Luggage check, carry-on check, money check, passport check, vaccination check, travel insurance….ummm check? I have been a frequent flyer on long haul flights (from London to Hong Kong, vice versa) for nearly 2 years and have picked up some mistakes and tips along the way. What is the best way to endure long haul flights as pleasant as possible? There is no secret formula that works for anyone but preparation. I’ve only experienced 3 unfortunate events on long haul flights a few years ago, altitude sickness from dehydration, not paid attention to food intolerance and ended up being sick (I have to remind myself that I’m lactose intolerant to cold dairy desserts, come on a small spoonful of goodness won’t hurt my tummy. Yes it will), and sexual harassment with a fellow passenger seated next to me. It was a l-o-n-g story.
It is essential to enjoy your long haul experience in anyway you can, whether it’s cattle class (I don’t mind) to upper class, long haul or short haul, preparation is key to hassle-free smooth, and comfortable flight.
Here are the flight essentials I find works for me and I hope they work for you. If you have any other recommendations and suggestions, please feel free to leave any tips in the comment box.
Avene Thermal Spring Water facial mist – When it comes to air travel, it is important to stay hydrated and that’s your skin and body. Plane cabins are dry and will suck the moisture out of you, always prep your skin the night before you leave your house – exfoliate, face mask, slather your skin with moisturiser until your body had enough to drink. Once you have settled in your seat, first things first, prep your skin with facial mist as a base, spray it all over your face and neck. I highly recommend Avene facial mist 50ml.
Biotherm Aquasource high density hydrating jelly – After the facial mist, apply a small pea-sized Biotherm Aquasource gel once every four hours depending how long the flight is, or use samples from beauty counters such as Darphin is pretty good.
Nivea Refreshing Soft Moisturising Cream – Always, always, always moisturise your face and neck at least twice even when you don’t have any of the items above.
Jurlique Citrus Hand Cream – To keep your hands moist throughout.
Dettol hand sanitiser, a pack of tissue – For against all kinds of bacterial nasties at the airport, through security, plane window and on the surface of the plane’s tray table (yuck), and don’t forget to blow your dry bogies out!
Lucas’ Papaw Ointment – This is my ultimate life saver! One of the best multi-purpose for anything from cuts, insect bites, soothe eczema, sunburn, rash to dry lips. I also use it to apply inside the nostrils to prevent germs from recycled air flow.
Lemsip and Anadin – Every passenger will eventually catch a cold – sneezing and coughing, all too common. Watch what you breathe and touch. Lemsip, best for quick-fix cold remedy, ask for a cup of hot water and add in a sachet of Lemsip, you’ll be fine in no time. Sinus headache or a headache is a sign of dehydration and cold air flow circulating around the cabin, Anadin helps to relief the symptoms.
Sanitary pads and tampons – Whether you’re a couple days late or you’re on birth control pill, a surprise visit from Aunt Flo adds inconvenience when it comes to flying and travelling, so bring some with you for emergency. Please be aware frequent flying and travelling in different time zones can disrupt your monthly cycles, it’s a common factor along with stress and changes in diet and lifestyle.
Blanket scarf – The temperature in the plane will drop at 30,000 feet above the sea level, wrap up warm with a wollen blanket scarf keeps your neck and shoulders warm, use their flight blanket to cover your lap and legs.
Neck pillow – One of the best foam pillow I ever purchased from Tumi shop at Heathrow, very comfortable to sleep on with no stiffness in the neck and shoulder.
Music – My bedtime music. London Grammar on repeat.
Holistic Silk Lavender Scented Eyemask – One of my favourite flight essentials, the eye mask is made in Britain using finest sillk, lined in super soft and comforting 100% cotton velvet. It fills with pure dried lavender flower heads. I won’t sleep on the plane without it!
ThisWorks Deep Sleep Stress Less roll on, and ThisWorks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray – The deep calming fragrance is great for de-stressing and restless sleeper.
Ear plugs – You know the score.
Thick wolly socks – To keep your feet warm during the whole flight.
Oral hygiene – I recently discovered Lush Toothy Tabs while searching for eco-friendly alternative to toothpaste, and this product caught my attention. The environmentally-friendly tablets are made of sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar (baking powder), to remove surface stains on teeth and kaolin powder to remove plaque and build up. Essential oils and anti-bacterial oils to natural cleanse the teeth and bacteria in the mouth. You basically nibble between your front teeth to break up the tablet, wet your toothbrush and brush your teeth like normal, the substance will start to foam, leaving your teeth clean and fresh.
Burberry Body perfume – I’m not a fan of deodorant or body spray, this subtle perfume ‘Body’ by Burberry helps to freshen up and ward off body odour from your neighbours.
Benefit tinted lipbalm – I don’t wear make-up on long haul flights that clogs up pores, this is great for post-flight touch up (lips and cheeks) at you look alive and well after a long haul flight.
Smint – Great as a breath freshener after inflight meal.
Long haul tips
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Stay well hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout.
- Layer up! The temperature drops at 30,000 feet, a blanket won’t be enough to keep you warm so wear thick sweater or jumper, and bring a beanie for head cold.