Thursday, 4 July 2013

My Inflight Essentials

Although I'm no stranger to flying, there are two things about air travel that I hate: packing and the impracticality of being stuck on board for a minimum of seven hours (I'm strictly a long-haul traveller). These are things that despite the repeated experience can easily be irritating. I've created a list of my top five essentials for flying, but I would love to hear any tips from readers, so feel free to leave a comment below.

1. Comfort is key. My staple outfit when flying consists of the following: leggings, a loose flowy top (long enough to cover my bum), flats that are easy to remove, a cardigan or my go-to I heart NY hoodie to keep warm and my favourite cashmere scarf. I have never understood the purpose of being overly dressed up for a flight, not only do you look ridiculous, but it's annoying to be stuck behind you in the security line. I am not suggesting anyone wear a tracksuit, just keep it chic and sensible, and for the record my choice of outfit has never prevented me from getting the number of the hottie seated next to me...take that as you will...

2. Less is more when it comes to hand luggage. It's wonderful that Virgin have literally doubled the weight of their cabin baggage allowance, however it's usually unnecessary to make full use of this, at least not when you are heading to your destination. My personal favourite when it comes to hand luggage are Longchamp bags; they're lightweight, fold down to virtually nothing and are able to fit tons of items. I find it easiest to travel with as little as possible in the cabin, it allows you to roam freely around the airport and means that you can keep your belongings under the seat for easy access. The exception here is on a return flight from NY when a folded travel version of the Le Pliage from inside my case is stuffed with as many shoes as possible to avoid excess baggage fees!

3. Gadgets. This will probably read as a huge plug for apple, but I cannot be without my iPhone, iPod, iPad combo! I don't think I've used in-flight entertainment since 2010, it's actually better now than it was then, but I much prefer my own films and music. Seriously I can keep myself so entertained with various gaming apps and the Godfather trilogy that it any delays or disruptions almost bearable. Also without my phone, how would I be able to Instagram the ubiquitous shot of the air plane in the clouds/on the runway to let everyone know I'm leaving the country?

4. My hair/beauty products are a must...especially on an overnight flight. First an foremost the moment I step on the plane, I wrap my hair. It's a black girl thing, and yes I have no shame doing it in public...between the cabin air and the fabric on the seats your blow-out will be wrecked otherwise. I would be lying if I said I try to smuggle as many things as I could into those clear bags they give you, the truth is I can get by on Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, tissue (Kleenex Balsam only if you must know), anti-bacterial gel of some sort and shower gel, toothbrush and toothpaste in case (God forbid) my bags are delayed. Yes cabin air is awful, but it doesn't have a detrimental effect on my skin, frankly I'm more concerned with getting some sleep which leads me onto number five...

5. The best nights sleep possible is imperative! Headphones, sunglasses (I can't get with the eye masks) and a neck pillow are three non-negotiable items when I travel. Not only do the sounds of full blast ignorant rap music soothe me when I'm try to sleep on a plane, but they help to drown  out the sound of any screaming babies or precocious children seated nearby. The sunglasses keep me looking fabulous as I doze off next to the aforementioned hottie that I always seem to be seated next to, and the neck pillow prevents me from embarrassingly leaning onto a stranger when I'm not on a plane with adjustable headrests...

As you can see I'm pretty low-maintenance when it comes to flying, it doesn't it excite me nor does it send me into a hysteria...I just want to arrive at my destination in one piece and enjoy the 35 degree weather!

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