One of the best aspects of being a Trend Forecaster is all the travelling I do. I enjoy seeing new places, experiencing different cultures, trying local food and indulging in a spot of shopping. However it’s not until very recently that I’ve come to enjoy the actual travelling part of travelling i.e. the whole tedious flying thing. I thought it was awful, but it turned out I was just doing it wrong!
So far this year I’ve spent just under 160 hours on planes and in airports. Here’s what I’ve learnt that could make your next flight better:
1. Your feet are going to swell a little during a flight and, weird as it sounds, making your feet feel comfortable is a key component to you feeling comfortable. No, sitting in your socks or expecting the people around you to tolerate your bare feet isn’t ok. Get some slippers that squish into your hand luggage easily, or better still buy some soft shoes that roll or fold up. I like these stone blue & gold leather ballet pumps from Cocorose London that fold up to fit neatly into a handbag. Learn from my soggy mistake – slippers with fabric soles are a disaster if you plan on using the toilet on board!
2. Don’t eat inflight meals if you can help it – they’re generally disappointing at best and tasteless mush at worst. Although there is a temptation to eat and drink everything offered to you, simply because it’s being offered to you, it can make you feel bloated. Your body has enough stuff to deal with during a flight without adding food digestion to the mix! I tend to eat at the airport well before I board the flight. We often begin our outward journeys out of Heathrow so if I have time I eat at Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food restaurant. But I always carry a bag of nuts and a small packet of biscuits with me in case I get peckish and my blood sugar gets low during the flight.
3. No matter how warm the temperature is in the city you’re flying out of or to, at some point during the flight they’re going to turn the cabin thermostat to freezing! Sure you could use the blanket the airline provides, but after a girlfriend of mine got a nasty skin rash from one, I prefer to take a large scarf. Small enough to loop onto the handle of my hand luggage (using a Parisian loop knot) or worn around my neck – I then use it as a leg blanket, pillow or wrap during the chilly periods of a flight. I love this handwoven ombre effect merino wool wrap from Uruguay-based Etsy seller Claudia Rosillo, trading as Texturable. She ships worldwide! I also tend to wear bamboo tops when I travel because of the inherent temperature control qualities of bamboo and the amazing comfort. I buy mine from No Balls in the UK.
4. Everyone knows you need to stay hydrated during a flight, and lots of people now carry their own water canister. However not as much consideration is given to how dehyrated your skin can get from the dry air circulating on planes during a long flight. To avoid walking through the Arrivals Lounge looking like a dried-up prune I use a mini thermal spring water face spray from La Roche-Posay (a tip from Miss P in Dubai) and ‘All About Eyes’ eye cream from Clinique to reduce puffiness or dark rings, plus Applelicious Glossy Lip Balm (in Caramel Apple) from NewYorkColor to stop my lips from getting dry.
5. The headphones handed out by airlines during flights are RUBBISH! The sound quality is sooo bad and they’re often uncomfortable. On my last trip to Australia I invested in Bose SoundTrue headphones in Mint. All time great decision!
6. When we’re doing any trip overseas that involves more than one flight I always take a full change of clothes for a quick outfit refresh in the transfer airport toilets. Obviously this requires a handbag large enough to carry a change of clothes, wash bag etc… but I also use my bag as a kind of foot rest on flights, placed under the seat in front of me (I can sleep better on flights if my knees aren’t in a bent position). I spotted this great canvas travel tote bag from Bags Wish, which has plenty of space and lots of handy compartments. Roll your clothes – they take up less space this way and it stops them from creasing as much.
7. I find the middle period of long flights the worst. I’ll have watched a movie, done some work, had a little snooze, eaten my biscuits, made a list of some sort (I love making lists). But then I look at my watch and we’re only half way through the flight and I’m in despair. If I need to kill a couple of hours and have a sense of escape, so I can totally forget where I am, I read. I always take a good book on flights. Recently my reading companions have been Jon Ronson, Lionel Shriver and Andrea Zittel.
8. As soon as I get on a flight I change my watch to the local time in the destination I’m travelling to. I find it helps me to begin to psychologically adjust to my new time zone before I get there. I simply convince myself that, that is now the actual time. Right now I’m LOVING the understated design of this genuine carrara Marble watch by Australian brand AÃRK – style at its most simple.