You can’t survive an 11-hour flight on water alone.
Once you’ve packed your suitcase or backpack, the last thing you want to do is sort out your in-flight bag. It can be tedious, frustrating and irritating, especially when considering the battle through security and the fight to get that space in the overhead locker – and that’s not including the 100ml liquids rule…
To keep you sane in the last few minutes before you leave the house and get on your way to the airport, I’ve split up everything you need for your flight into three categories to keep you organised and make the likelihood of forgetting your passport in the security tray (yes, I have done this…) impossible.
This is where the classic “tickets, money, passport” moment comes in. Before you leave, make sure you have all the essentials: travel documents, tickets, passport, money (both in local currency for the airport and the currency of your destination), visa information and contact information (in case your bag gets lost and it needs to be returned to you). Last but not least is at least one big bottle of water: you become seriously dehydrated while flying, and the only way to really counteract it is to be drinking water constantly, and avoid any caffeinated or fizzy drinks they wheel out on the trolley (sorry, coffee lovers). I always bring my 32 fl. oz. Hydroflask when I travel now, and once it’s made it’s way through security (being totally empty of course, otherwise they will try their hardest to confiscate it from you), I find the closest Starbucks, buy a snack and ask them to fill it up for me.
Life Hack: if you can’t find anywhere to fill up your water bottle, go to a Starbucks or Costa or the like, as by law they have to fill up your water bottle with tap water if you ask. Sometimes they’ll do it without any purchase, but sometimes you can just grab an apple and then ask them to fill it up once you’ve made your purchase. Cheaper + environmentally cleaner than buying a plastic bottle!
When it comes to in-flight entertainment, it can either be like a trip to the ultimate cinema where they have every single one of your favourite films, or a total disaster where they’ll be playing some decade-old superhero movie that you can’t hear or see because the aisle movie screen is about 20 rows in front of you or right behind your head. That actually happened to me on a 14-hour flight to Peru once, and it was the worst flight I’ve ever been on. I learnt my lesson and am now the master of preparing my own in flight entertainment.
The ultimate essentials for when it comes to entertaining yourself boil down to: an epic playlist, noise-cancelling headphones and books/magazine/a kindle. For my 11-hour flight to Los Angeles I’ll be downloading a range of new books onto my kindle (that I’ve “borrowed” from my dad…) and bringing my current read, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, to keep me occupied in the airport and on the flight. Noise-cancelling headphones are a god-send on flights too, because I’m nearly always the unfortunate soul who gets stuck next to the drunk stag-do or the crying baby.
Packing beauty and skincare items to use while flying may seem like too much of a pain to be worth it, but there’s nothing better than slathering moisturiser on after watching an entire film with a mask on your face and then stepping off the plane with moisturised, soft skin. For flights of any length – even just a two-hour one – the air is so dry and circulates around so many people so often that it will dry your skin out in a flash and make you feel sick, tired and sluggish, so bringing some beauty and skincare bits will help you feel a little better.
When packing beauty bits, the most important thing to remember is the 100ml limits. Whether you’re in a three-hour or eleven-hour flight, that volume remains the same. My in-flight beauty must haves are: cleanser, moisturiser or facial oil and hydrating spray (I bought this little set of minis from Tarte), hand cream, a sheet mask, eyebrow gel (this one from Urban Decay is my dream brown product) and my lightweight mineral powder foundation from Inika to make me feel a bit human when I step off. Hygiene-wise, deodorant and anti-bacterial hand gel are totally necessities – airplane toilets are so disgusting.
A lot of people get stressed, nervous and sick on flights, and I can totally understand that. If you’re one of the unfortunate few who suffer with these issues or are just plain shit-scared of flying, bringing some home comforts on board will really help. From a de-stress rollerball (a little lavender goes a long way) or a comfy baggy jumper that is made for snuggling to travel sickness pills or plenty of water or chewing gum/mints.
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