For a long-haul flight, choose your vice. Fourteen hours on a plane and I’ll be damned if I don’t eat almost half a bar of dark chocolate. As much as I wish I could pack wheatgrass shots and my Namaste-with-a-seatbelt guide, once the babies start screaming – the only thing that keeps me empathetic is my bar of sea-salted Lindt.
When it comes to flying there is one type of person I envy. The kind that can fall asleep sitting upright! Sure I pack my eye mask and neck pillow, drink plenty of water and spritz myself with some aromatherapy based liquid but beyond a certain point it’s a battle between my will to live and the time to destination ticking down.
So how do I survive a long-haul flight? For starters I don’t let myself feel gross. There is nothing worse than sitting in a seat and feeling like you’ve slept the night without washing your face or brushing your teeth.
If I have a flight over night, I skip wearing makeup and dinner on the plane and eat something light and fresh before boarding. Whilst waiting for the inevitably delayed flight, I find a moment to pop to the ladies room and do my usual bedtime routine. Wash my face, brush my teeth, putting on an overnight mask that’s invisible to the public eye but heaven for my skin and keep a stash of my favourite Sleepytime teabags in a ziplock in my handbag. I pay for some hot water at a coffee shop in the lounge until the captain summons. I should add that in order to aid my dream of being able to sleep on a plane, I usually wear what can only be called a publicly acceptable version of pjs.
Of course I cannot stress the importance of wearing something comfortable and keeping a pair of socks in your handbag if like me you prefer to travel in flip-flops. There’s nothing worse than shoes and swollen feet.
There’s a few things you could try a couple of days before flying to avoid feeling swollen and gross. I can’t guarantee you’ll arrive at your destination feeling fabulous and as though you woke up like this but it may help a little. I drink plenty of green juice before flying and that usually means explaining to Ahmed why there are so many empty bottles from Village Juicery in our home again. I’ve also found an Epsom salt bath followed by a coffee scrub the morning of or night before a long-haul flight is a God-send.
While onboard I drink copious amounts of water even if that means going to the washroom several times. It’s the lesser of two evils, the other evil being dehydration. I pack some wedges of lemon in a ziplock and squeeze them into my water for a boost throughout the flight as well as popping some Vitamin C at some point. I also save the freebie sachets I get from Sephora and put them to good use through the flight. This way I throw all my toiletries into the suitcase and don’t have to worry about my lotions and potions being under 100ml.
Like the food, in-flight entertainment on a long-haul flight can be hit or miss, so I always bring plenty to do and my own food. Books, Downton Abbey and a hearty salad or bowl are usually my saving grace. Last but not least, every time I arrive at the check-in desk for a flight to Pakistan, I always hope that today will be the day I get an upgrade just because I’m so lovely. You know, just like you hear in the stories?