Flying Diaries #2

Best travel tips:

Along the years, I have read so many articles and watched so many videos giving tricks on how to travel efficiently, yet in style. It is something that everyone seems to agree on: to feel well, it is important to both think about the practical, yet to keep some style in it. I’ve done both too casual (with shapeless, but comfortable clothes, which ended up making me feel uncomfortable in my own skin) and too stylish (hello new H&M shoulder bag bought two days before the trip with a weak handle that ended up breaking in the middle of a layover. With a 15’’ laptop to carry. Plus a book. Plus magazines.). Here is what I now believe in: it is primordial to achieve a balance between reliable, comfortable items and little luxuries which will make you feel like a jet-setter, even if you fly economy. In the middle seat. Next to someone you’d rather have never met.

Here are the best tips I’ve gathered along the years:

Skin and beauty: the humidity level in a plane will reach its peak at around 20%, though it could also be much lower. To give you an idea, yesterday the humidity level in my hometown was about 40%, and in Minnesota (where I’ll go), it was about 70%. Which means that, even if you are used to dry weather, as I am, you’ll need to be extra careful. This means moisturizing often (face, but especially eye area, hands, lips and even hair), taking eye drops with you if you wear contacts, avoiding direct AC contact (even though it is so so nice to feel some air directed on your skin) and drinking lots.

This brings me to another tip: take an empty water bottle with you (that you will fill in the restrooms, once security passed) or ask for a 2nd bottle/glass when the crew member offers you one. I’ve already been extremely thirsty and had to wait for the crew member to come back. It was in a night flight. Eventually I called a hair steward, and he was seriously pissed to be asked for help.

When it comes to face/hand creams and other products you’ll want to take with you, the best thing is to either take samples or to put a little bit of your usual products in small containers. I would opt for the 2nd option, so that you know the products you are using and how your skin will react to them. Because the environment will be so dry, you might want to take richer creams with you than you usually use.

And, for make-up: minimalize as much as possible. This does not mean I will go barefaced: I intend to take off all my makeup (except possibly mascara) at the beginning of the flight and, around 8 hours later, put it back on. I’ll take concealer, liquid blush, powder (applied with a small retractable kabuki brush), highlighter, eyebrow gel, lip balm and mascara with me. To minimize, stick to products easy to carry and try to go as much brush-less as possible.

Food: I get it, you’re bored. You are maybe tired too. And, now that we have switched time zones, what time is it again?!? People, and I’m the first in line, have a tendency to overeat when they travel. I haven’t found a miracle tip for this yet, but all I can say is that it is important to keep watch of what you are eating. So that you try to respect your normal eating portions/hours.

Also, try not to eat too salty, because it will dehydrate you even more.

Entertainment: Depending on what flight you’ll take, you’ll have movies (and most often new ones!) to watch. I’ve already been on the website of my flight company and seen that there were some pretty sweet ones scheduled. So I know I won’t get too bored. But, then again, watching tv only works for so long.  Plus, you’ll have to get occupied during take-off and landing. In addition, you have to think about layover, bus or train rides to get to and from the airport and general waiting times inside terminals.

I always take magazines and a book with me, but it can get really heavy and bulky. I also always take a mp3 player (actually my cell phone) for both inside and outside the plane.

Here, my best tip would be to either bring electronics which are portable and can substitute for several entertainment devices (I got an IPAD a year ago and I’m excited to try it on a plane for the first time: takes care of games, magazines, books and movies. Cellphones that have games, music and films are also great). Also, if you don’t mind putting it in check luggage, try not to take extra electronics with you, such as cameras or even laptops. I left my laptop in a checked suitcase 2 years ago and it was just fine. But I made sure to wrap it in several layers of bubble wrap.

You could also, if you are stronger than me, throw away your magazines once you’ve read them. There’s little chance you’ll get back to them, after all.

Clothes: One thing you’ll need: pockets. I once travelled with a maxi-dress, thinking it would be comfortable, and it was. But it had no pockets and it was really annoying. So, it is best to stick to pants, such as a pair of jeans with a good stretch and a comfortable waistband. Leggins are also great, depending on the weather, but your tunic would need pockets.

One thing you’ll need to take with you is either a cardigan or a big soft and warm scarf. I always took both but only ended up using one (because I mostly travel in the summer). If you take both, it will be this much more bulk to carry around. For day, I’ll take the cardigan. I’ll leave the scarf for night and wrap myself in it.

If you wear ballerines or so, take socks with you, otherwise your feet might get cold. You could even buy flight socks that will squeeze your legs a little bit, so that your blood will circulate better. One thing I generally do is to take an aspirin before departure, as it makes my blood more fluid. I can because I don’t have any special health issue concerning aspirin.

And, when it comes to accessories, I don’t wear anything I’d have to get rid of as I go through security. This means no belt, no earrings and no necklace. Actually, I once wore little chandelier earrings on a long flight and they were so annoying, getting stuck in my hair and piercing through my skin. Never again.

One last thing: take a carry-on bag that is big enough to carry everything, but that is easy to take around. Crossbodies are best. And make sure you’ll have enough pockets and compartments.

Hope these tips can help you! Do you have any other great tip?

Here is a link to one the amazing Lisa Eldridge’s videos which will tell you everything you have to know about skin care and make-up on a plane: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQ0LjVp0fvs

And, remember, sometimes people just get unlucky, however much they prepared: http://imabeautygeek.com/2012/07/27/f-is-for-flight-mare-when-in-transit-grooming-crosses-the-etiquette-line-ewwww/

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