re watching your favourite comedy.
A long flight is the perfect time for some impromptu beauty treatments. Once on the flight, remove all your make up and give yourself a moisturising facial. It will certainly help to combat the dehydrating effects of the air conditioning system. You can even make a simple scrub without buying any ingredients. Ask the flight attendants for a slice of lemon and a sugar packet when the service cart comes around. Mix them together and rub gently on your face to exfoliate, then rinse in the bathroom.
While it’s not advisable to paint your nails onboard, you can give yourself a relaxing hand massage. Or why not slather your feet in moisturiser, put on a pair of warm socks and let the soothing ingredients work their magic? You’ll arrive at your destination, perfectly moisturised, fresh faced and smelling divine too.
Pack some mini toiletries
It’s always a good idea to keep a selection of mini toiletries in your hand luggage to allow you to freshen up before you disembark. Take a mini deodorant, a tube of toothpaste and toothbrush, a lip salve, small tube of moisturiser (or sunscreen if you’re travelling to hot climates) and perhaps some eye drops, if you tend to suffer from dry eyes during the flight. A small pack of disposable wipes is always a good idea. They’ll not just clean up sticky hands, but will prove invaluable should you spill something in the confined space.
Take a few onboard snacks
If you’re not a lover of in-flight food, or your airline doesn’t provide it, you may want to take a few snacks for your journey. Choose healthy options rather than junk food, but always ensure that you check whether you can take them into the country you’re visiting if on an international flight, as some countries have very strict laws. Try to avoid drinking too much alcohol, as it will leave you feeling tired and dehydrated – drink plain water instead.
And finally, try not to let other travellers stress you out. Apply your beauty treatments, pull on your socks, roll up your pillow, drape yourself in a blanket, pop on your headphones and use the time to relax. You’ll arrive at your destination feeling like you’ve already had a mini break!